I last saw her walk on her own with her own legs on July 31, 2006. I drove away from my childhood home to quote a song, Just Like Everyone not thinking of the clichéd advice, “Cherish Every Moment.” Looking back, I cherish that memory. She got sick August 1st. The nurse practitioner gave her an inoculation. but her initial reaction began the journey that my family is presently enduring. Shortly after the injection while still at the physician’s office, my mother fainted/ had a seizure.
Personally I am restraining here for you dear reader. Your time is precious I know, and I have nothing good to say about the procedures that occurred. So, back to it:
My mom was treated for the dehydration/low potassium; however, severe pain developed in her left leg during the ambulance transport and continued to worsen while admitted Hospital A. My sister and father were told by nurses and Dr. X that she was simply having cramps due to low potassium. On Wed., the charge nurse was very concerned with the coldness, numbness, and coloration of her leg and tried multiple times to contact the attending physician. The physician finally came in to make rounds Wed. evening and admitted he should have paid more attention to her pain. The pulses were very weak and he ordered a dopplier of her leg for the next day. We were told that if a clot showed up on the test, we would be transferred to Hospital B. My sister asked the doctor what would happen if a clot did not exist, because something was definitely wrong with her leg. He told her, “we would cross that bridge when it happened".
was done and a nurse told us that a clot did not exist. As she was only a nurse, she could not
explain in more detail or answer our question as to why the leg was doing as it
was. Dr. X verbally gave discharge
orders over the phone without even giving a prescription for any kind of blood
thinner or pain medicine.
So, my mom is released from Hospital A on (I believe) Thursday, August 3, 2006 only to return to the ER on Friday, August 4th. At this point, my mom, sister and father were told something along the lines of, “As long as the foot doesn’t turn black,” all would be okay. They were given the name of a vascular surgeon to make an appointment. The ER doctor did write a prescription for pain medicine and did explain that the prior test showed slow blood flow to the lower extremities.
On Sunday, August 6th, my father returned to the ER at Hospital A with my mom. From there, she is sent to Hospital B. Physicians of Hospital B explained that a small window of opportunity exists for saving extremities once blood flow stops. We were told that my mother’s left leg had to be amputated above the knee or she would die. By the way, since her initial pain with the leg, she had constantly run a fever that got as high as 102 degrees prior to the trip to Saint Thomas. On August 7, 2006, my family and I waited from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM while mom was in surgery. Martha Cheryl Tinin on this day became a transfemoral amputee.
It always annoyed me when my mother would drive the four-wheeler to our home and rev the motor up as if it were a trumpet sounding at the second coming. She has since told me if she had known she was going to lose her leg, she would have spent more time in the creek. My heart broke. Well, sometime this summer, I will get her, wheelchair and all one more time in the creek behind the house.
Years ago I witnessed to her about Christ. It was an
ongoing theme. Satan had used her aliments of Lupus, leaky heart valves, and
drinking to discourage me. She hung to her argument that she wouldn’t go to
church because sge couldn’t be perfect. She never understood. She was hung up
like so many on rituals. Her grandfather was a Primitive Baptist preacher.
Regardless of the denominational differences, Christ is THE Lord. She totally
missed it. But that changed when reality hit her. I am trying not to be bitter
toward the sorry excuses that call themselves physicians that made mistakes. As
a Christian I know Christ is in control. He was then as He is now. What I’m
getting at is my mother may never have opened that knocking door if she had not
been humbled by illness. Doesn’t matter though when or how you come to Christ.
It only matters that you do.
One day my mother had visitors. I believe the three wise women came from our church First Baptist Lobelville. They brought their love for the Lord, cheery dispositions, and genuine compassion. For years, I had talked to my mother about Christ, His love, and salvation. On this day, the three women, N, D and a woman I refer to as Mary Poppins, were used by Christ to spread His message to my mother. If I planted the seed, they no doubt watered and added Miracle Grow to it.
Wednesday, March 14th, my mother asked if
I would pray with her to accept Him as Savior on Thursday. On Thursday, my
sister had wonderful news that her cancer level went from 500 to 30. God is
stronger than Advil. I told my mother that regardless of her present condition,
she was standing taller than ever before in my eyes. As I patted her knee, I
told her that regardless of whether she walked again on earth with a prosthetic
leg, she would run with His glory in Heaven.
On March 18, 2007, Pastor Brewer offered the invitation. I wheeled my mother forward. I have dreamed of this moment. The moment she would sit with me in church, feel God’s presence and know that He died for her as He did for you and me. She said to me that she thought Papa would be proud. I replied, “I’m sure he is. The father is proud, too.”
I praise Almighty God for allowing me to play a role in His plan for her. I’m thankful that my nephew Lynn and his mom are back into the fold where I believe He wants them. I pray that I, personally, can continue to grow as His servant. I hope this personal testimony has added something to your life.