This one goes out to Mr. N.
I had known him only the last month; an internist asked me to see him in consultation. The internist wanted me to treat him before he would clear the patient for elective knee surgery. And such, he was anxious to get the green light- the pain from the arthritis was causing him significant distress.
I felt guilty being the specialist to hold things up; I knew he was in pain, and he wanted to get things fixed as soon as possible. When I saw him 3 weeks ago, I was almost apologetic telling him the tests I ordered may take a week to come back.
"Don't worry about it; I know it's not your fault. You have to do what you have to do. Besides, I can handle the pain."
He asked if I was religious.
"I believe things happen for a reason; the Lord will make things happen when they are ready. And the Lord will decide when my time is up."
I called him last Friday to update him of a test result, and suggested he comes in Wednesday for a confirmatory test.
He never shows up for the lab appointment, so I called him at the end of my day yesterday. A man answers the phone:
"Bill passed away in his sleep this morning..."
This hit me like a brick; I was shocked beyond words. I offered my condolences to his brother, and left my number in case there was something I could do. And said a little prayer for Mr. N; at least he's pain free now. At least he's Home.
Farewell, Mr. N. It was my honor to have known you, and to have experienced your optimism and your faith. The Lord did decide it was your time. Rest in peace.