As I write this blog, I am sitting in my son’s intensive care hospital room, surrounded by every imaginable piece of technology. There are machines that monitor his heart rate, oxygen levels, and blood pressure. Other machines feed him, deliver his medication, look deep into his chest, and identify abnormal heart rythms and brain waves. My son has a cold. Unfortunately, because of his severe handicaps and chronic illnesses, the doctors feel it is necessary to monitor him for all sorts of potential problems using the technology they have grown so very fond of.
This is a difficult hospitilization because I struggle with whether the doctors and all of their technology and medicine are really helping my son or actually making him worse. Because his “healthy” state is never very far away from his “sick” state, the doctors tend to opt for safe rather than sorry and plug him into the high-tech, biophysical approach to health care at the smallest sign of trouble. However, when all is said and done, it is probably the soft songs sung in his ear, the cuddly stuffed animal cradled in his arm, or the KungFu Panda video playing on the tv that provides the deepest healing.
Technology has saved my son’s life on several occasions and I thank God for talented medical technicians. However, I also thank God for the kind words spoken by the neurologist, the sweet caring provided by the nurses, and the patient humility and diligence shown by the group home workers. We can never forget the person who lies amidst the technology–whether it is in a hospital room or on Facebook. God has created us to respond to one another in deep and meaningful ways. We can’t let technology overshadow our need for one another or reduce our willingness to open up and communicate in a way that touches the heart.