In Critical Care

Carattini

Hey TD!

Here’s an insightful piece from our friend, RZIM’s Jill Carattini, managing editor of A Slice of Infinity. In classic Jill fashion, she shows us the eternal in our everyday lives. Enjoy! – Arthur

In Critical Care

by Jill Carattini

The “doorknob phenomenon” is an occurrence many physicians know well. Doctors can proceed meticulously through complete examinations and medical histories, taking care to hear a patient’s questions and concerns, but it is often in the last thirty seconds of the appointment that the most helpful information is revealed. When a doctor’s hand is on the doorknob, body halfway out the door, vital inquiries are often made; when a patient is nearly outside the office, crucial information is shared almost in passing. Many have speculated as to the reasons behind the doorknob phenomenon (which is perhaps not limited to the field of medicine), though a cure seems unlikely. Until then, words uttered on the threshold remain a valuable entity to the physician.

If I can speak on behalf of patients (perhaps I’ve been a perpetrator of the phenomenon myself), I would note that the doorway marks our last chance to be heard. Whatever the reason for not speaking up until that point—fear, discomfort, shame, denial—we know the criticalness of that moment. In thirty seconds, we will no longer be in the presence of one who might offer healing or hope or change. At the threshold between doctor’s office and daily life, the right words are imperative; time is of the essence.

One of the many names for God used by the writers of the Bible is the Great Physician. It is curious to think of how the doorknob phenomenon might apply. Perhaps there are times in prayer when the prayer feels as if we are moving down sterile lists of conditions and information. Work. Finances. Mom. Jack. Future. Of course, while bringing to God in prayer a laundry list of concerns with repeated perseverance is at times both necessary and helpful, perhaps there are also times when we have silenced the greater diagnosis with the words we have chosen to leave unspoken. Can a physician heal wounds we will not show, symptoms we will not mention?

Rembrandt, Beggars on the Doorstep of a House, 1648.

Thankfully, yes. The Great Physician can heal wounds one cannot even articulate. Scripture writers speak of a God who hears even our groanings too deep for words. On the other hand, choosing to leave out certain details is hardly helpful before any doctor. Can God begin the work that needs to be done if we won’t really come near as a patient? Is there a cure for those who do not seek it? Mercifully, there is a physician who seeks us.

The ancient prophet Jeremiah once cried, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? No healing for the wound of my people?” Jeremiah lived during one of the most troublesome periods of Hebrew history. He stood on the threshold between a people sick with rebellion and despair and the great Physician to whom they refused to cry out in honesty.

“I have listened attentively,” the LORD declared, “but they do not say what is right. No one repents of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Each pursues his own course like a horse charging into battle.”(1) His words describe behavior a doctor likely recognizes. A patient who complains of a cough while a fatal wound is bleeding will neither find respite for the cough nor her unspoken pain, and of course, a good physician would not treat the cough until the bleeding has been stopped.

In Jeremiah’s day, as in our own, the promise of a quick and effortless remedy was cunningly presented in many ways. Of these “prophets of deceit” God declared, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”(2) There are some promises that are quite easy to stand beside but crumble under the weight of us. To stand in honesty before a physician is more difficult. To stand in honesty with the greatest of Physicians is to submit to a kindness that may undo us. It is to ask to be made well, to be made new, to be made truly human by the Son with human hands, knowing that the way to my remedy rests in his own wounded hands.

The great Christmas hymn places before us this powerful resolution:

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make His blessing flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found.(3)

The woundedness of humanity is serious: cries of injustice, the wounds of racism, despair and lament at cancers around us, the devastating marks of our own failings left shamefully upon others and ourselves. This cannot be bandaged as anything less than a mortal wound. But the threshold is now. Christ comes near. He weeps with us, ready to address the indications of our illness, imparting healing and kindness. In the coming of Christ, God offers a cure extending as far as the wound can ever fester.

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) Jeremiah 8:6.
(2) Jeremiah 8:11.
(3) Isaac Watts, Joy to the World, 1719.

Advertisements

Girl With Down Syndrome Posts Letter to Doctor Who Wanted Parents To Abort Her

Hey TD,

Are you anxious about the future? The fact is that we all are, to some degree.  How we live with those fears will in fact heavily influence that very future we fear.  As I read the article below, I couldn’t help but think of the paralyzing fear that parents can have when they are told that their unborn child will be born with special needs.

When Sandra was pregnant with our eldest, Nathaniel, our doctor recommended an amniocentesis to be taken.  This is a procedure where the doctor draws amniotic fluid from the mother’s amniotic sac for testing.  When we asked what they would be testing for and why she recommended it, the doctor said that they would be testing for Down Syndrome, so we could abort the baby if the results came out positive.  We said that we would be keeping the baby no matter what.  I asked if there were other health concerns for Sandra to take the amnio.  The doctor said no.  So we refused the procedure.

