My husband had just dropped me off in church for a prayer meeting. While I was intently listening to our pastor’s exhortation, he called.
In his usual monotone he said, "Call our driver. He has to take me to the hospital because I am having signs of a stroke."
I didn’t have to call our driver. In a prayer meeting, there are more than enough driver volunteers. At the Emergency Room, I listened as Tony described to the doctor what happened.
“My left hand was doing things I didn’t ask it to. It seemed like an alien hand. But after a few seconds, I realized it was mine and my right hand reined it in. I called my Neuro doctor-friend, who advised me to go the nearest hospital immediately because it seemed like a stroke.”
Alien Hand Syndrome. That began our five-day saga in this hospital. It was a stroke, although a transient one. No visible permanent damage, but the doctor wants to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. Some injections, some IV drips, some pills, a CT Scan, and strict bed rest for five days.
Plus lots of griping. Tony was booked to fly to Xiamen today to visit his roots. I could taste his intense disappointment. My heart crumbled.
But calls, text messages, and prayers from our sons, kin, and friends are gluing my heart whole again. Second son, a physician in the US, made calls to Tony’s doctor.
Nobody can ask for more grace.
There were two other instances when I also died after receiving Tony’s phone call.
One, in 1993, he said he had checked himself in the hospital for immediate surgery because of stage 3 colon cancer.
Two, in 2002, he said he had to undergo heart bypass because his andiogram result showed blocked arteries.
And now three, a stroke.
But tomorrow, after his last shots and IV drip, we shall be discharged from this place where we learned what ailed him—Alien Hand.
Famously known as Dr. Strangelove Syndrome, from the old movie entitled Dr. Strangelove, Alien Hand is a neurological disorder where the affected person’s own hand has its own free will or mind of its own. It is also a phenomenon that can result from a brain surgery or a stroke.
I believe it was a divine sign for him to call a friend, and rushing him to the hospital, where we have been residents these five days, was the right thing to do at the right time.
". . .I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying." John 11:25 (NLT)