20/20 Hindsight, if only…

In 2009 I did not have a flu shot!
Big mistake.
I really, really wish I had!
I was a fit former Royal Marine, with a can do attitude, who
always ran up the stairs!
This won’t affect me, after all I hate injections!
How very wrong I was.
While in the UK speaking for the Royal Air Force at a conference
on PTSD, I acquired a very bad case of Swine Flu, H1N1 at the onset of the pandemic.
Between 250,000 and half a million people died of this particular strain of “flu” during this epidemic.
I spent three weeks in a coma – three months in the ICU between Oct -Dec 2009.
I had to learn how to walk again, even how to brush my teeth!
(The first time I stuck the tooth brush up my nose!)
I was told, after I came out of the coma,
“Nigel you were as close to death without dying
as I have ever seen in my thirty five years as a doctor.”
I was told that Oct 25, 2009 was a bad night as my wife
was told not to go home that evening! That date was nearly
etched on my grave stone!
I have several physical scars to record the experience,
two chest punchers, feeding tube, a very nasty bed sore scar and even a tracheotomy!
I have compromised lungs and often find it hard to breath.
I have constant pain in my legs, I walk with a cane, a walker
and use a mobility scooter for airports and malls, and for walking the dog!
I’ve had a hip replaced because of the major doses of steroids!
My lament… If only I had had a flu shot!
Bottom line:
I now get my vaccines!
Flu shot next week!
I learnt a lesson, the hard way.
I so regret not getting immunized.
BTW if you were one of the thousands who prayed for me
all over the world, THANK YOU so very much indeed, I have no doubt
that your prayers saved my life.
Read Mark 2:1-12 the story of the paralytic carried to Jesus.
God bless you dear soul.
Be well, do good works and for the sake of God p, love one another.
With gratitude,
~Fr. Nigel W.D. Mumford+

3 thoughts on “20/20 Hindsight, if only…

  1. Avatar
    MD says:

    glad you now get your ‘flu Shots… they don’t always fully protect you but they are So worth getting…it’s a dead virus they give you so no one ever gets ‘flu from their shot.. don’t forget when you reach the age….to get your Shingles shot.. i know too many people who did not get it and they then had shingles , very nasty…so I got mine ASAP after that certain birthday.. …:)

  2. Avatar
    Carole Stewat says:

    Dear, Dear, Nigel,
    You know better than to lament on what might have been. Semper Fi. That same month of October, 2009, quite likely on the same day, 72- year-old Jim Stewart, USMC, my beloved husband rolled up his sleeves at our annual checkup for his flu shot. We would have been married 55 years, TODAY. The physician had just declared him fit and told him to come back in a year. I declined the same vaccine because with paralyzed vocal chords flu shots routinely made me pass out. It was barely 24 hours later that the wretched illness began. Because he had never been sick and was in the middle of closing the quarter for our fourth generation businesses he would not go to the emergency room for four more days until returning from the bathroom he collapsed over the lover rail of our wrought iron bed and was suspended there like a sea saw until i could pull him to his feet. For the next three years, that room and that bed would be his physical world except for the necessary trips to hopsital, as I cared for him at home, after his illness was not really diagnosed, except that each of the other members of our household also became moderately ill and then got well. Finally, he was diagnosed (with no previous symptoms) of 4th state bowel cancer and not treated because he was 72 years old. I took him to another hospital where they did not discriminate against treating the “elderly”?
    He made extraordinary progress reducing the tumor, continued to do his work each day from our bedroom and to teach me endless details that creative people do not naturally learn. He worked so hard to to get ready for the relatively routine surgery he had waited so long for.
    These things I learned from a well known healing minister who visits our church and nearby seminary, where I had the great joy of participating in Healing Training.
    Fr. Nigel took me back to the painful scene in the physician’s office. Jim sat in his wheel chair on one side of the room and she on the edge of her desk across from the two of us as the patient asked eagerly, “When will we do the surgery,” knowing that his blood counts were at last where they needed to be.
    As I stood there before the other trainees remembering the experience, I was commanded to tell Fr. Nigel, where was Jesus in this scene? I couldn’t tell him because I was engulfed in the flame of the words that came out of the young woman’s mouth. “Surgery?” she repeated. “Why would you want to have surgery? You are blind.”
    That was the moment I lost my husband. And Fr. Nigel was asking again, “Where is Jesus in the room. I stood for what seemed an eternity, searching the walls for the familiar figure; I needed to end this encounter and run from the building, but YOU Fr. Nigel were standing in front of me with you healing hand on my head—and so I looked more, and then I saw: HE was everywhere, encompassing the room, and I understood in that moment—had always been there.
    Jim lived only a few weeks more, working until he could no longer lift his head from the pillow.
    The blindness caused by excessive chemo had scarcely slowed Jim down as he had his sons tie a long boat rope from the bed to the bathroom door so that he could continue his independence sliding his walker past the open door to the stairway with one hand on the rope.
    And yes, the deeply hidden anger was gone! Even with the pain I would not have missed a moment of those more than three years of my husband’s illness.
    Thank you Nigel Mumford for sharing your love with so many in such remarkable ways!

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