Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Momentary Diversion From The Story

Before I continue with my story (and I do sincerely apologize for the cliffhanger-- I do most of my writing at work and I was running out of time to actually finish the things I get paid to do) I had to get out a bit of randomness:

1) This morning I had a doctor's appointment, one I'd been dreading for weeks. It was my yearly exam. You know. The special yearly WOMAN exam. But in addition to my very special spread-yer-legs-and-take-a-deep-breath exam, I had scheduled some blood work to be done. Most people seem to find it UNBEARABLY HARD to find one of my fucking veins so I naturally CRINGE at the thought of someone drawing a vial of blood. It's not that I'm terribly afraid of needles. Or blood. But if you've ever had multiple people DIG AT YOUR ARM for a fucking VEIN, then you know that the thought of some woman in pink scrubs with a big ol' needle and an even bigger empty vial (soon to be full of de blood) is NOT a sight one looks forward to. But today..... Oh my goodness, I'm getting teary. *swipes tear* Today... I met my soulmate. I have no idea what her name is but I swear to the GODS OF MEDICAL EMPLOYEES that I will send this woman a Christmas present because... well, here's the rundown:

Me: sitting in chair, having blood pressure taken.. pump pump pump squeeze.. releeeeeeeeeaaaase. pump pump pump squeeze... releeeeeeeeaaseee.

Nurse: "One-ten over seventy-two." Turns to write special medical runes on my chart.

Me: tapping foot, knowing what's coming. warily watching Nurse get rubber thing to tie around my arm. Nurse puts sqeegee ball in hand and tells me to squeeze it repeatedly. I do as asked. Start to hum to myself. Which I do when I'm nervous. Humming various Phantom of the Opera songs. la la la la la. Nurse takes cotton ball and swipes my inner arm with disinfectant liquid and I shudder involuntarily because I dread, absolutely DREAD what is coming. I can see the needle. The vial. I turn my head to the side to stare at the clock.

Nurse: "Take a deep breath and let it out slowly."

Me: Inhale large gulp of air. Can feel whole body being tense. Watching second hand on clock tick by. I figure Nurse is getting the vial thing attached to the needle thing. And then I feel a very slight pressure around my arm, the feeling you get when someone is gently pulling blood from your vein. I look over, and the needle is in and the VIAL IS HALFWAY FULL.
I stare amazedly at her while she fills the vial the rest o the way, gently pulls the needle out, puts a cotton ball over my arm and smacks on a bandaid.

Me: "You were unbelievably fantastic at that."

Nurse: "Thank you. You might as well do your job correctly if you're going to do it."

Me: "No. Really. YOU DID THAT SUPERBLY."

Nurse: "Thank you."

Nurse turns back around to scribble more medical runes on my chart as I sit with my painless arm resting on the table.

Me: "I hate to bother you again, but you can't be told often enough HOW WELL YOU DID THAT. Do you see the scars on my arm? Did you see? That's where people dig at me, DIG. You. Wow. You were fantastic."

Nurse: "Thanks." turns back to chart.

GOD BLESS THIS WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!

Do you know?? Do you KNOW how rare it is to find a perfect nurse? One who does not want to chitcat about my blood sugar level, or my thryoid test, one who doesn't pry into WHY I need these tests, one who can find a fucking vein and one who can deciper the medical runes on my chart! I LOVE HER!

2) After the festivities of my fun WOMAN exam, my doctor asked me a few questions once my feet had righted themselves on a perpendicular surface, as opposed to the fancy schmancy stirrups they'd previously occupied. No weird pains. No weird things coming out of areas that weird things have no business coming out of. Etc. And the last thing he says to me, as he's finishing up my chart:

"Do you have any prayer requests?"

Do I have any PRAYER requests? When has a doctor ever asked me for a PRAYER request? And so I was silent for a moment. And I thought. He may not be of the same religion or mindset or faith or ANYTHING that I am. But you know what? IT DOESN'T MATTER. This man in the span of TWO SECONDS reminded me what a giant selfish chick I can be. I spend more time thinking about my day-to-day bullshit than truly appreciating what I've got and giving THANKS for that.

So while he patiently waited for me to speak (which I appreciate in a person, the ability to let you think for a second before you act) I thought about all the things I wish I could change, all the people I wish I could help. I thought about the people scattered and trapped and scared and frightened in the wake of the hurricane. And it was honestly just so overwhelming, I didn't know how to phrase my request. I couldn't. So I moved closer to home. I asked him to pray for Becca's brother, who was injured overseas, his leg amputated before he'd even crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Because I can put a face to that request. There's a mother and father, sisters and brother, friends and neighbors, that I can put a face to, that I can picture in my head when I pray that they have peace and strength. And still part of me was embarrassed that I didn't have the ability to encompass everything I wanted to say, everything I hoped he'd pray for. People ask me to pray for things all the time, and I do. But never has anyone asked for something THEY can pray for, something they can add to their OWN daily burden. So, I have to say thank you to this man who reminded me how self centered I can be, how judgemental I can be and for setting the first GOOD EXAMPLE of a Person Of Faith that I can remember in a very long time.

4 comments:

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Joey said...

((Pushing my way through the spammer comments))

Birdie - You are SOOO lucky to have found a nurse like that - please send her up my way - I promise I'll give her back. I'm constantly told I have deep veins. Hell, I'm pumping my fist before they get over to the counter to pick up the needle! I can only recall one time in which the Doctor got it the first time around - but that’s not to say that I had 4 nurses - YES 4! - before I screamed for a true professional!

Lucky girl!

Now get on with the alien story - although aliens scare me to death and I couldn't even sit down to watch a movie.