Spiritual Lessons/ Health and Beauty
~ Or Life as Toni ~
Just recently I started a little series of writings that I titled “Silly Scribbles” or “Life as Toni”. I began posting them on a private writing club that I joined. I received such positive feedback I decided to be be brave and share with my Maid Arise readers.
So often the writer in me throbs and insists, but my current work in progress is strictly grammatical at this point and my creative juices feel cramped and unjustly squelched. So I have decided to allow these juices passage and wait to see what comes of it. I decided to share my experiences with you. Sometimes my life can be quite humorous to the point of disbelief which I have come to accept as normal.... or sometimes I learn new things about myself or little lessons God teaches through the inevitable we've fondly labeled “life”. I hope that these shared stories and bearings of the soul are somehow a blessing, or in the least, a few minutes of entertainment.
How I was First Introduced
Pain. My gut actually burned and I would sit rocking back and forth. Nothing comforted or relieved me. My bowels would contract and pain swelled as I would try to hold back hot tears. The natural instinct to need mommy's soothing hand overwhelmed me and my heart whimpered. I crawled into my bed and lay in the fetal position trying to pray. Temporary nothingness....but there it was again – searing wringing of my stomach. If I could vomit I would but nothing came.
I took this memory with me as I justified visiting a doctor. I had called after a month of experiencing this pain every time I ate. I was afraid to eat. Food became an object of fear and I had quickly learned that there were literally five food items that I could dare to put to my lips and not desperately regret it later.
She had sounded so confident on the phone. In fact I was hoping that maybe she would talk me out of visiting and prescribe some magical herb. But instead the naturalist said it sounded like a digestive issue and booked me for a visit as soon as she could fit me in.
I walked the block and a half to the doctors alone. My brother and friend had dropped me off. Intuitively I knew my life was transitioning and it made me feel nervous...if not even melancholy. The building was huge with brick steps leading to the glass doors. Exude confidence. This was always my fall back for whenever I found myself insecure. The less I knew the more I would try to appear at ease. It has pulled me through many scrapes and awkward situations.
Her office smelled like dried herbs and fresh dirt. Little bells clinked against the door. The confident voice I had head over the phone now greeted me warmly. This strong German voice belonged to a gray haired woman not much taller than me. I was surprised. At first glance in any other circumstance I would have thought her to be a quiet reserved older woman. But this lady was full of vibrance, health and confidence that seemed to flow through her and resonate through her eyes.
How observant the soul is when it is hurt. Becoming sick has awakened an introverted side to my personality that was previously unfamiliar and unused. Socially it is an inconvenience, but becoming sick has created a sensitivity that has shown me a whole new world. Details become bold and clear and appreciated. Individuals stand out. Noise and harsh conditions raise in decibel. Pain and illness are easily recognized in others and empathy becomes natural. Becoming sick has not necessarily made me a new person, but introduced me to a different part of who I already am but never knew.
After a lengthy discussion this lady asked if she might feel my stomach. I lay on a wide cushioned bench as this stranger lifted my shirt and intruded upon my wounded stomach. How odd to have cold strange hands press and search. That is when she felt the “mass”. Concern etched her face. She asked me to sit and wait while she consulted a friend and fellow physician.
She left the room and the clay wolf on the table stared back at me. The row of titles on the shelf above her vacant chair would normally intrigue the book worm in me; but time passed and I sat.
Quietly she entered the room. No dread came with her, but still concern creased her forehead.
“I have talked with Doctor M. and we both strongly feel you should have an ultra sound immediately.”
At my surprise, she explained, “I do not feel comfortable diagnosing you with a digestive disorder until we rule out the possibility that this 'mass' is not a tumor or lymphoma.”
Lymphoma. I had heard of this...wasn't it a cancer? My Hutto genes kicked in. Ever since I was a little girl I had learned from my fathers example that every little trial in life is something to be agonized and agitated over, but every crisis is to be taken in stride. It is out of your control so you might as well bear up with a smile and take whatever it serves you.
I thanked her, took my bill and tried to remember her directions to the next doctor. I left the herbs and dirt aroma and the door clinked at my departure. The walk back to where my brother and friend would meet me seemed to take much longer. It was raining. People walked and talked and shopped. For them their life continued. Normal. When was the last time I had lived a day normally?
The boys greeted me. I smiled back and listened to them tell me their adventures. Chris finally looked at me. “So....how'd it go?”
“I have to go to another doctor...”
“Oh?” The boys could sense something was up.
“I need to find this other doctor....I need to have an ultra sound...I might have lymphoma.”
The boys became serious but didn't say much. We hurried to the car. I called Dad and Mom. Dad answered. He was quiet and sighed. I told him I loved him and was sorry for being his child that always gave him gray hair. Why me? I was the child that rolled the car when I first got my permit. I was the child that had to fall off her horse and break her coller bone. Now I was the child calling home saying I might have lymphoma. He told me he loved me and told me to call back.
We drove to the Hospital and parked. That's when I lost it. I started laughing hysterically. Chris and Jonah just watched me for a moment. I don't know that they found much humor in the situation. Laughing at awkward moments can again be attributed to my genes...but from mom this time.
Walking into that building it was confirmed in my heart that my life was changing. But I wasn't afraid. Wasn't I God's child? Whatever He wanted and thought best, I wanted and thought best. Before I entered the professional glass door etched with the doctors name, Jonah stopped me.
Chris started. He spoke with calmness that soothed my heart. “Your will be done....we hope it isn't serious, but if it is I know Toni wants Your will more.”
Did I? It made me stop and consider. I knew I did.
I prayed next. “Lord Jesus, I give you myself....not just spiritually, but I give you myself physically and allow you full reign to do what you will with me....”
As I followed the nurse I didn't look back. I didn't want the boys to see that I was suddenly nervous. Jonah promised to call his family to pray.
Paperwork, questions, weighing myself, blood work. My Hutto genes were wavering. Fear was haunting me. The nurse commented how brave I was. Was I? The fact she mentioned it made me wonder if maybe my situation was more serious that I was taking it. She asked who waited for me in the waiting room. My heart swelled with thankfulness. Suddenly my brother and friend meant the world to me. Illness even gave new awareness to my relationships. I suddenly realized how blessed I was. How good it was to have people who loved me. Lymphoma suddenly didn't seem that big a deal. I trusted my God. And my friends and family loved me. Lymphoma couldn't change that. I embraced this illness that made me so dependent and thankful. As I sat in that sterile little hospital room I knew I now had officially been introduced to my new life companion...and I wasn't afraid.