Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How to Float Your Coke.... or, the Lung Saga, Part 2

My deepest apologies to my devoted readers who have been sitting on pins and needles with bated breath and white knuckles on the edge of their seats and every other cliché known to man. I left you hanging awhile back with the saga of my ailing lungs. But then Father's Day came, and graduation, and Canada Day, and a blogger can't let those things go by unwritten. Hopefully no one jumped off a bridge for relief from the suspense. A suspension bridge, get it?
     I wish I could tell you the bronchoscopy was as much fun as it sounds. While the nurse stuck an IV in my hand, the doc sprayed this stuff down my throat to numb everything. It made me cough and gag, which is ironic because the whole goal is to paralyze the gag reflex. Suddenly I realized I couldn't swallow, an unnerving sensation. I imagine my eyes got pretty big. That's when the good drugs kicked in and the next thing I remember, it was all done.
     17 days later, I went back to find out what the specialist learned. Did you know that a can of regular Coke will sink in water, but Diet Coke will float? This was one of the bits of trivia on the scrolling slides in the waiting room. It's about all I learned, and I'm not convinced it's even true.
     When the doc pulled up my info on his computer, no test results appeared. He left the room. When he returned, he informed me the results were not in yet and advised me to call him in two weeks if I haven't heard from him by then.
     "Are you kidding me?" I said. "How can I tell my anxious readers that? Have you no idea how anticlimactic that is? This story does not have an engaging plot, Doc. You're putting me in a really tight spot here. My column is due. Can't you at least make something up?"
     Okay, maybe that's not quite what I said. I did get a couple of questions asked and answered--enough to know he's reasonably confident it's some sort of chronic infection he simply cannot treat without those test results.
     I left in tears.
     A third of a year since this journey began, and still in the dark. Who would have thought? I guess this is my initiation into the wonderful world of medical care. I had this naive notion that if there were no results, I'd get a call saying "don't bother making the trip." I don't want to complain and criticize, especially not in ignorance. I want to understand, and I'm certain if I could spend a day working in one of those offices, I would get it. If you are one of those folks, would you drop me a line? I need enlightenment here. Your job must really bite and I don't envy you one bit.
     I'm learning God seems to operate on a "need to know" basis. Apparently, I still don't need to know. And as much as I want answers and solutions, there are things I want more. Things I might not achieve any other way. Like maturity and patience. Like learning how to ask better questions. Instead of "why is this happening to me?" I could ask, "What if this is necessary in order for me to be prepared for the next important chapter in my life?"
     I have no idea what uncertainties you might be facing today, but if the question fits, feel free to empower yourself with it.
     And if not, there's always that Coke thing.

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