Every now and then I get into a situation that is beyond me, beyond my expertise, beyond my capabilities. And I think to myself, “Oh dear God, you’ve got to help me”.

Of course, whether is seems big or small to me, it’s always small to God.

Yesterday, I was telling God how I needed some new summer clothes and didn’t have the budget for it. I was actually complaining and told him he needed to help me out since I’m his favorite and it’s not legal to go naked in public. Later in the day, he reminded me of some summer dresses in a closet I don’t use. He always helps me out, especially when I use the line “Remember I’m your favorite!” 🙂

Eight years ago, I was a relatively new nurse working on the Telemetry/Acute care unit of a 200-bed hospital. I was the “shift coordinator” that particular night- meaning I didn’t have my own patients but would help everyone else get everything done that needed to be done. I remember one of the travel nurses named Margo who had really busy patients and needed help with the patient in room 274. This patient had a heart cath procedure done earlier in the day and it was now time to remove the catheter that was still in her femoral artery. Heart caths are fairly common procedures (a way for doctors to send a camera up to your heart and look around for blockages) and our floor nurses were always doing the after-procedure stuff which included removing the tube that was in the upper thigh artery. It’s one of the largest arteries of the body so there is a certain skill in removing the catheter because if it’s done wrong, the person can bleed out and die in 3-5 minutes. No big deal.

That evening, I went in (unfortunately alone) to remove the cath. I had all my stuff in order, thought I should probably have someone else around to help out but since everyone was so busy, I would just quickly do it myself. The patient was a heavyset pleasant lady. I went ahead and removed the tube from the artery and placed pressure on the area where I thought her artery would be-you put pressure on the artery and wait for the body to clot the area up and start healing. However, I wasn’t in the right spot and couldn’t put enough pressure on the area to stop the bleeding. The blood started pooling around her body as she is laying flat and asking “Is everything ok?”. I’m frantically re-adjusting my hands on her large thigh, trying to keep calm so the patient doesn’t freak out. My dilemma was if I take my hands off to push the Code Button on the wall 4 feet away, will I completely lose my spot. Just then, a nurse tech walked by the door and I yelled out “GET LESLIE!!” Leslie was taller and stronger than me, and also went to nursing school with me. If anyone was capable of helping, it was her.

Leslie came running within seconds and took over in trying to apply pressure to this lady’s femoral artery, but it wasn’t working, the blood was everywhere. She yelled out “GET DAN!”. Dan was an ICU nurse who was bigger than her and always knew what to do in emergencies. Dan came running and he put his hands on the artery but the blood continued to flow. “GET STEVE!” Steve came running and hopped up the bed and with all his weight, stopped the bleeding finally.

Steve stayed in that exact spot for at least 30 minutes, scared to death that if he moved, we would be back where we started. The patient was fine in the end, didn’t lose that much blood and I don’t think we needed to do a blood transfusion if I remember right.

I will never ever forget that patient, the blood, and the rescue. I was in over my head and could have killed someone but God! But God, in His mercy for the patient and me, (and everyone else), sent a nurse tech, who got Leslie, who got Dan, who got Steve.

Sometimes we get in over our head, sometimes we don’t have the skill, the brains, the energy, the resources–but God does. He knows everything and owns everything. And He can help you out. Just try Him. He’s better than you think! And He loves you more than you can imagine!

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