Eight tough days in Oxford

Published 6:32 am Wednesday, September 21, 2022

By Ricky Swindle

Muffler Shop Musings

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“Am I my brother’s keeper?” 

You better believe I am, as he is mine.

First, we want to thank our entire community for keeping my brother Mike on your prayer lists.

Cancer is such a vicious thing and the old saying goes if the cancer don’t kill you, the treatment will.

Mike had a major setback in his treatment a couple of weeks ago. His white blood count dropped down to almost nothing. His body had no defense mechanisms to fight off any kind of infection.

We we’re at the Cancer Center in Oxford and he suddenly went down. Wrapped in blankets, he just could not get warm. The only thing I knew to do was just hug him up and rub his body. 

Without any medical knowledge whatsoever, I was just trying to keep him warm so I wheeled him outside to the sunshine.

I had no clue his blood pressure had dropped and he had a fever.

Cancer folks had me to take him to the emergency room over there and in a matter of minutes they had him in the ICU unit. 

Mike’s body was in sepsis shock with neutropenic fever. The ol’ boy was in a tight spot.

The doctors  agreed to let me stay in his room because I had been with him all day anyway. I would not have argued with them if they hadn’t, because we  don’t believe in being overbearing to medical workers taking care of someone I love.

Eight full days in the ICU and two days in a step down room is what it took to get him home. I stayed every day with him while his daughter Amber stayed at night. 

Both of us were masked up and sanitized our entire shifts and just being there to support him while those good folks worked.

I’m fortunate to have a good crew at my store, and my daughter Jennifer, who spent years of her young life working alongside Mike and me and can run things, allowed me to stay with my brother. 

She loves her Uncle Mike as all his nieces and nephews do and will go to any length to help him.

I have great respect for all the folks at Baptist Hospital in Oxford, who not only treated Mike but genuinely cared for him too along  the way. 

Dr. Northington came by on our last day and asked Mike could he shake his hand. He said “Mike, you have got to be one of the toughest son-of-a-gun’s I’ve ever met. Most folks don’t come in here as down as you were and walk out the door.” 

We thanked him for his care, concern and his knowledge.

But, I know why Mike walked out of there and so do you. 

We all know that God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

He’s famous for his dry wit and Saturday night he was home with me and we were watching football when I saw a skeeter or two flying around the big screen. 

I told him I hoped those skeeters didn’t bite him. He said “Let ‘em come on and get a sip of this chemo blood. Bet they won’t do it twice”.

Folks, thanks again for all your prayers and please keep Mike on your list.

A reminder too that the Shriners 100 Gun Drawing is this Saturday. If you need tickets, come by and see us. I was hoping Mike could make the trip with me as always, but we’ll have to see how much better he is by then. 

But I will be there, Good Lord willing, to deliver your tickets and donations.

Take care of yourself folks and never take a day on this old Earth for granted.