Medical Frenemies Medical Frenemies

Medical technology is awesome.  Truly, I believe it.  How doctors can pin point what ails us with specific medical instruments have always baffled me.  Even how the most basic thermometer works, tends to make me awe and wonder.  This little thing can help me to starve the fever or feed the cold?  Love it.

Well, I used to.

I had a surreal experience as of late.  Working to determine the cause of a few symptoms I was having…ie daily exhaustion among others, my doctor had ordered blood tests and a thyroid ultrasound.

Now, having five kids, I have had many an ultrasound.  And each time I visited radiology to have this test to see my unborn child, to hear and see a heartbeat, to see a tiny glimpse of their profile, wonder and awe always filled me.  I was amazed at not only God’s creation, and my cooperation with it, but the wonder at advances in medical technology, where I could see my unborn baby in the womb, see them suck their thumb, swallow, and dare I say it, actually smile at me!  When the later children arrived, the 3-D and 4-D technology in ultrasounds made me speechless.  I couldn’t believe the images right before me, “Oh my, this little one has my beloved’s nose!”

After each ultrasound, I brought home pictures of our newest addition, even some kids I was allowed to videotape the session, and I still have VHS tapes that show them moving about!  These were/are still prized possessions in our home, and in baby books, that I will forever cherish.  All from sitting back, gel smeared from one side to the other, and witnessing the miracle, that is life in the womb.

A thyroid ultrasound is quite different as you can imagine.  I sat, again with gel smeared from one side of my neck to the other, as the ultrasound tech pushed and prodded to gain proper pictures of my enlarged thyroid.  As I lay there still and, yes again speechless, I wasn’t as amazed at ultrasound technology.  The room was sterile and cold, silent and filled with the air of nervousness.

My mind floats from one thing to another….. Gosh I hope she finds something.  I need relief!  Gosh I hope she doesn’t find anything, and there is nothing wrong with me! 

Oh how I remember the days of ultrasounds with such fondness and excitement!  Not here, not in this place.  And I found myself drifting into years past, searching the screens our tech would present, hoping to see a foot, a nose, their heartbeat.   As this little ones’ mother, I felt strong.  No, not just strong, but invincible.  This child within relied on me, my diet, my health, my strength in order to survive.  I could have leapt off that sterile chair back then, to defend my unborn.

Results have returned with nothing gained, and questions still unanswered.  How I used to love medical advances when they did what I wanted them to do.  Now, these fancy machines are driving me to a whole other world.  Why can’t they figure out what is wrong?

The next step in the process of diagnosis was just a few days ago.  Yet another ultrasound, a Doppler neck ultrasound to measure blood flow to and from neck to head.  Once again the gel is smeared, and tools are pressed against me.  Back in the sterile, cold and nervous room, I closed my eyes and wanted to disappear.  I used to be strong and stubborn!  If only you knew me then!   Suddenly, my eyes shot open when I heard a heartbeat.  My baby! 

And then tears filled my eyes as reality set in, as my tech was recording my own heartbeat, pushing blood through arteries in my neck.  How a few short years have changed me so.

As my head and neck throbbed, and in a serious fog of past and present, I was guided then to yet another testing room, for one last exam: CT scan.  I saw this massive machine, and looked left and right for cues I was in the wrong place.  A nurse was quick to direct me to lay down and to lay still. This 3 minute exam was just like out of a science fiction movie.   As I lay still I wondered if they could read my mind with this modern piece of equipment.  Please God, help them to find something, but please God, let there be nothing wrong with me!  Can you read my thoughts with this machine?  Can you hear me and how confused I am!  Find the problem, but oh, please don’t!

As quickly as I was in, I was out, and informed that I would find out my fate in 3 short business days.  How ironic to regard the next three torturously silent days, as ‘business’ days.   Am I going back to business?  Am I to return to my home and family with no answers, no ways to resolve the issues we are facing as a family?  What business is the next three days going to yield?

So, we go on.  This week the kids were still in school, wrapping up this school year with field trips, field days and finally awards and graduation.  Does our life stop, while we wait for results?  Do I slip even further into the deep void I have found myself for the past four months?  Or do I push through, live life with my children as routinely as possible in order to demonstrate the strongest front I can possibly manage.

Can I manifest the strength for the fight that has yet to come?    Am I that same stubborn and feisty mother I used to be, fighting day in and day out for my unborn little one?  Can I summon that same strength of will for these five little souls that need their mother back….need their attentive and nurturing matriarch back in action.  Could all this be for not?  Could the stress and exhaustion of this past year have worn me down to a debilitating point of confusion and frustration?

Traveling home that day from these latest tests using the latest medical technology available, I made a firm and conscious decision.  Whatever comes, it is the will of God.  I have surrendered to doctors, nurses and yes, radiology technicians.  It is out of my hands, and in the hands of others.  In my constant life-long effort to trust and to let God work in my life, perhaps this all is His way to have me turn everything over to Him, and let Him guide and decide what is next.

I’ve cleared my life for Him.  He knows what machines used to bring me such exuberant joy, as it showed me what cooperation with Him can bring…new life.  Perhaps this same machine still has this perfect mission in my life….perhaps it is meant to once again show me what cooperation…..with Him…….can bring.

Copyright 2013 Sahmatwork