Saturday, December 10, 2016

Doing the Right Thing

There are times in your life when you have to stand your ground for what you believe in.  And there are times when doing so means you have to stand alone.  There is a saying that goes something like:

What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.  

When you are dealing with a special needs situation this can be a very important thing to remember.  Let me pass along this story as an example:

Tyler has a shunt which keeps fluid pressure from building up around his brain.  The shunt is designed to allow fluid to slowly drain down a tube into his abdomen.  It's basically a pressure valve that opens under pressure to relieve the fluid.

One day Tyler was showing signs that his shunt was not operating properly.  He was cocking his head back, wincing, and grinding his teeth.  He also wouldn't turn his head very much.  I was called home from work and by the time I arrived he was unconscious and would not awaken.  We called the hospital and alerted them he was coming in.  Once he was evaluated we were told that the anesthesiologist refused to prep him for surgery due to Tyler eating some applesauce a few hours before that, which increased the risks.  We were told to GO HOME and come back in the morning.  I was livid.  There was no way, no matter who told me to, I was taking an unconscious boy home.  He was in trouble and I knew it.  

We refused to budge.  The nurses felt helpless and the anesthesiologist refused to see us. It was me against the establishment and the stakes were too high to back down.  The only thing I could do was to call our neurosurgeon and plead for his help.  He is one guy I knew we could trust.  I was in tears when I told him I was stuck.  When he heard the whole story he lit up the hospital staff in a BIG way.  Within minutes he was being prepped for surgery. As usual Tyler recovered fully and quickly.

Some months later I talked to the neurosurgeon and asked (off the record) what would have happened if I would have taken Tyler home as I was told.  "Likely", he said, "Tyler would have been in a coma or dead by morning".  

I've not always been right....far from it.  But when I knew in my heart of hearts that I was right, and Tyler needed me to be, I stood my ground.  And really, I was standing his ground for him.  I'd rather have been wrong and Tyler be in less danger than I thought, than have lost my son listening to everyone else.

I think this is a good lesson for our lives in general.  Do what is in your heart and if that flies against conventional wisdom or isn't popular, don't let that stop you.  Because in the end, after all is said and done, if you can look at yourself in the mirror and know you always did what you felt was best, then the rest will just fall away.  Anybody can do what is popular, but it takes a special person to whats right.

Be well and God bless.   Tom 

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  1. Hi Tom!

    I loved getting your Christmas card today and jumped on the computer right away to check out your blog. I can't wait to read more. I miss you guys and I am so glad to hear all is well!

    Love, Tessa


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