“I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles, most of which never happened.”
If you’re anything like me, thinking about this quote may hit a little close to home. We often make mountains out of those troubling little molehills. Or we can take a simple little annoyance and decide that our whole lives are over because the local grocery store stopped carrying your favorite coffee creamer. (Not that the coffee creamer thing actually happened to me. Okay, it did and I freaked out about it and now drive 30 miles round trip to buy it elsewhere. )
The other day I was at a new medical specialist for my initial consultation. We talked about my symptoms and the tests I’d like done and he ran a few simple tests in the office. That’s when he said my three new least favorite words – “Everything Looks Normal.” I actually felt my body physically tense up and that hot feeling when you’re resisting tears.
Now, a “normal person” would be happy and grateful to hear that everything looks normal from a doctor, except I don’t FEEL normal. I feel like something is seriously wrong and nobody can find anything or give me something I can do to make it feel better. My frustration at the medical industry and my own long journey to health surged up and I was sure it was all a waste of time and money and effort and…..
Oh, the doctor is still talking? Oh, you want me to do some other tests and some scans to narrow down some possibilities? Oh, okay. If I listened to my immediate reaction, I would have grabbed my coat and fled out of that office. But taking a breath, noticing that all is not truly lost and realizing that there are still plenty of options, kept me sitting in my chair and got me tuned into listening again.
We really have to watch the stories that we tell ourselves about doom and gloom. Those things that may seem like The Worst Thing Ever may actually be the door opening to something more in line with the life you actually want to be living. For example, losing your job is never fun. Nobody likes to get fired or laid off, but it happens all the time. Often, looking back on it later, the timing worked out well and you ended up somewhere with better money, better benefits or just a better work environment. That trouble you thought you had, turned out to be just the thing you needed at that moment.
So, as I work my way from doctor to doctor, trying to find a solution to what ails me, I’m going to try to remember that “Everything looks normal” doesn’t mean the doctor is writing me off as some crazy hypochondriac and that maybe, just maybe, there is a light at the end of this particular tunnel. Hopefully it’s not an oncoming train. 🙂