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Valentine’s Day 2021 was rather interesting. I had been feeling ill for a few weeks, but because of my propensity to push through certain elements, I disregarded some signs and continued to work. This was at the peak of COVID-19 here in our region, and although we observed every protocol, we knew that because of my asthma and other lung related issues that the virus could be especially dangerous to me. That week I remember driving my daughter and niece 25 minutes up the highway to get an early dinner, and I was unable to move at my normal pace. In fact, I felt as if I almost collapsed walking back to the car. I also remember a trip to urgent care where the nursing staff agreed with me and believe that the seasonal changes were affecting my lungs and triggering asthma attacks. They gave me a steroid shot, and as usual told me I’d feel better in 24 hours. I remember preaching that Sunday, Valentine’s Day 2021 and my cousin approaching me after service to inform me that I did not look healthy at all.

Fast forward a couple of days, and I made yet another trip to the local urgent care. This time however I was unable to walk inside, I collapsed right outside the door. After they were able to lift my torso and stabilize me against the wall, they placed oxygen on me and disclosed that my oxygen levels were severely low. I was told I needed to get to an emergency room, but I could not drive myself because there was a fear that I would die attempting to drive due to a lack of oxygen, so they called an ambulance. Although I was frustrated, I am grateful. That ambulance ride possibly saved my life. Once I arrived at the hospital, because I was an ambulatory patient, I was rushed right into the emergency room. There was a doctor there, younger doctor who was seemingly frustrated with the need to do COVID testing. He looked me right in the eyes and exclaimed, “I know what this is, get me a lung Xray stat, this man has severe pneumonia.”

The x-ray showed exactly what he predicted, I had double pneumonia. He estimated by the amount of fluid on my lungs that I possibly had been walking around with pneumonia for nearly 3 weeks. Then there was the weirdness, I had both a positive and a negative Covid test. They placed me in a Covid ward for a couple of days, and then removed me on the third day (after testing negative for Covid twice in 24 hours). Although I was pleased to have been moved from the Covid ward, I quickly found out how close I was to losing my life the night before, and how there was a strong possibility that my life would never be the same. I was on oxygen 24 hours a day, and unable to even walk 3 feet to the restroom without being strapped to oxygen machines. We were told that if I had to receive an extra liter of oxygen, but I would have to be placed on a ventilator with partial sedation.

Before I knew it, I had been in that hospital bed practically unable to move for five days. The sixth day came, and they released me to go home, you can imagine the elation that I shared with my wife and daughter. Just days prior my wife and I were having an extremely difficult conversation. However, I was relegated to home oxygen therapy 24 hours a day and the prescription was for three weeks. Although I was grateful to be out of the hospital, I was frustrated because I was tethered to these machines 24 hours a day. I wanted to work out, I wanted to preach resume some of the things that I was accustomed to doing. But I had to rest, I had to recover. I believe it was day 4 at home and I woke up at 5 AM, let our dog outside, and realized that I was doing so without oxygen. At that moment, I begin to thank God for the mountain that he just brought me over and immediately appreciate the feeling of air moving through my lungs without the need of a machine. Something was released that day, healing was released. Because after that moment of worship in my driveway, I never went back to oxygen. In fact, the next week we were able to call the medical supply company instructing them to come and retrieve all their supplies. The entire nursing staff at the hospital were amazed at my recovery. I was cleared to resume normal activities within reason, and I was walking about freely without oxygen tethered to me.

Like I said, this all occurred a year ago. One year ago, today I was fighting for my life with every breath laying in a hospital bed. I share this with you now because my recovery has been long. Although I have resumed some activities, I realized that I hadn’t fully recovered for a while. But understand this, God is a healer, that’s the point of this blog! Be encouraged, regardless of what the medical report may say concerning your condition, He is a Healer!

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