Wineskins Archive

February 11, 2014

In God’s Arms – Part 2 (Jul-Aug 2002)

Filed under: — @ 5:18 pm and

Visiting my brother in a mental hospital

My mom and I went as often as we could to visit him in the hospital. He told us the only way he could make it inside those walls was by knowing we would be there to see him every day. He felt like a prisoner of war. The medication he was given stiffened his muscles. He walked around like a glazed robot. Each day we came, he appeared worse that the day before. He would beg us to take him home and hold on to our arms when the time came for us to leave. He wasn’t even allowed to sit out on the steps of the building. He was literally a “prisoner” in a strange place. Every time we left, we felt sick inside.

While at the hospital, Greg was thrown into an isolation room for two consecutive nights. We learned the night nurse was not a very compassionate person. The first night Greg was put into isolation, he was told he was getting up too much during the night to get a drink of water. Greg had developed a bad case of bronchitis. He would drink large amounts of liquid in an effort to soothe his throat. The second night of isolation was extremely difficult for Greg to bear. He was then moved to a locked hospital ward to try to help alleviate his bronchial infection.

As I visited with the doctor and nurses, I discovered we needed to get Greg out of this hospital. I realized this hospital was not equipped with the medical facilities to accommodate patients like my brother. Greg needed physical treatment desperately. If Greg remained locked up here, he would surely die. I had to figure out a way to get him out of this “prison”.

After two long weeks at this hospital, I convinced my dad to talk to the authorities to encourage them to release my brother. Greg was released on condition he would receive twenty-four hour care. I believe the doctors were sending him home to die.

My mom took care of Greg during the week and my dad relieved her on the weekends. Caring for him became quite an undertaking. It took two people to feed him. He ate small amounts of food frequently. Much of his food came back up. He experienced chronic diarrhea. Gradually, he became so weak that my mom had to help him take down his pants to go to the bathroom. Many nights, Greg would wake up and move randomly about the house. My mom became physically and emotionally drained. I tried to encourage her to hang in there. I knew this had to be better than being locked up in the hospital.

One night my brother became very restless. My dad was taking care of him. My dad literally tied my brother to the bed. Dad was afraid Greg would get up and hurt himself during the night. The thought of my brother being tied down sounded so cruel, but my dad thought he was doing the best thing.

Gradually, Greg’s mind started getting better. Everyone was happy to see him finally improving. One Sunday morning, Greg asked my mom if he could go to church with her and Grandma. Mom was glad he felt good enough to get out of the house. Greg went before the congregation and asked them to pray for him. The people gathered around him and prayed their hearts out in effort to help heal Greg. Greg went home a different person that day. He ate his first full meal in months. He threw away all of his medicine. We all marveled at the miracle we saw God performing before our eyes. Our hearts rejoiced. We prayed that he would continue to improve and get well.

Greg slowly gained his weight back and his health improved dramatically. He still suffered fatigue and diarrhea, but his mind was completely healed.

Prior to this time, I had prayed desperately for God to help me deal with the possibility of Greg’s death. I prayed for three days and three nights in hopes of learning how to deal with this burden. The last night I felt as though I couldn’t possibly carry this burden anymore. I pleaded with God, “How could I accept my brother’s death?” I didn’t think my brother was a Christian and his mind was almost gone. I prayed for more time to learn what was in my brother’s heart. Inside me, I knew if God would be taking him into His arms, I could deal with losing him. After more prayer, a sense of peace came over me that night.

Part 3: Complete healing…of my brother’s mind…but what about his body?

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