Monday, March 14, 2016

Sometimes God Needs to Get My Attention

On Friday February 26th I caught the flu while in South Carolina. That sounds like no big deal, I know, except that I can not remember ever having the flu before! And because of that, I never got flu shots. (Not very smart, right? Perhaps understandable, but not smart.)

I got home very late that Friday night/ Saturday morning, and beginning the next day slept almost constantly for the next 4-5 days-- fever and chills included. Then I went to see our doctor (on Thursday), who said I had developed pneumonia. He prescribed some antibiotics and said if things didn't improve after a couple of days I should probably go in for more help.

On Saturday I was still feeling bad, but wanted to wait to go in for help. By Sunday I felt like I was fighting for every breath. So we took me to the emergency room where-- amazingly-- there was no waiting line! They immediately took me in, and a team of 5-6 doctors and technicians and nurses began taking complete control of me. They put me in an airtight mask that started managing my breathing for me (I wept with relief), gave me lots of IVs while they tried to understand what they were fighting, and ordered numerous tests. They had to cancel a CT scan because my kidneys were
shutting down; they had to wait.

The next stop was second-level ICU, where I would be given extra attention by a team of doctors, technicians, and nurses. We learned that my influenza A with H1N1 had developed into the worst kind of pneumonia; taking over both of my lungs. I was on a CDC watch; everyone who entered my room had to suit up to protect themselves. Later in the week they told us that had just dealt with a 21-year old with my exact symptoms. They immediately put him on a breathing tube and induced a coma; within 2 hours he was dead.

There is a lot to tell about what The Lord took me through over the next few days, and I'm considering writing an article about what I learned. Here's the summary of the actual events:
  • I was within an hour or two of death when we checked me into the ER.
  • I had a terrific team of professionals taking great care of me.
  • Grace was coordinating communications via both of our phones letting many around the country know my situation and keeping them updated.
  • All at the hospital who knew of me were shocked when, four days later (Thursday), I was discharged-- at least 2-3 days earlier than they ever anticipated if I survived! I attribute that to great care empowered by the prayers of many and the mercy of God. I believe he touched my lungs and cleared them up!
So, today I'm back at trying to work into my daily work routine. I don't have a lot of stamina yet, but am praying for complete restoration and effectiveness.

To those who prayed for me: THANK YOU! If you didn't know and thus didn't get to participate in this minor miracle by praying for me, please join in the prayer for complete restoration and health.

Thank you,



Donnie Payne said...

Wow Nick. So glad God got your attention and you were spared. We have been praying with you and Grace and will continue to do so. Hang in there man, glad it wasn't "your time" yet. Thanks for sharing and be patient in your healing process. We want you to completely back! :)

Double L said...

Nick, glad you are ok. Darrell Roland was passing us info from Grace and we followed and prayed from a distance. (I'm no good a medical advice so didn't call you.) Give yourself time to get completely well and keep in touch. Phill Martin

Unknown said...

Wow. God's grace and care wins. Will be praying for complete retoration.

Unknown said...

Wow. God's grace and care wins. Will be praying for complete retoration.

Unknown said...

Pneumonia shots last 10 years. Old people like us should get them. Very glad God decided to keep you working in the field!

Unknown said...

Sorry that you got way-layed in my home state! Will be praying for you and a full recovery

Susan Morehouse said...

Praying for a full recovery

Nick Nicholaou said...

Okay, a quick health update...
I went to church Sunday, couldn't sing due to out-of-breath issues (and many were grateful!), but it was great! That was day 4 not using oxygen, and I did okay. In fact, today was day 6! I get a little out of breath, but my oxygen saturation level is at 96 (out of 100), so tomorrow we say goodbye to the oxygen machine!

Each day I have been getting a little better. To those of you praying for me: thank you! Your prayers are effective! And to Grace S Nicholaou who is taking terrific care of me: thank you, Honey! You ARE amazing!

Nick Nicholaou said...

I just published an article about what I learned through all that. Here's the link: