A Life Changing Moment

“Pray, forgive yourself, appreciate others, listen to your gut, do things you enjoy
and remind yourself that we are all loved and connected.”

It’s strange how I will read a quote and within a few days something will happen that reminds me of the quote or I have an opportunity to share the quote with others.

An example of this occurred last week during my appointment with my otolaryngologist Dr. H., whom I greatly respect. During my appointment, my husband and I had a nice conversation with him discussing the challenges of life, maintaining a work-life balance and putting God at the center of it all.  Dr. H. is the surgeon who recently operated on my sinuses and prayed with my husband and me prior to the operation.

Following my exam and some good news that my sinuses are healing nicely, I began thinking about how each of us are required to balance the important things in our lives. But, how do we do it? For Dr. H., he is at the height of his career; however, he is also a husband, father, son, and a professor. He is required to work many Sundays, which makes it difficult to attend church on a regular basis. This is difficult for him to accept so he looks for other ways to spend time with God — even gathering with a group of fellow doctors at the hospital where they work.

He also spends time talking with colleagues who are finding themselves in the same situation. The doctor in Pennsylvania who referred me to Dr. H., recently attended a conference and they sat together during dinner and talked about how they are trying to better balance their lives. It appears that many successful, accomplished doctors, who we feel have the world on a string, are actually struggling with achieving a work-life balance and are forced into making difficult career and/or personal decisions.

To me, who doesn’t have the most favorable view of doctors, found myself looking at these two very kind and successful doctors more as…people.  Real people with real problems who have to make tough decisions each day…just like you and me. They have some of the same problems — stress, suffer from lack of sleep and are pulled in many different directions — both personally and professionally.

I am not sure at what point doctors became superior or defined as a super human species. It’s a bit unfair in my opinion. Maybe it’s just me since I allowed a doctor to have such control over me for so many years. Or, could it be I allowed him to have the power that altered my life in such profound ways? I think it was a multitude of things. Partially my fault for allowing him to take control; partially his for damaging my spinal cord and then for not telling the truth.

When we arrived at the hospital for my appointment we were greeted by the receptionist where Dr. H.’s office is located. Always welcoming and full of love, she explained that her sister is having surgery this week to test for brain cancer. Hearing this made my problems seem so small. Also, earlier in the week my dear aunt, my father’s sister, passed away, leaving three daughters, one my age, who is learning how to go on with her life without her mother. I can’t imagine that type of loss and my thoughts and prayers have been with my cousins and their extended families.

And, just a few days ago, my husband and I spoke with an associate at a large retail store who is having problems paying bills while working two jobs. A few minutes after that we heard a similar story from a single mother with a daughter in college who was working in the Customer Service Department at the same store. I thought we were supposed to be making the world a better place? It breaks my heart to see so many people hurting, missing time from their families and stressed. After all no one ever left this Earth saying that I wish I would have worked more. Most say I wish I would have spent more time with my family. I think most of us have our work-life balance out of whack, but it’s not our fault. The question becomes — how do we get the balance back to what is most important?

It seems that we all are going through some sort of struggle — public or private — trying to achieve balance, putting one foot in front of the other and continuing to breathe — even when you don’t think you can. Pray, meditate, forgive yourself and others, know that you are loved, appreciate others and do what you enjoy…I think that needs to be our new prescription for living. If we all lived this way we couldn’t go wrong.

Thinking of maintaining a positive attitude when it seems that there is so much negativity around reminds me of an Ancient Persian saying a friend used to quote on a regular basis. “I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.”

During my appointment with Dr. H., I confessed to him how he has helped me move forward with forgiving Dr. Liar. It was because of his kindness, prayer, compassion and willingness to improve my 15 years of ongoing sinus problems and the example he sets as a human being that I have been able to see past Dr. Liar’s faults. Dr. H. is unlike any other doctor, or in fact, any other person I have ever met. He displays his faith, he is honest and genuine, and a man who wants to help patients medically and spiritually. He doesn’t have an inflated ego or an attitude that places him above all others. It was refreshing to discuss his efforts to balance his life between God, family and work and some of the struggles he faces on a daily basis. While I know he has time constraints, I hope that he will continue teaching since any medical students who have the opportunity to learn from him are truly blessed.

I was surprised he was so honest, forthcoming and more of a friend than a doctor. I think it should be that way with each of our doctors.  Just imagine how much better our relationships would be! I wish I could find a Pain Management doctor who would listen. As I wrote in the last post, I had a difficult experience with my Pain Management doctor’s nurse practitioner. I have since written to the doctor letting him know what occurred and I would be leaving his practice. I will no longer accept lack of respect from anyone whom I pay. I feel I owe it to myself to expect more and demand it when I don’t get it. We all should.

During the appointment with Dr. H. I told him about my blog and that I had written about how he is helping me forgive Dr. Liar and how he has shown me what it means to be a Christian. When I shared this information with him, his eyes immediately filled with tears. It was a moment in my life that I will never forget. While we were talking, something unique happened. It was as if time stopped and God entered the exam room with the three of us and we all could feel his presence. It was a very peaceful and calming feeling ~ one that I have never felt before. It came from inside and from the heart.

As we continued the conversation there also seemed to be a white glow and I knew at that very moment that God had sent me to Dr. H. not only to help with my sinuses, but to answer my six years of prayers. It was then when I knew God had heard my countless pleas, had felt my pain and was wiping away my tears. It was as if God was telling me to let go of the past — that Dr. Liar is just one person who made a mistake and then covered it up. While his actions changed my entire life, he didn’t take my life. God had given me a different life and it was time for me to take control. Did I want to live the rest of my life as a Dr. Liar or a Dr. H.?  God sent me to the perfect example of what a doctor, or rather, what a human being should be.  To me, Dr. H. will forever be a role model and an example of how we should all live our lives.

Even now, days later, when I think back to my appointment, I catch myself thinking about the television show, Touched by an Angel. As part of the show, when one of the angels would announce “that they were an angel sent by God,” there was suddenly a beautiful white heavenly glow. Did God love me enough to send me an angel and a life changing moment?

©My Unplanned Life and www.shakinguplife.wordpress.com 2011.

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About mswd

I am an individual living with a spinal cord injury. How the injury occurred, how I found out how severe my injury was and how my planned life suddenly became 'unplanned' is included in this blog. Also included is how the injury has tested my family and me. I believe you will discover it has been both a mentally and physically challenging ordeal and I learned a few lessons along the way. While I am still defining my life’s purpose since the injury, I have uncovered those who are injured, live with pain or have other obstacles to navigate are never able to escape. However, come with me as I explore ways to improve my life, learn to live with multiple neurological conditions, educate others and look for the silver lining. I believe with a little willpower, my caring family and God's guidance I will learn to forgive, hopefully forget how I was treated and dismissed by a doctor and uncover life's new purpose. I pray for painfree days and answers to questions that keep swirling through my mind. I also pray for a cure for neurological conditions and for the doctors to treat their patients with respect. Welcome to my journey. I would love to hear about yours!
This entry was posted in Dr. Liar, Faith, God, Living with no Regrets, Pain, Self Discovery, Spinal Cord Injury and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Life Changing Moment

  1. Reba Nelson says:

    Thank you for a profoundly inspiring entry. It has a ‘holy hush’, a sense that a wonderful new seed has germinated and something rare and beautiful has begun growing in the spirit.
    I just finished reading reading 2 Chronicles 28, where Judeans were taken captive by Israel. God sent a prophet to tell the king of Israel that this was not acceptable. The captives were not only released but they were given part of the spoil and the weaker ones were given a ride home. Imagine the state of mind that these people were in while they were being marched into slavery. Some were naked, some were weak and sick. But I’ll bet most of them were praying. What a turnaround- from impending slavery to rescue with compensation. “No matter what, trust God.” played out in real time. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” These poor prisoners of war were ‘gathered together’ in the worst circumstance, yet God turned it around by sending a prophet. Prophets, angels, the Bible…God is always speaking on our behalf, even when we have been humiliated, defeated and cut off from our former lives. I came close to hardening my heart by complaining, railing, giving in to despair. But the Lord sent his Word and healed me, in spite of myself.
    I believe that it was Charles Wesley who said “it seems that God can do no great thing on the earth except someone ASK him. Jesus said “Ask and ye shall receive that your joy may be full.” The apostle Paul said “God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” The ball is in OUR court.
    Reba Nelson

    • mswd says:

      Aunt Reba — your messages always brighten my day and are always what I am thinking. Dr. H., and I were talking about ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am i in the midst of them’ when we talked about the doctors getting together on Sunday’s since he was unable to go to church. You are right, prophets, angels and God himself are always speaking on our behalf and I feel honored that I took the time to live in the moment and recognized the experience God gave me. I feel as if a weight has been lifted and I am able to move on with my life. We all have set backs and without them, I am not sure we would know pure joy. It is those negative experiences that make us a better person, teach us what God wants us to know and makes us stronger. “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” I think we both can use our knowledge to help others and avoid some of the trials that we experienced. Let’s pray that’s the case! And, yes, God does answer prayers, but what I learned is that it is on his timeline, not mine (something that took me a long time to accept). And, I have also learned to thank God for unanswered prayers as well. God knows what we need, when we need it and even those things that we don’t. Isn’t that a wonderful thing? We are truly, truly blessed! Thank you again for reading the blog and for taking the time to write — it means more than you know! Sending lots of love!

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