Sunday, May 29, 2016

Heavenly encounters

It is always amazing to me how Heaven, the Universe, whatever you want to call it, lines people up just right so their paths cross.

Friday night, as we were leaving the graduation ceremony, I ran into the wife of our favorite family doctor.  She is such a great lady and we had just a minute or two to catch up!  I don't know how it happens, but many times, I become good friends with the family of our doctor...I really can't say for sure how it happens but I'm so glad it does.

At the graduation party, I saw our doctor!  The husband of the woman I saw after the ceremony. He was there as a chaperon.   We saw each other across the room almost at the same time and immediately rushed to see each other.  He was by far, the best doctor we have ever had.  Sadly, after just a few years of being our family practitioner, he closed his practice to do ER medicine and then became part of the University Medical Clinic so he just sees students now.

He was so surprised to see me and related a really cool story.  Earlier in the week, they were setting up a new exam room and they needed some art.  He went to his storage and got some art that I had given him for his clinic when he had his family practice.  He chose one of a mother rocking a baby and two little kids at her feet.  He said when he saw that in the pile, he immediately thought of me and had so many great memories of taking care of my kids.  It now hangs in the new exam room.

Dr. Rammell was the one who helped me get on the right track with specialists when the kids were diagnosed with Shwachman Diamond Syndrome.   He became our doctor just a couple of weeks before Spencer was born and remained our doctor until Spencer was almost 10. He and I made the best team!  It was the perfect set up.  He was so patient and eager to help and learn.  He cared like no other doctor has ever cared.

When Spencer was just two weeks old, he kept turning blue.  His breathing was always labored and squeaky.  I had to take him to the ER night after night and they kept telling me he just had croup.  I don't think two week old babies can get croup.  I recorded Spencer's breathing when it would get really bad and finally took the recording to Dr. Rammell.  It took him no time at all to tell me what the problem was and within a few hours, we were making an emergency trip to Primary Children's for Laryngomalacia. A birth defect in Spencer's windpipe.

He saved Shelbie from internal bleeding at age 5 and when Spencer was 8, he was the one to diagnose him with Encephalitis.  That was a day I will never, ever forget.  Spencer had been having seizures that wouldn't stop.  He was barely conscious and had a massive fever but nothing in his blood indicated a problem.  As we spoke in the hall outside Spencer's hospital room, he said, "I think we need to do a spinal tap but I haven't really done many.  I'm not sure I feel comfortable doing it on someone so sick and so small."

I convinced him to do it after several minutes of tears and anguish over the decision, from both of us. I finally took his hands and said, "You are all I have to save my son.  If I pray for you, will you do it?"

The way Spencer 's room was situated, I could walk down the hall a bit and see into it through the window and Dr. Rammell's face from his reflection in the mirror.  I pressed my face against the glass and prayed and prayed for that man as I watched his intense face to save my son.  An hour later, Spencer was life flighted to Boise where we stayed for three weeks.  Two other people died that day from the same thing Spencer had, in fact, I saw one of the widows at the bank just earlier in the day on Friday.  She is a constant reminder of how blessed we have been.  Her kids had to grow up without their dad and he was one amazing dad!  I knew him well.

We stood at the graduation party reliving all these stories and the story of when his daughter was hit by a car.  I made many trips down to the hospital to be with his wife and help where I could.  We had this great connection and I was so touched to know that he felt it too and they thought of me often as well. I caught him up on how the kids were doing today and it was such a tender moment of compassion and empathy.  I got a little choked up!  We would have been so great together as a parent/doctor team!

As we ended our conversation, he said how great it was to finally run into me and I had been on his mind all week long.  I know that for whatever reason...Heaven cared that our paths crossed again.


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