It was a year ago today that I left a message for our awesomely amazing family doctor and told her that I had some concerns about how, since his knee surgery, Rick seemed to be mis-speaking and getting confused. She called Rick at home and spoke to him. She became alarmed when he could not remember my name or name any mountains that he knew. She called me at work immediately after hanging up with him and we had a scary discussion about how Rick may have had a stroke some time around surgery. "Worst case scenario", she said, "it could be a brain tumor." She scheduled an MRI for that evening.
It was one year ago tonight the boys and I waited at Doctor's Hospital West while Rick had an MRI. We colored coloring books in the waiting room; we walked around outside; we went to the cafeteria and got a snack and ate it at a picnic table outside because there was an AA meeting going on in the cafeteria; we hunted around in the grass when I accidentally dropped and briefly lost Rick's wedding band which he had to take off for the MRI; we watched part of a movie in the car. When Rick called and said he was finished, we trooped back inside.
The radiologist looked horrified.
I thought he looked horrified because the boys were being loud and unruly. He said, "The good news is Rick didn't have a stroke." Then he handed me a piece of paper with our family doctor's cell phone number on it and told me that she wanted me to call her if I "had any questions about how we were going to treat it."
He didn't say what "it" was.
I actually thanked him for the good news.
I chose to ignore what he was trying to say, but didn't have the courage to say.
I didn't call our family doctor when we got home.
She called me.
She said she knew the radiologist would chicken out.
She told me Rick had a brain tumor.
Heavenly Father, thank You for wrapping us in your loving, protective embrace during this journey. Though I am learning the difficult lesson of the impermanence of this world, thank You for being a constant. I know You are always here to comfort, to strengthen and to gently guide us in the best way to manage the unmanageable.
As we encounter healthcare providers (and I pray this for myself as I function as a healthcare provider), help them empty themselves of self as they care for patients. Grant them courage to do what needs to be done and say what needs to be said. Guide their actions, their thoughts and their words. Let Your healing love flow though them as they touch our lives.
Help us to be examples of strength and courage to other patients we meet who may be struggling or suffering more than we are. Help us shine light into the lives of others. Amen