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This week has been hellish at best, beginning with a trip to the emergency room late last Friday and not ending today, but finally offering some positive news about my mother.
Neither she nor my dad have been through the gyrations I have. It could be because ignorance is bliss, they have more life experience, they are generally more accepting or their faith is at deep work. I’ll probably never know the answer, but I will take note and chalk this up as a lesson.
I did not manufacture my roller-coaster ride and was handling it all pretty well, in a prayerful and trusting manner, until a doctor called the hospital, dragging me from helping to feed my mother (a test she’d had required her to lay still for six hours; otherwise, she’s quite capable), dropping a bomb of negativity “because somebody has to know.” He ordered me not to tell my parents because it would crush them and they may not comprehend it.
He could not possibly have insulted me or my parents more in one terse sentence. It was a terrible weight, commanding me to lie. The kind nurse helped me escape, made an excuse for me and guided me to a private space to quickly fall apart, phone my husband and sister and say the biggest prayer ever: “Lord, I can’t do this. You have to.” And, she did. I was able to re-enter the room, pick up where I left off and even answer my mother’s inquiry about the doctor’s call (which I had not known she heard) by saying I didn’t quite get it, he’ll be around tomorrow to explain.
God, again, answered my prayer by sending in my mother’s regular cardiologist 15 minutes later. He contradicted his partner’s prognosis by saying he’s watched my mother over two years and she is not what she appears to be on paper. He’s right. I was hopeful again.
Until yesterday, when Dr. Negative explained to her they were ordering another test, then nodded to me on the way out, belching: “our conversation from the other day still stands.” “What about what Dr. Nice Guy said,” I quipped. “I have blah-blah-blah more years of experience than he does,” he grunted.
It was hard for me to sort the egotism and arrogance from the truth. I had finally come to believe he had delivered some version of the truth on the phone, but it was not the current truth.
As of 10 p.m. last night, today’s test was still unscheduled. So, I went to bed and, gratefully, slept well. I dragged myself to yoga, where I noticed some energy running through my fingers, then checked my cell. Sure enough a nurse had called to say things were progresses quickly and my mom was about to have the procedure NOW. I raced to the hospital and waited, along with my dad and their minister.
Eventually, we were taken to the consultation room where the doc delivered some pretty good news. Everything for which I had dared to hope. Maybe my prayer will be more expansive next time! Scores of others were praying as well, from family members to Facebook friends. It was a comforting connection.
She’s still got a long haul, several hurtles to manage and the news of the negative doctor may come to be. But not now. God is not finished with my mother yet.
I am trying to be compassionate to this nay-sayer, but I am so tempted next time to deflect his pronouncements and say: “I’ll take prayer and Dr. Nice Guy.”
Prayer really works. God is good.
• How have I experienced the power of prayer?
• How do I let it shape my difficult times?
• My normal times?
• When has prayer from others connected me?
• How do I express gratitude to God?