There is nothing quite like the experience of watching a medical drama on television with a daughter who is a physician.
On one episode of a police drama, a detective during a narcotics investigation ingested a life-threatening dose of the drugs in question. I was rolling along with the episode when my doctor-daughter yelled, then laughed.
“What?” my daughter cried out. “She only has a nasal cannula! She should be intubated!!”
I, engaged in the narrative of the episode, did not notice this critical medical mistake.
On the popular “This Is Us,” the nature of Jack’s death has finally been revealed. Because teasers suggested that he died in a fire, this is what watchers have assumed. Jack, however, survived the fire. We who are hooked on the show discover that Jack suffered cardiac arrest due to the smoke in his lungs.
“What?” my daughter cried out again. “Every physician knows that after finding out Jack entered the house twice while it was consumed by fire and smoke, Jack needed to be intubated to open his airways.”
Sort of ruins the episode for me. Again, I was just interested in the narrative, not the medical inaccuracies.
For clarification, a nasal cannula is a device that delivers oxygen from an oxygen tank to the body through a plastic tube with two prongs that fit into each nostril. Intubation occurs when a tube is placed through the mouth down into the windpipe to provide air to the lungs. This is usually done while the patient is under sedation prior to surgery or if an injury or condition requires it.
My dear doctor-daughter, however, is much more than an episode-spoiler for me.
God used Moses to lead the Israelites away from captivity in Egypt. Miracle after miracle accomplished what God intended; yet the Israelites, now set free but frustrated by the demands freedom requires, began to grumble, eventually complaining even about Moses freeing them. In a subsequent event, the Amalekites attack the Israelites.
“Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.’ So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up - one on one side, one on the other - so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword” (Exodus 17:9-13).
Though she may spoil my television episodes with her medical knowledge, my beloved doctor-daughter has been my Aaron and Hur. I may not be fighting an army, but I am often tired and overwhelmed. She knows how to help hold me up so that I can make it through another day. Just the sound of her voice cheers me. Her sweet memories of her dad at their favorite fishing hole bring joy to my heart. Her seemingly inborn wisdom, nourished and encouraged by her daddy, teaches me and reminds me of him.
Grieving the loss of her father is difficult enough, yet she saves enough of herself to help steady my hands, my heart and my hope. My doctor-daughter, though not a cannula or an intubation tube, helps me breathe through these days.