Sunday 28 March 2021

Easter and Hospitals

I've spent a lot of time reflecting on my blessings the past few days in preparation for Easter Sunday, especially the deep and lasting love I feel for my Savior who gave his life that I might live with him again if I am willing to repent of misdeeds, sins and thoughts that are a common to mortal man and strive each day to be more like him. I love knowing that he is my advocate with my eternal Father and is always there when I need someone to turn to who truly understands what I am going through. That's not often the case with family members and friends who have their own struggles to deal with and don't always know what to say. He has been my constant companion since I was little girl and has never censured me when I didn't remember to call on him as I should. I know his arms are always open to hold me when I'm scared, alone, in pain, having doubts or feel as if I don't have the strength to go on.

This season of rebirth brings me a little closer to him as I reflect on him rising from the tomb that early spring morning and the joy he brought to all those who believed in him and loved him so completely. Even the earth heralds his resurrection. The tulips and daffodils are coming up, and the pansies that survived the winter are already showing their beautiful purple colors. I even managed to get the fertilizer with crab grass control on my lawn before the only rainfall we've had in what seems like forever came last week, and I am anticipating the first cutting of grass and filling bucket after bucket with weeds, despite what pollen, leaves, dust and mold do to me. I first noticed acute allergies to every plant and grass outside the day I graduated from college. I remember the red, weepy eyes and stuffiness very clearly. But I've never let that stop me from enjoying my own little piece of nature. I get allergy shorts every week or two and supplement that with over-the-counter medication whenever necessary because I refuse to quit digging in the dirt.

But this past week has been a little different than the way I usually spend the first days of spring. I've had heart problems since I was nine and never really believed I would a long life, but I also knew that God was in charge, and I would be here for as long as it took to complete my earthy mission. Six and a half years ago while living in Missouri, my doctor diagnosed myocardial ischemia (a blockage in my heart not necessarily due to the rheumatic fever and micro-proplase I've had for decades). I kept telling my doctor here that I had it, but he was a GP and said everything sounded okay. So I didn't think much about it until the symptoms became so severe that I decided to see specialist and called his office for a referral.

His nurse wasn't too pleased with my request but said she would check it out. When she called back and said the referral had been placed, she told me that my complete records had gone directly to the records department at the clinic instead of to their office so the doctor didn't know about my condition. It was a copout because I had told him a dozen times about my issues, but I guess he was just too uninterested to listen. It was easier to blame everything on getting older. I suppose there are a lot of lessons to be learned from this beginning with incompetency, but that's not the reason for this post. However, it is a clear reminder to anyone who is not getting the help they need or deserve to push harder at being their own advocate.

Anyway, after several incredibly expensive tests that only confined the prior diagnosis, I am scheduled for an angiogram on Thursday morning. They need to find out where the blockage is and how bad it is before my heart decides to give out. The procedure sounds very unpleasant and is complicated by the fact that I will have to wear a mask while it is being done, even though I've had both Covid shots. (Just another one of the vast issues surrounding the past couple of months that make me more irritable than usual and keep me from watching mainstream media.) 

I hate to admit that I'm scared, but I am. While the PA who made the arrangements for the procedure seemed to feel like a stent or two might be all that was required to get me back on my feet, and doing the yard work I love so much, nothing will be known for sure until whatever they're using to get through my veins and into my heart makes its rounds. I'm definitely hoping for good news because it will ruin my vacation plans if they have to do any bypasses. I told the PA my concerns and that I wanted to wait until May to have it done because I needed to see my sister. But when he said he wouldn't advise doing that, I had to reconsider living a longer life over having more immediate fun. I certainly didn't want to be admitted to a hospital in a different state where I didn't know anyone.

I guess that's what really got me thinking about our Savior's gift in a slightly different way. While I don't anticipate any problems, these could easily be my last three days on earth since there are major risks with any surgery, and there's so much I simply haven't done. They aren't big things - not like traveling the world, going on a cruise or even perfecting one of my talents. It's not taking the time to show added love to the people I care about most, offer more service where there is a need or making someone's day a littler brighter by taking notice of them when no one else will that has me concerned. These are things are should have been doing all along, but like most everyone else, I get easily sidetracked by things far less worthwhile.

My wish is for everyone to have a glorious Easter season filled with family, deep personal reflection and more gratitude for the gift only the Savior could offer. I love him with all my heart and want to be with him again, but I'm hoping I still have more time here to take care of things that have been left undone. Adding a codicil to my will hardly seems enough.

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