Musings While Waiting for Test Results



I’m wondering if my life is getting ready to change forever.

The past eight months of my life have been a quagmire of illness, pain, doctors’ appointments, steroids, antibiotics, breathing treatments, inhalers, pain relievers, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, physical therapy, a surgery, and medically-necessitated rest. FATIGUE. EXHAUSTION. My life has felt so surreal it’s as if I’ve wandered into a medical version of Dr. Seussland.

At my most recent visit to my asthma specialist, I finally voiced the thought that had begun to haunt my nights: “Could I have an auto-immune disorder? Low vitamin D? COPD? Something doesn’t seem right here.” Instead of looking at me like I’m a crazed, middle-aged, ball of anxiety, he responded, “I don’t think you have COPD”. From the look on his face and his vocal inflection, I immediately knew: he already has a suspect disease lined up. The blood test orders were sent.

I’m a reasonably intelligent human being: well-read, fairly well educated. I know how to Google. I’ve watched three seasons of House. I listened to my doctor’s diagnostic questions (such an odd, seemingly unrelated lot of queries); I googled the blood tests. I know what we’re looking for. My blood was drawn on Wednesday afternoon and I’m impatiently waiting for all the results to come in.

I’m wondering if my life is getting ready to change forever.

Being the anxious, fretful, worry expert that I am, I started googling things like treatment and complications and life expectancy. What if? What if? What if?

The truth is this: no matter what my blood tests show, I have no guarantee that I’ll be healthy tomorrow. That’s not how life works. So I can fret and fume and waste my moments in fear of ‘what if’, or I can decide to make the most of right now. As I pondered how I will respond if I get news I don’t want, it occurred to me:

Shouldn’t I respond exactly the same, whether I get good news or bad?

As a Christian, I do believe that everything has a purpose, that I have an opportunity to glorify God and to grow through my trials. As Elisabeth Elliot said, “Everything is filtered through the hands of a loving God.”

So, while I wait, I’ve thought of some guidelines I wish to live by, no matter what my health status.

Kim’s Life Resolutions

1. Love more.

2. Give more.

3. Hug more.

4. Pray more.

5. Encourage others more. Say all the kind words.

6. Laugh more.

7. Sing, play, listen to more music.

8. Create, admire, enjoy more art.

9. Take more walks and kayak rides.

10. Talk and play more; watch less tv

11. Read more books I love. Quickly discard the ones I dislike. Reading is supposed to be fun; I don’t have to like what others like.

12. Wear more brightly colored clothes and jewelry. I don’t need to wait till I’m thin; it’s okay to dress how I want even though I’ll never be model material.

13. Approach each day with awe and wonder and joy and thankfulness. Share those traits with those around me.

14. Live, live, live every moment, because every moment is a blessing.

I have no clue what tomorrow holds. My health is certainly uncertain. My life is fragile, my days are numbered, I have no guarantees.

Just like you.

I’m wondering if my life is getting ready to change forever.

I think maybe it should.