Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Test

Blog writing is, by its very nature, an "exposing" sort of venue.

The blogs I most enjoy reading typically do an outstanding job of skating the razor-thin line between "revealing just enough to keep us interested" and "relishing in the too-hairy-details of life!"

My post today will be one of those skating routines......but write I must!

Almost four years ago, I had a routine medical screening procedure. 

Good general practitioners send a "Happy 50th" birthday card and tuck inside that card an invitation for this particular procedure; giving no consideration to whether you be male or female.  All Are Invited!

I delayed for a couple of years but finally endured the traumatizing preparations necessary for this not so routine procedure. 

Frank and I arrived at the surgical care unit before dawn, as per my lengthy instruction sheet.  I slipped into the restroom while waiting to be called back - tummy rumbling loudly, like the empty cavern it was. 

And that's when the REAL fun started.

Not one single, solitary soul mentioned to me throughout all the checking-in and instruction-izing and preparatory-ing that there would be a pregnancy test before the procedure could begin.

Please be aware, I had not eaten for twenty-four hours.  I had spent the entire afternoon and evening before taking on copious quantities of various liquids for the express purpose of making certain that nothing - I mean absolutely NOTHING - remained in any of my internal plumbing!  NOTHING!

My quick stop in the restroom while awaiting their call was the assurance that I had fully complied.

And now the attending nurses (yes, several) stood outside the door of the tiny restroom speaking in their kindest, most sympathetic, little-girl voices, urging me to create at least a trickle of liquid they could utilize to prove I wasn't pregnant.  Stage-fright set in and success alluded me!

(No, you can not make up stories like these!)

Now add insult to injury.  They sent a MALE nurse to get me back into bed.  He immediately launched into an unsolicited anatomy lecture explaining why my stage-fright was unwarranted and offering to help me back into the restroom so everyone could get back on schedule!

Can you see the fury in my fifty-two year old, Southern-belle eyes?  He Crossed the Line!!

Obviously, I finally managed to squeeze enough liquid from my reserves to satisfy their quota.  And back onto schedule we went.  That was my experience four years ago.

Here's a serious side note: the test revealed that I was one of the a-typical patients who NEEDED the procedure earlier rather than later.  Serious health problems were averted by the removal of a few problem areas during the test.  And oh, how very thankful we were!  If your own practitioner has been urging you to have a screening of some sort - don't delay!  Momentary unpleasantness beats the daylights out of life-threatening illness.

Back to the story.

Now usually, you don't have to repeat this procedure for ten years.  But because of their discoveries, my doctor urged another check in three.  I disobeyed and skipped last year because the insurance we had wouldn't cover it.  Which brings me up to yesterday - the day before........(cue scarey music) the PROCEDURE.

I started early, headed to a nearby hospital to pray with a family before one of our members went into surgery.  It was then my responsibility to swing back by my own surgeon's office for the lengthy instruction sheets applicable to my test scheduled for this morning. 

Off to the pharmacy for a shopping cart full of misery!  Finally home, where the sequestered patient (that would be - me) faced the unhappy task of "preparing."

Dawn found us on our way to the surgical care center - tired, hungry, a bit nervous.  No funny mishaps this time.  A much cleaner bill of health this time.  (Thank Heavens!)  At age fifty-six, I got to skip the pregnancy test. 

And by the time everyone else was settling into their offices for the day's work, I was heading home to sleep off the effects of the anesthesia. 

Now, hopefully my post today has served a couple of purposes.  I hope you've smiled.  And I hope you're revisiting necessary health-care screenings that many tend to put-off. 

But I actually have a third reason for this post.  It's to take one quick minute to tell of the real hero in this story.  No, not the doctor; although he was professional and efficient.  Not the nurses; although they were compassionate and pleasant.

The real hero was my wonderful husband. 

He helped me laugh when I got overwhelmed.  He put my blanket in the dryer to warm when I was chilling.  He rubbed my back before I tried to go to bed.  He set his own alarm to ensure that I would wake at 4:45 A. M.  He warmed the car and drove me to the surgical care center.  He held my shaky hand in the waiting room and on the way back home.  He got me settled in with another blanket, a bite to eat,  and the TV remote before heading off to work.

He did all this without being asked.  Without pointing out that he was doing it.  Without complaining, sighing, or getting impatient.  I didn't want him to do it without hearing a heartfelt "Thank You" from the grateful recipient of his excellent care-giving skills.

Frank has endured his own share of suffering and loss in life; these experiences have helped make him an outstanding pastor.  He knows how to love people through crisis.  He knows how to get to the heart of things.  He knows how to spot a charlatan.  He knows how to comfort.  He knows how to draw people out of their shell. 

He intuitively knows.

Have you ever heard this expression? "It's the plumber's house that leaks.  The carpenter's house that creaks.  The mechanic's car that sits broken down." 

My mom used to quote it to me when I questioned why it seemed that the pastor's family was always the last to see the pastor.

I just want to publicly debunk this myth and reveal that Frank routinely passes the test.  For him, charity really does begin at home.  And I'm oh, so very thankful!

If a man is going to pass a test in life, this is a good one to pass!



  1. So glad for a good medical report. And I loved your public affirmation of Frank--your very good man! I need to follow your example and publicly affirm my own very good man more often! :-)

    Love your writing!

    Deb Mantik

    1. We can never go wrong cheering for the men we love, right?! Thanks, Deb. Hope you're staying warm this winter!

  2. Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your beautiful writings. I am a faithful reader, but seldom post.


    1. Judy, what an encouragement! Your comment came in at a GREAT time!

  3. Also glad your tests were nothing to be concerned about. Your too busy to be sick :) This writing brings back all the times your husband came and sat with me, one of his sheep, while my own husband was having various tests, surgeries, etc. his presence was comforting, you are a blessed woman and a wonderful one too, as every time he is out with other families, he can't be there with you, I know God sees both your sacrifices. And love you both.

  4. I am so glad you followed through with this procedure! My first was in my early 40s and then repeated in one year then every 3 years until 2 years ago and my next will be 5 years! Want you to know they have pills to swallow with lots of water instead of gallons of brine but you have to bring it up to them...they don't tell you about it.

    What a wonderful husband and living example of Jesus' care for you!