The article below also reminds me of when Sandra was pregnant with our fourth child.  At the time, we had three boys, so people at church would often ask whether it was a boy or a girl, and say something like, “You want a girl, right?”  I would reply that we didn’t know and that we’d be totally fine with whatever God gave us.  And then sensing where we were coming from, they would say something like, “Oh yes, yes, of course.  Well, as long as it’s healthy,” leaving us once again to try to gently disagree with them, though I knew they were well meaning.  So, my response would be, “We will take whatever God gives us, boy or girl, healthy or not.  It will be our child and we will him or her fully, regardless.”  That child turned out to be Angela, and as promised, we love her fully indeed!

Courtney Baker’s doctor recommended her to abort her daughter after her amniocentesis results came in.  And boy is she glad she didn’t!  Here is a powerful letter she and her daughter, Emmy, recently wrote to her doctor.  Please read and glean!

See you at TD this Friday! – Arthur

Girl With Down Syndrome Posts Letter to Doctor Who Wanted Parents To Abort Her

13346502_1301947523152763_1423332115310457847_n

“This is Emmy, mailing our letter to the prenatal specialist who didn’t want her to live. He repeatedly suggested we abort. He said her and our quality of life would be horrible.” Emmy’s mother Courtney Baker says, “He was so unbelievably wrong. I want to do something to advocate, but other than my letter to him, I don’t know what yet.”

Emmy was diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome.

13393457_10209340069080142_180859760_n

Last month, Courtney wrote the doctor a letter- the very one Emmy mailed off to the specialist who suggested so many times she abort her daughter. And here is a copy of the letter.

“Dear Doctor,
A friend recently told me of when her prenatal specialist would see her child during her sonograms, he would comment, “He’s perfect.” Once her son was born with Down syndrome, she visited that same doctor. He looked at her little boy and said, “I told you. He’s perfect.”
Her story tore me apart. While I was so grateful for my friend’s experience, it filled me with such sorrow because of what I should have had. I wish you would have been that doctor.
I came to you during the most difficult time in my life. I was terrified, anxious and in complete despair. I didn’t know the truth yet about my baby, and that’s what I desperately needed from you. But instead of support and encouragement, you suggested we terminate our child. I told you her name, and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome. You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy.
From that first visit, we dreaded our appointments. The most difficult time in my life was made nearly unbearable because you never told me the truth.
My child was perfect.
I’m not angry. I’m not bitter. I’m really just sad. I’m sad the tiny beating hearts you see every day don’t fill you with a perpetual awe. I’m sad the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears don’t always give you pause. I’m sad you were so very wrong to say a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I’m heartbroken you might have said that to a mommy even today. But I’m mostly sad you’ll never have the privilege of knowing my daughter, Emersyn.

13401471_10209340077920363_109859890_n
Because, you see, Emersyn has not only added to our quality of life, she’s touched the hearts of thousands. She’s given us a purpose and a joy that is impossible to express. She’s given us bigger smiles, more laughter and sweeter kisses than we’ve ever known. She’s opened our eyes to true beauty and pure love.
So my prayer is that no other mommy will have to go through what I did. My prayer is that you, too, will now see true beauty and pure love with every sonogram.

And my prayer is when you see that next baby with Down syndrome lovingly tucked in her mother’s womb, you will look at that mommy and see me then tell her the truth: “Your child is perfect.”

 

13407359_10209340074920288_651650718_n

Courtney told ParkerMyles.com,  “Emmy has two siblings. Rhyan is almost 15 and Evynn is 11. They are crazy about their sister!! They had been through so much at that point [when we received the diagnosis].

We tried to be honest with them while keeping strong in our faith, but they knew about our pain and struggles with the specialist. When they heard that her diagnosis was confirmed at her birth, they were afraid.

Emmy was taken from me immediately after birth because of low oxygen levels, so the girls met her when I did. It was such a surreal moment after all that time of fear and heartache. She was there and she was ours.


The girls both said that at soon as they met her they fell in love. And it was obvious. A lot of healing happened at that moment. We never looked back to the fear and sadness, it’s been onward in the smiles and joy. Rhyan is the calm, quiet, motherly refuge for Emmy. Evynn is the wild, fun, cracking up laughter for her. They are a perfect trio.”

Follow here

Kat Abianac

Kat is a writer and a passionate advocate for inclusion in the media and advertising. She has two children, one with Down syndrome. Use the ‘contact us’ tab on this site to request her media kit or to get in touch. You may republish content from http://www.parkermyles.com on your own site, provided a pingback is made to her original article and she is fully credited as author.