Transitioning for Transformation
A Message from Dr. Freda Bush, CEO Emeritus
Many of us have heard of West Nile virus, but how many of us really know much about it? As a gynecologist and obstetrician, my practice did not involve diagnosis or treatment of such an illness and so I myself was uninformed about the devastation that the mosquito-borne virus could bring. However, I have gotten to know first-hand just how close-up that far-off sounding West Nile virus can be.
On the morning of July 17, 2018, my husband, Lee, noted that I did not get up as usual and was not responsive to his call. Lee came to check on me and noted my eyes were not focused. He took me to the nearest hospital. The diagnosis of West Nile infection did not come until six days later, while I was in critical condition in the ICU. I remained hospitalized until August 31st and I am still in recovery mode.
I can’t say enough about my husband of 50yrs. He stayed at my bedside from admission until my daughters started their rotations. Once the daughters came, they made him leave for lunch and sleep. Before then he said, “I leave when she leaves.” He didn’t even go to work. Fortunately, he owns his own company, and our son works with him. He says he hired good people not knowing when something like this could happen.
The West Nile encephalitis affected me mentally and physically. My daughters went to rehab with me to learn what I was learning so we could further practice at home especially the thinking, reasoning exercises, memorization and physical therapy. In physical therapy, I have now graduated from using a wheelchair to a Rollator walker and to now practicing walking with a cane.
Family has always been important to me, but I have to say that I have an even greater appreciation for my husband, my children and my siblings. My family members took turns staying with me and taking care of me. I was so blessed that I was able to travel to my family reunion this summer, almost exactly one year from when my illness began.
I have never asked “why this happened to me”. My life has been blessed and I am grateful to have been given so much on this earth. Not long ago I heard a sermon on “transitioning for transformation,” and my husband Lee and I both realized that the sermon was a message for us as a couple and for me as an individual. I can easily see myself in a season of transition. My life has transitioned from being a busy, busy, physician, speaker, writer, and community activist to being….well… transformed to a new life that I cannot yet identify or name. I just know that it is good because God is good, and He is the one doing the transforming.
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