Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ouch!!!!...I Wasn't Expecting That! {Sometimes, God uses Surprises to Get our Attention}

I have a story to tell you.

There's a point to this tale,
but it might take me a little while to get there so,
please, bear with me.

A few weeks ago I had a small injury at work.
One of my little lovelies, 
completely on accident,
hurt my left wrist.

I was getting ready to leave Thomas Jefferson
after the morning shift to go put in a few hours at the Y
as is my usual custom.
I had told all my little lovelies "Goodbye" 
and was gathering my things.
I heard one of the little girls call my name
and I turned around just in time to see her flying through the air at me
(as if she were going to jump up into my arms).

I barely had time to react but just in the Nick of Time 
I put my hands out and caught her. 
Most of her weight landed on my left wrist 
causing it to bend out awkwardly to the side.
I heard (and felt) a "POP"
and almost dropped the little girl.

I did my best to not let on to her how badly that had hurt me.
I let her hug me and hugged her right back.
I put her down, she said goodbye
and skipped off merrily to her teacher.

I, on the other hand, tried not to vomit up my breakfast.
I was hurting.
When I got in my car to drive to the YMCA
I found that I couldn't even turn my steering wheel
without a fair amount of pain.
I managed to drive one-handed to the Y.
Upon arriving, I settled in to work
planning to just shake off the pain
and make it through the day.

That didn't work.
I reported the incident to my supervisors who told me
to fill out an incident report and put ice on the injury.
They also informed me that it was completely my decision
if I wanted to seek outside treatment or not.

The very first thought that popped into my head was
(and this is important):
I don't want to get an X-ray.
(In another life, I was a Radiography Student
and that didn't end well.
You can find the first of seven, yes I said seven,
posts containing this story here.)

Since the Radiography Days, I've always wondered in the back of mind
how I would handle having to a part of my anatomy x-rayed.
I figured that it would most likely bring up some difficult memories
and I had really hoped that any x-rays I would have to endure
would be a long way off in the distant future.
Well, this wrist injury made the prospect of x-rays eminent.
I actually considered not going to see a doctor
because I so badly wanted to avoid an x-ray.
Then I realized how completely ridiculous this was
and took myself off to the Prompt Care.

I was in the exam room maybe a full five minutes
before I was told an x-ray was needed to rule out a fracture.
Obviously, this is not what I wanted to hear,
but I did my best not to let on and allowed myself to lead to the x-ray room.
Walking through that doorway was like going back in time.
I came face-to-face with metal floating table,
the lead aprons, the light field, the kVp and the MAs adjusters,
the electronic hum of the equipment...
Everything about that world and that time in my life
came rushing back to me in the space of a heartbeat.
And I didn't like it. ONE. LITTLE. BIT.
It was like I took a sucker-punch to the gut.

Being the excessively emotional person that I am,
I teared up and tried not to show it,
but I'm mostly sure it didn't work.
I think the Rad Tech recognized there was something more than physical pain going on,
but she was tactful enough not to bring it up.
I just wanted the whole thing to over as quickly as possible
Luckily, the Rad Tech was good at her job
and captured the images on the first try
(I speak from experience when I say this is not always an easy feat to accomplish).
I was out of the x-ray room and back in the Prompt Care exam room
in less then 10 minutes.

And I was a complete wreck.
After hearing from the nurse practitioner
that I had only suffered a bad sprain to my wrist,
I was discharged with written instructions to ice the affected area
and keep it wrapped with an ace bandage.
I nearly ran to my car and proceeded to sob my eyes out all the way home.
As is my usual custom when I'm an emotional wreck,
I started pouring out my heart to God.
I told Him everything:
how somewhere in my mind I knew I would react this way
if I ever had to have an x-ray performed on me,
how walking into that x-ray exam room made me feel,
how I couldn't wait to exit that room.

And that's when it hit me:
I still love the Radiography Profession.
I still have a desire to work in that field.
Somewhere, deep down in my heart, I still dream of being an X-Ray Tech.
I said those words aloud to the Lord.
And God, in His great and marvelous wisdom, replied,
"Yes, I know you do."
And then I felt His loving arms around me
and I started to feel better.
I was able to pull myself together and shake off the negative emotions.

My ace-bandaged wrist and I went back to see the children that afternoon
and the day passed without me moping around
with the Ghost of X-Rays Past attached to my hip.
Honestly, life returned to normal
(well, as normal as a Roller-Coaster Life can be...).
And quite frankly, I found this odd.
Where Radiography (and other major parts of life) are concerned,
it generally takes me a while to shake off a "blow" like this.
Or I usually need some kind of a solution to the problem to appear.
It is very different for me that neither of those things occurred in this case
and yet I was able to go on about my business and actually feel okay.
I have a theory about why this happened.

Now we are coming to the point of this post
(I warned you that it could take a while...
I'm a very wordy person...).
I think God allowed the whole thing
(the wrist injury, the freak out moment of "I don't want to get an x-ray",
the actual x-ray exam, the feeling of the past punching me in the gut,
the result that the injury was only a bad sprain,
the realization that I still love x-ray,
God's calm and concise, "Yes, I know you do" response,
and how peaceful I felt in the aftermath)
to show me that He still cares about what I care about.
He knows what my desires are
and if I seek Him first, He will give me the desires of my heart.

Those promises are straight out of Scripture.
I already knew them. I learned them as a child.
But He felt He needed to show me personally.

A lot of the time I don't understand God and His Ways,
but I think I'm beginning to understand His heart.
God is crazy about His kids.
Everything in this world He created with us in mind.
He's not some untouchable, infinite Being way out in outer space somewhere,
He's involved in our lives in ways we can't even comprehend.
And I think He took time out of His busy schedule
to make sure I knew I was important to Him.
I believe God uses the ups and downs of our Roller-Coaster lives
to let us know how much He cares about us.
I think He uses surprises in our lives to get our attention.

As I previously said, God didn't offer me an immediate solution to the Radiography Dilemma.
But that's okay.
I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt
that He cares about what I care about.
And, in time, I will understand what I'm supposed about this situation.
Whether the Radiography book is permanently closed to me,
or I start a new chapter in it someday,
I know God has my future in His Hands
and everything is going to be okay.