There are a lot of things that annoy me: being hot and sweaty, kids with sticky hands, people who stand too close when they are talking to me, parents who let their kids run crazy in public, my neighbor who stands in his driveway to call Korea at 2am, slow-driving in the fast lane (see previous post), not getting enough sleep, strangers who touch your pregnant belly, and cold coffee, to name just few.
Yesterday, I had a follow-up appointment with my gallbladder-ectomy surgeon. It has been six weeks since my surgery, and this was to be my last appointment with him. I have been having no problems, no complaints, no pain. But I still had to meet with him one last time. I arrived 15 minutes before my scheduled time, and noted with irritation that his waiting room was chock-full of people who looked extremely frustrated. (Also, I was the youngest person in the room by at least 30 years.) I resigned myself to a long wait, found a seat, and silently congratulated myself on having brought a book.
So there I was in a room full of strangers, trying to read, but instead found myself very distracted by things that probably only bother the very high-strung (which was me after one of the most craptastic weeks of my professional career). The lady sitting directly across from me was at least 112 and appeared to be snoring while wide awake. Someone's hearing aid kept "going off" (not sure what the appropriate term is, but we all know how unexpectedly shrill that sound can be). The guy sitting next to me was texting (and therefore beeping), and a couple of patients on the other side of the waiting room were having a very loud conversation about vintage cars. The office ladies were joking and laughing on the other side of their closed partition, and I had the devilish urge to ask them what was so damn funny over there, because we sure as hell weren't having any fun over here. To make matters worse, it was about 100 degrees in the waiting room and someone needed to change his Depends.
ONE HOUR AND FORTY-FIVE MINUTES LATER they finally called my name and I was shown into an exam room. The nurse insincerely apologized for my wait, to which I said something inane like, "Oh, that's ok." Why do we say things like that? Clearly it was not ok. I just lost almost two hours of my life that I'll never get back so that the surgeon can tell me what I already know - that I'm good to go. There were a lot of things I would rather do with that two hours - sit at Starbucks, go shopping, watch my fingernails grow, ANYTHING but sit in that waiting room feeling my blood pressure go up by the minute.
And, as you can probably predict, my "visit" with the surgeon lasted about a nanosecond. He looked at my incisions, announced that I apparently "heal well," and then told me to call if I have any other trouble. His perky receptionist, completely oblivious to the fact that she was separated from a horde of angry, mutinous (albeit old) people tired of waiting in the hot, noisy, stinky waiting room by a thin little partition, said "Bye, now! You have a good evening!" Sure.
So, thing # 713 that annoys me is having my time wasted for a completely unnecessary reason, especially at the end of a long, tiring work-week.
Maybe next Friday afternoon I'll go to the DMV.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Laura Story has a great new song out called "Blessings." My favorite line goes "what if the trials of this life are God's mercies in disguise?" My aunt recently gave me a book called Blessings are Everywhere which has me looking for blessings in unlikely places.
We certainly have had our share of trials over the past couple of years. And each one has brought its own "blessings in disguise," some we are probably not even aware of yet. Recently we've had a couple of new trials, and in each I have been struck by the mercies of the Lord.
A week and a half ago Caleb climbed out of his crib and broke his right arm. As best we can tell, he leaned over the front railing (maybe looking for a toy or paci in the floor), tumbled out, and broke his arm as he was bracing himself for the fall. No parent wants her child to break any bone, but standing in the emergency room I was suddenly aware of how much worse it could have been. As far as breaks go, Caleb's was simple, uncomplicated, and "easy" to fix. No surgery required, no physical therapy, and the cast should be on for no more than three or four weeks total. We clearly have a "climber" on our hands, and this accident served to make us all the more careful in our "toddler-proofing." Our bookcases have been bolted to the wall, we got a crib tent (to prevent further "escapes"), and we don't take our eyes off of him. Perhaps this "trial" has mercifully prevented later, more traumatic injuries.
On Father's Day, my mom was pulling weeds in her flower beds and she ended up with poison ivy. She had to take steroids which caused her to have pancreatitis (who knew steroids can do that, but they apparently can). She had an abdominal CT scan to make sure nothing was wrong with her pancreas, and in the process, discovered a substantially-sized mass on one of her adrenal glands. There was no way to know if it had invaded other internal organs and no way to know (for sure) whether it was cancer unless it came out.
Mom's surgery was this past Tuesday morning and it went very well. The actual surgery lasted only two hours (they expected more like four), and she was able to go straight to a regular room (rather than ICU as was originally planned). She came home three days earlier than expected, and on Friday we got the news that the mass was benign. I think that might be my new favorite word - "benign."
Did God allow us to find the mass early before it became cancer? I don't know. But I do know that the Lord was in that operating room. I know that he brought us all a sense of peace and comfort while we waited for the news. And I know that we are all more aware of what really matters in our lives as a result of this experience. I am certain that this recent trial is God's mercy in disguise. I am so grateful for his protection and provision in my life and the lives of my loved ones, even if we don't understand all that happens this side of heaven.
One of my friends recently posted to Facebook, "What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?" That is definitely food for thought...
Count your blessings. They are all around you.