The Horatio Connection

Written by: Rhonda Sue Page

Soooo, I went to the see my doctor this week.  I find that the older I get the more I dislike these trips. When they stop patting you on the head, making over how much you’ve grown and giving out stickers……..well, it sorta just sucks the fun right out of it.

When the nurse called me back we exchanged the normal pleasantries.

Nurse: “How have you been?”

Me:  “Great thanks, and you?”

Nurse: “Doing good.  Let’s get your weight”.

I dislike this. I’m confessing right now that I don’t even bother to shed my shoes and jacket anymore.  There’s this secret part of me that hopes she thinks my accessories are EXTREMELY heavy.

Nurse: Are you currently on any prescriptions or over the counter medications?

Me:  “Just those delicious new adult vitamin gummies”.  Somehow I sense she’s less than impressed.

Nurse: “Last menstrual cycle?”  Sorry, but I SERIOUSLY dislike this question.  I go all brain dead and take on “that look”…… know the one……. like a cow at a new gate.  Why yes, I do have the PeriodTracker app.  But if I can’t be bothered to remember these details………what in the world makes you think I’ll remember I have the app?

I mumble something and hope she lets it drop.  Then I give her my arm for the blood pressure cuff.  This is when things get weird.  First the machine errors out like it’s completely exhausted.  Then it reads with numbers that have her looking at me like I suddenly sprouted another head.

Nurse: “Are you feeling alright Rhonda?”

Me: “Yeppers!”

She goes quiet and tries a third time.  She’s being secretive, but it occurs to me that it must be really high for her to behave this way.  I’m not sure taking it again at this point is going to make her happy though…because she’s totally freaking me out.

Which, of course ….I dislike.

Granted, I’m no doctor…but I’m willing to bet that makes my blood pressure go up.

After that I’m quickly ushered into “room number three, please” where I try to remain calm.  I conjure mental images that make me peaceful.  Rainbows, beaches, sunsets, an empty laundry room, my sweet puppy, my beautiful childr- nope…back to rainbows.

It’s not that my kids aren’t great mind you…it’s just that if memories of them are to make me calm…I’m currently coming up bone dry. In fact, I’m pretty sure breakfast is still all over the table, the dog needs watered and the plants need petted….or something like that.

Deep breath in, deep breath out.

Knock, knock.  Wow, that was really fast.  I usually wait much longer.  I decide immediately that I do not dislike this.

When my doc walks in…… it’s with a cute little trial sized bottle of BP meds in hand.

Normally I’d be all “WAHOO!! AWESOMENESS!! FREEBIES!!!!”….but her face tells me that she is taking this more seriously.

For the next fifteen or so minutes my doctor “encourages” me to begin taking better care of myself and to reduce the stress in my life. I smile and nod and promise to be good. Then I leave with a return appointment booked, and a prescription for just enough days to ensure that I keep it. On the drive home I’m not happy. I only know this because my eyes get watery and threaten to spill over. I have this horrible feeling, like I just failed a health pop quiz. You guessed it……..I dislike this feeling.

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A few days later, I go get a heart sonogram.

I’m asked to follow the normal protocol for undressing and wearing a tissue paper gown: “open to the front”…of course.

DO I EVEN NEED TO SAY HOW MUCH I DISLIKE THIS?  It’s just awkward. I’m a bigger girl. I need about three of these paper monstrosities to do a proper job. My pride insists they do this just to have fun at my expense and something to talk about later.  I tell my pride to shut up while I position my myself on the table at an angle that provides the most amount of modesty.

This technician isn’t as quick in coming, however. Which unfortunately leaves my pride to stew. By the time the knock does come…..I have plotted to mess up their neatly organized “PLEASE TAKE ONE” pamphlet selection before I leave.

I have to admit I don’t expect much. I had some some sonograms done when I was pregnant. They were fun and exciting times.  James was with me. Two shiny-eyed newlyweds gushing at a grain-of-rice sized second heartbeat we instantly named Tadpole, Tad for short…because we’re cool like that…

But this? This is just bothersome. Bad news I did not need – or want to face.

So as the lights go out and the show starts….I am completely caught off guard by what happens.

There on that little monitor screen is my heart. MY heart. And it is more alive than any baby sonogram I have ever undergone.  It’s not hiding, nor shy, or even hard to make out. It is large, in charge and pumping it’s little heart out….Oh!….that’s where that saying comes from….Anyhooo, it is completely mesmerizing.

Now, I don’t normally like to talk while I’m being inspected like a piece of fruit. It’s hard to chit-chat when they are pulling a Jim Henson Muppet Master on you. Or pancaking areas you’ve worked since you were twelve to make perky.

My normal MO is “get in, get out, get it over”.  

But right now, in this moment, I completely forget this and start firing questions at my new “bestie”…Tech Mike. Did you know there are four valves in the heart?  Did you know they look like little old-fashioned teapot spouts as they work?  Did you know there are some that are louder than others? Did you know that unlike any other muscle in the body, the larger the heart….the less healthy it is?  Did you know that the blood shows up in different colors on the screen so they can monitor direction and flow? Did you know Jesus has a little chair in there?

(Okay that last one was to make sure you’re still reading.)

The truth is…..I cannot ever completely relate to you what this moment did for me. It was a gift from God Himself. I’m instantly connected to my heart. Which sounds stupid because….duh, that is how you’re breathing…..right?  Nope, completely different connection. Having someone tell you the importance of your heart, and then seeing for yourself what it does are two very different ways of relating. I suddenly really want to care for that little guy. I get it now. He’s intricately designed, and tirelessly working hard for me. (I don’t know why it’s a “he”…….it just is. My heart. My call. Get over it.)

God knew I needed this moment. I needed to be reminded in a non-verbal way that my body is amazing and precious and oh-so-cleverly put together. I have the privilege of caring for it and treating it just as God sees it….His Most Holy Place:

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”

1 Corinthians 6:19

 You know, He always does this. He always speaks His love to me through whatever situation I’m going through. Today, He’s showing me that behavior-altering connections can be made when I seek new ways of relating. This time it’s a new way of relating to a challenge I face. It will be like treasure to me to remind myself of what I saw today when I don’t “feel” like exercising tomorrow.

I hope you choose to find a new way of relating to Him through your challenge.

Let God show you how to connect with Him in a completely different and mind-renewing way.

I completely  Rhonda_blog 7 pic 2  this……..and I totally love you with all my heart (which I have named Horatio….”Horace” for short.)

….Still cool like that,

Rhonda Sue

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