Okay, so here’s the deal. I was going to write a post for my regular “Five Good Things” series and…I was coming up blank. It’s not that I don’t have good things, but I’ve already written about all the obvious ones like birds singing and good friends and sunrises, etc. And when you’re looking at the world with damned double vision and your leg hurts with every step you take, and you’re feeling a bit hopeless and unloved, it’s a bit harder to find the more subtle things. So, I decided to make lemonade out of lemons. So here are my:
FIVE GOOD THINGS
(ABOUT GOING THROUGH HELL)
1) You learn patience. Once you’re sucked into the medical establishment, you’ll soon discover that everything is “hurry up and wait.” You’re expected to get to your appointments early, but the doctor isn’t necessarily expected to see you right on the dot…or even near the dot, for that matter. I’ve learned that you can go to almost any pharmacy in the country and be spouting blood through every orifice as you hand the pharmacist your prescription and most likely he/she will say, “it will be about 45 minutes.” No matter what kind of pain you’re in, never forget, you’re just another number.
2) You REALLY learn who your friends are. Let’s face it, a friend who has a medical challenge that goes on and on is really no fun. When someone asks me lately how I’m doing, I can lie and say that I’m fine, in which case a real friend can tell I’m lying to them. Or I can tell them the truth which is that I feel like shit (in hell, remember?) and then what can they say? That they’re sorry? I know they are. It’s much easier to just “forget” me for a while. I get that. But, believe it or not, some don’t. Some check with me regularly and they’re not just being polite. They really, truly, CARE how I am. Certain ones, who will remain nameless, get bossy and tell me to get my ass on the sofa and REST for God’s sake! Such kindness makes me want to cry…and also makes me love them.
3) You become grateful for the smallest kindnesses. After dealing with doctor’s offices and pain clinics and pharmacies, you become used to being just a piece of meat. After all, they have so many people to see in a day that its unusual for them to become emotionally involved. The hard part of this is that when you’re really suffering, you feel so vulnerable. I’ve actually had two or three people go out of their way to be nice to me and let me tell you, it meant the world to me. There was Brenda, who pushed and begged and wheedled to get me an appointment at a pain clinic that same day so that I wouldn’t have to go a sixth night without sleep. I know it was her job, but still, she became a hero to me. And there was Janet, the hospital scheduler who helped me cancel my eye surgery that I had been awaiting so desperately. She took time to comfort me and assure me that we were only postponing it and that they couldn’t take a chance with my eyes. She said she knew how hard it was and that her heart ached for me. A medical person said that! I was so touched that I ended up telling her that I loved her, not in Lesbian way, you understand, but loved her nonetheless.
4) You become stronger. I know darned well that if I ever make it through these present challenges, it will take a heck of a lot to shake me in the future. When I’m through with this, I’ll probably be able to catch bullets in my teeth! And maybe leap a tall building or two. Just watch me!
5) Your faith kicks in, big time. I have a good friend who says this experience I’ve been going through, what with the eyes and the teeth and then the ruptured disc, reminds him of the story of Job in the Bible. Job, if you’ll recall is the poor guy who had about every kind of tragedy visited upon him and yet would still not turn against God. In the end God rewarded him with all that he had before and more. (I always wondered if that meant that his wife and daughters came back to life (which would be creepy) or if he got new ones, in which case the first ones got a bum deal.) Anyway, there have been times when I’ve questioned why all these things have happened to me, but I never thought of blaming God. I do believe there’s a reason for everything, even though humans often can’t see the forest for the trees. I’m going to hang in there, no matter how hard it is, because I believe that my particular miracle could be just around the corner. Yep, that’s my truth and I’m sticking with it.