June 4, 2004 - "Virginia" by Merrym Bruce
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Many of you will remember Merrym's indominatable spirit from my previous stories about her! I am proud to say she has written her own story - one of many she has experienced. To read my story about Merrym, go here: http://www.2theheart.com/feb10_041
Be sure to email Merrym about her story, but since typing is very difficult for her, she may not be able to reply to everyone. May her story today bless you as it did me! (There will be no 2TheHeart next week, as I am taking my children on a vacation to the beautiful Oregon coast! The next 2TheHeart will arrive in your inbox June 14th!)
by Merrym Bruce
She walks with grace, effervescence and authority. This full-figured, voluptuous, beauty with wavy blonde hair and intense blue eyes is one of the many nurses at the nursing facility I "vacationed" at. Being 39 years old and having to go to a nursing facility made me absolutely bitter. She being the first person I met, I had already vowed to dislike her. She allowed me to vent all my frustrations on her and over the next 3 weeks she had won me over.
I was in the nursing facility, because I needed I.V. antibiotics in my system twice daily, in hopes of arresting an infection I had contracted in my bone, which could cause a total amputation of my right leg or even death. Virginia was the nurse who "lucked out" and got the privilege of hooking me to the I.V. machine the most often. Through it all, she just kept that same grace and compassion, that makes Virginia, who she is.
One day in particular she had orders from the doctor to take my blood at two different times. After 14 years of my veins being poked and jabbed, they fought back, hiding from, rolling out from underneath, and/or shocking the person holding the needle.
Virginia knew this, so she had decided to put another I.V. in the other arm, so it would only take one stick to draw blood twice. Preparing the area she was to stick there was a look of concern on her face. Poking the needle in she felt resistance, automatically I started praying loudly. A flash of shock shown on her face (I don't think she had a patient so boldly pray). What came next gave her more of a shock, as I prayed unafraid, the needle went in with ease. With relief on her face, she taped the second I.V. down and drew the first blood. Then to the other arm, having to hook it to the I.V. machine, the concern crept slowly back onto her face, as the machine started giving her fits. Without even thinking about it, I was again praying loudly, which shocked her a little less this time. The moment I started praying, the machine started acting normal. Concern slowly melted off her face, "Thanks for the prayer," she said as she flowed out the door.
A week later, it was Virginia again, who had the orders to pull my I.V. from my arm. She hesitated much of the day, so she would have the I.V. specialist of the facility, if needed. I kept nagging her to take it out. When I had became unbearably obnoxious, she gave in to my demands. As I went to my room, she gathered up the needed equipment. Cascading into my room in her usual style, she laid out the medical equipment. She had me lie down on my bed to put me at ease. Pulling the tubing out of my arm, it got stuck in my shoulder. She immediately called the I.V. specialist, never leaving my side. Calmly explaining that if she just pulled it might cause damage to my system.
The I.V. specialist tromped in asking Virginia what the trouble was. Explaining, she then asked for instructions. A bit of anger grew in me, as a call to the hospital was placed.
I waited as patiently as "I" could, after three hours I got the scoop on what we were to do. "We have a list of five things we need to do, before we send you to the hospital," Virginia said in her most congenial tone. "No," I said, abruptly, "we have six things to try. Number one is to pray."
Our journey started with drinking hot liquids, while in a hot shower hoping that the water would loosen the tube. Also, Virginia was to hang a syringe full of water from the tubing in hopes of weighing it down, so it might just slide out. I was steaming mad, mumbling under my breathe about how nothing can ever go the easy way for me, resigning myself to go to the hospital for approximately the 100th time in my life.
Sitting in that stark pink shower room, that smelled of antiseptic and human feces, I was still fuming. Again, Virginia cascades in in her usual demeanor, bringing the syringe full of water. She explains that the syringe was full of warm water and she is going to flush the tube before I start my shower. Looking me in the eye she said, "Did you want to pray?" In my frustration I was praying, but only half-heartedly and when she said this it startled me back to reality that, the Lord's in charge. Answering her I said, "I've already prayed, but I'd like to pray with you." We bowed our heads and prayed out-loud, together this time. When the praying ceased, Virginia flushed the warm water through the tubing and it slid out.
I started boisterously praising the Lord, while Virginia with a grin as big as the Cheshire cat bandaged my arm.
In my exhilaration, I just went back to the wild outspoken, jokester that the nursing facility had gotten to know, not letting my concerned family know what had happened.
Fifteen minutes later, a call was taken at the nurses station for me, it was my attentive sister trying to find out what was happening. A while later, passing the nurses station, Virginia told me my sister had called and I should call her back. When I got to my room I nonchalantly called my sister thinking I would be the bearer of the good news. My sister answered the phone and finding me on the other end she said, "I heard you got the tubing out. Virginia said it was achieved with warm water and prayer, and she knows it was the prayer." I sat there stunned, not truly realizing until that moment God does answer my prayers and how much He cares for this wild, rollicking jokester.
Merrym Bruce copyright 2004
I'm 39 years old. I have been disabled since 1991, when I contracted the flesh-eating bacteria and subsequently had a stroke, making it difficult for me to use my hands and caused a speech impediment. I found out there is no one who doesn't need the Lord. I walk with Him daily (which is a very hard task for anyone, but a little more so for me since I only have one leg, hee hee.) God has blessed me with a sense of humor, so I can make light of my situation. And I have one foot in heaven already, tee hee.
The Letter Box:
I really enjoyed "Everyday Angels" and wholeheartedly agree - we can all be angels in our own way, with whatever gifts we have at the moment. We each posess ways that we can help others, even if it's offering a prayer for those in need. I also wanted to say my cousin receives "happy mail" from your Angels2TheHeart group and she says it's a lifesaver! Your angels make a difference in her days. Thank you!! God bless, Cammie Walker
Everyday Angels is a wonderful message that we can all be angels! I think when we have our own pain or illnesses, it makes us more kind and better at seeing other people's needs. Thank you for this wonderful story! Michelle T, GA
As a pastor, I wanted to thank you for "Everyday Angels". God gives each of us trials and each of us gifts. It's up to us what we learn from them and how we use them. This story is a perfect example of that! Thank you, Robert D.
Making a difference, one story at a time!