Today Dr. Lewis came in to say that he thought it was time to remove the tube in Sister McKee’s stomach as it had only been used for a few meds over the past week. He said it would be very painful to remove it but would only last for a few minutes. I could see the fear in her eyes to experience pain once more and she probably saw the fear in my eyes as I wished that she would experience no more pain. Our secondary thought was what if she needs this feeding tube again ? Are we taking away what was once her life giving source?
Over the years we have taught many classes on what to do when we experience fear. There are those who will run away from fear with little or no communication, turn to alternate substances to cover their fear and pain(alcohol,drugs, excessive sleep, or many other socially acceptable addictions). There are many ways to run or walk away from a fear that needs to be handled. Another response to fear can be anger, argument or upset.(verbal abuse) This is another inappropriate way to handle fear. Another response to fear is (physical hitting) or physically hurting someone else. These three responses are for survival but almost always make things so much worse. They are “natural man” responses.
The fourth response is to “Face our fear” or to walk toward difficult things in life. As we walk toward difficult things and face them head on , the fear begins to dissapate. I tell our missionaries often that at first it is very difficult to talk to people but as you do it over and over again our ability to talk to people becomes greater and our success improves. If you get called to teach a class in church, it can be very scary at first but over time the fear disapates and our ability to accomplish something that we were afraid of improves.
My mind often goes to the garden of Gethsemane where the Savior pled to His Father to take this cup from me. I have to imagine at the moment He did not believe that He could do it (take upon all the sins of the world) ,(bleed from every pore). It must have looked so overwhelming to take on that task. As He prayed it occurred to me that a loving Heavenly Father said to Him “Face this incredible commitment that you have made” . Out of that will come eternal life, the resurrection , salvation for all mankind and so many eternal gifts. The Savior walked toward this most difficult test and set all of us free. How grateful I am to Him. He could have “run away”, argued with the Lord or others, or even zapped a few people physically around Him. Instead He chose to “Face the Fear” and miracles began to happen. As we follow His example and walk toward our most difficult challenges, doors will open and blessings will come not just for ourselves but for others as well.
Dr. Lewis said that there would be no numbing of the stomach or medication of any kind and that he would pull out the tube as fast as possible. The tube has a large plastic flap that has to go through a very small hole. He said ,I am not going to lie to you ,the pain will be intense for a few minutes and then it will subside. I held her hand as he prepared to remove the feeding tube and then with one big pull he removed the tube. He was right about the intense pain and once again I have this deep admiration for Sister McKee and all that she is going through. She is one of the strongest women I have ever met. After several minutes of catching her breath and dealing with the shock of the pain, she began to settle. Dr. Lewis then put a compress over the hole and said it would heal quickly in time. Our bodies are amazing as they have such a strong will to heal. This procedure will require her to be in bed for several hours today but this afternoon her plan is to be back up practicing walking. She is my hero.
In our presentations that we often gave we stated “If we fear what we will experience , we already experience that which we fear.” Fear can stop us in life if we let it. Satan is behind fear. A recent prophet has said, There is no place in the gospel of Jesus of Christ for fear, we must replace It with faith. Whenever we replace fear with faith we put our hands in the Lord’s hands and trust Him. In this way He will reveal more to us and in this way we will grow and become more like Him. Fear can stop us from progressing. Faith is the first step in the doctrine of Christ and will always lead us closer to Him.
To all of our friends and family, Thank you for your faith and thank you for your prayers. Sister McKee life being saved is an absolute miracle in our day
The William McKee Family