I am up in Chicago with Janet and her sister, Debbie, who had to have a medical procedure done this morning as a result of several tests she has had performed during the last several days. It’s nothing serious, so far as we know, but I, of all people, understand the issues of fear and going to doctors.
So Janet and I drove up last evening to assist with transportation and sitting with Debbie before, and after, her outpatient work. Randy, Deb’s husband, is also around, but he’s really busy, and aside from all the the medical issues he is involved with, their fireplace business is entering into one of the busiest times of the year. So between all of us, we’re getting it done with Debbie and trying to make her as comfortable as possible.
We awoke early this morning and were at the hospital by about 7:30 am. Randy checked Debbie in and then we headed down to the RIO area. Now that stands for Rapid In and Out. I should have known that it would be a long day once I understand what RIO meant. Isn’t that always the case with hospitals? Now don’t get me wrong. It’s now 1:30 and Debbie is back in the recovery area. Janet and I are here with her, and they are chatting as I am writing this post.
But make no mistake – it was a long morning. The procedure was scheduled for 8:30 am and we were told everything was on time. Then, at 9:30, the guy in the next cubicle went down for his unnamed procedure. Turns out that the doc working on him was also scheduled for Deb’s procedure, but she had to wait until the first guy was done and gone.
The nurses have been nice, but not really attentive. Maybe they thought that since we arrived with an army of support, we really didn’t need them to help us too much. Anyway, around 10:30, 2 hours late, transportation arrived to take Debbie to the procedure area. She was a little anxious, and I can really identify with that. I never do well with procedures and I am the first one to admit that I don’t particularly care for hospitals.
So…… Randy, Janet and I went out to the waiting room and sat, and sat, and sat. Finally, a nurse came out and let us know that the doc who ordered the procedure had not signed the orders, so everyone was waiting on her to respond to numerous pages for authorization to go ahead.
Debbie was getting more and more anxious by the minute. Eventually, a nurse came out and invited Janet back to sit with Debbie until the doctor signed the orders. Forty five minutes later, we were informed that everything was in order and they were ready to start. Within an hour, we were called back to the recovery area, and as of now, here we sit. Debbie is alert and speaking with Janet – which is great, because it gives me a chance to get this done while I listen to their talk, with one ear.
We have another two hours or so and then Deb should be released to head home. Should be about 3:30 pm. That means that we will have been here since 7:30 am for a twenty minute test. Go figure.
Now please understand that I am thrilled that everything went well. After all, Debbie and Randy have been friends of ours for more than 40 years. And Janet and Debbie are so close in age that they really get along famously well. And aside from the friendship, they are family. But it is frustrating to see someone in fearful anticipation of a procedure and not be able to do anything about it. That’s how I felt today.
Truly, there are times when I am frustrated and really want to jump up and down and push every button I can find to make sure that I get satisfaction. But as I get older, I have learned to chill a little bit and go a little more with the flow. So today was a good time to just sit back, enjoy the company of the family, and do everything I could do to put Debbie’s mind at ease. Sometimes, that just goes with the pastoral role I have chosen.
The verse for today is from Proverbs 19:11, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” In other words, try to lead a God-centered life and understand that sometimes life just happens. I am sure that the nurses were not intentionally trying to make us wait, or that the doctor neglected to sign the order on purpose. It wasn’t so many years ago that I would have gone crazy with this type of situation. Hopefully, the years have been kind to me and I have become wiser. I think that is what the Proverb is trying to teach us.
My encouragement today is to focus on the stuff that is important and understand that God has a plan. And when you have a chance to deepen relationships and spend time with family, then go for it! Nothing else on this earth, except your salvation, is as important. My prayer is that this Thanksgiving week you will remember God’s gift of family and the precious time that we all have together. Even in a hospital, it’s time well spent. So, especially this week, I pray that you will rejoice in the opportunities you have been given, by the Father, to celebrate our earthly relationships. Becomes sometimes, incidents like this are necessary to bring us together – and that’s a shame. Grace and peace,