Went to the orthopedic surgeon’s office yesterday. Drove past emergency care at the Bethesda North hospital. Wow, some scary thoughts went through my mind as I drove by. I thought about all the ambulances I have seen in the past few weeks. All the ambulances I had prayed for became a little more realistic as I drove by their destination. I almost felt like speeding by because I didn’t want to be in the way of any more arriving aid. But then again, I also didn’t want to hit someone as I drove by either.
I finally found the surgeon’s office, it’s tucked nicely behind Bethesda North’s main hospital building. I wandered on in and smelled that lovely hospital aroma. I hate that smell. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to work at Bethesda and smell that same smell every day. I guess you’d get used to it though.
So the surgeon confirmed exactly what I already knew… the wisdom teeth? They got to go.
I learned all about the general procedure and possible faulty outcomes of the surgery; you know like my lower lip loosing all function because they accidentally mess up the nerve that connects my brain to my lip, or my mouth not healing right and leaving a sensitive nerve exposed which would cause great pain in my lower jaw (mandible).
Then they sent me out into the waiting room and said they’d call me back in to schedule.
I sat in the waiting room trying my best not to freak out and call for my mommy. I thought about Kelly and wished she was with me right then. I thought to myself, “Self, you are so silly for not bringing someone with you! You should have brought mom. Then she could handle all this and tell you that there’s nothing to freak out about and she would have just made things better.” And then the thought occurred to me, “I want Kelly and mom.”
I was broken from my thoughts by the billing/scheduling lady. And before I knew it, I was sent back out of the office with a paper saying, “Your surgery date is Friday August 19th at 10:20AM.”
When I got out to the car, I looked down at the piece of paper and nearly started crying.
I don’t want to have surgery. I’ve never even broken an arm. I’ve never been to the hospital. I don’t want to go to the hospital. My head started replaying all the stories of me visiting my mom in the hospital after her various surgeries. I remember how tired she looked, how sick she felt and how I wanted to take her home right then, but we couldn’t. I don’t want to be put to sleep. And an IV? I remembered mom’s bruises and horror stories. No way, I don’t want one of those. And what if I don’t wake up from the sleeping meds? NO way! I’ll just keep my wisdoms. Yeah, I’ll just live through the pain. It’s not natural for someone to put me into a coma-like state. That’s like playing with fire. I don’t want to pretend to be dead. What if God decides I should stay that way? Or what if it’s for His glory for me to never recover?
I could feel my eyes tearing up and I did the only thing I knew to do, I started the car and drove across the street to my mom’s work.
I went inside, walked into the back office and sat on the floor at my mom’s feet. She was on the phone, but I most certainly didn’t mind just sitting there for a while.
“What’s up?” She asked, hinting toward my visit.
I handed her the paper. “Friday at 10:20.”
“This Friday?!” She was surprised. “Ok.” She looked back down at me. “You want me to go with you, don’t you.”
I didn’t say anything.
“Ok. I’ll be there.” She got up to notify her boss.
“I saw the IV needle.” I mentioned when she came back.
“Hey, Dr. Moreira, can you come here for a second? Have you ever given an IV?” She asked when Dr. Moreira came nearby.
“Yes.” Came the Doctor’s Spanish accent.
“Does it hurt worse than giving blood?”
“Oh, no. Not at all.”
“See, there’s nothing to worry about.” My mom smiled at me, knowing she had just read my mind.
I returned home, grabbed my blanket and my fox and sat down on the couch in the quiet, dark house. I wished Kelly was there again. Maybe she’d be able to tell me that she would pray for me during the whole thing or at least just sit there with me and say something that would make me smile. I prayed for a little while and God reminded me that I am beautiful. I smiled. And I sat.
I’m still scared. Not scared because I don’t think that God is in control, but nervous, once again, to be gently pushed out of my comfort zone. I know that God can do many works during vulnerability. But I also know that vulnerability hurts.
So I am open. Scared, but open. And I think that just maybe in this act of faith, I am learning a very good lesson in obedience. I may be scared, but it doesn’t mean I should stop moving forward.
I trust You, Lord. I love You.