I have figuratively "tripped" over some people that have been purposely put in my path to help me along my life's way. It' s funny how you don't realize the number of helpers that have been given to you until they do their job and leave you standing there with an astounded look on your face. I'd like to tell you a tale of such a happening.
Some six or seven years ago I was experiencing a very painful area in my right leg just below my knee. After several months of feeling like there was an extremely deep bruise in this area, I acquiesced and went to the doctor. He checked me out and said, "I think this is nothing to be worried about, BUT (when you hear that word, you know you are getting ready for some kind of test) just to be sure, I'd like to have an MRI done." Uh, oh....MRI....I don't think so. Thanks for your concern, but I don't do well crammed in something akin to a metal sausage. I tend to perspire profusely, panic and lose my breath. (I think that's called PANIC with a capital P.) I appreciated the doctor's concern and told him so, but I thought I'd just pass on the MRI and limp on home.
"I've only seen this type thing twice in my practice. One incidence turned out to be nothing and the other was cancer. You wouldn't want to lose that leg, would you?" he retorted. Hmmm...I began thinking what that could mean...lose a leg? To show you how panicked I was becoming , I began thinking of what I could do to make lemonade out of that lemon. Maybe I could come up with some type of invention...a designer wooden leg. I began to think about colors and maybe a small door could be installed in the leg. You could store your keys, lipstick and license in the little door. "Angela, when do you want to have this done?" he woke me from my thoughts. I went out to the nurses' station, and they scheduled the MRI. The deed was done. I had to "woman up" and get myself together.
On the day of the dreaded procedure, my husband had the inevitable football game, my parents were out of town and I was alone. A friend said she'd go, but I didn't want her to have to take off work because I was the county's biggest weenie. So I checked out of school about noon and drove to my fate. I checked in and sat down in the waiting room. Not one other soul was in the room and I suddenly felt shakey and very lonely. After just a few minutes an attractive woman entered the office, spoke to the desk lady and came and sat down right next to me. She spoke quickly, like she didn't have a minute to spare. "Are you here for an MRI?" she questioned. "Yes," I meekly replied. "And you seem to be frightened," said the mindreader. "I am VERY frightened," I replied. She took my hand and said, "Do you mind if I pray for you?" Did I mind?! You must be kidding, who is this "angel" that has been sent my way? "No, please do," I said with a quiver in my voice.
She prayed the kindest prayer, and I'd like to say that I was filled with courage and that I quit shaking and marched triumphantly forth into battle, but I did feel a little better. Just a moment after she said Amen, they called me back. When the door opened for me to go in, a very tall black man mispronounced my name and showed me to the dressing room. He was gruff and I felt my shakiness return. When he showed me the narrow place I was to lie down, I nearly fainted (again, figuratively). Lie on that narrow board-like strip for 20-45 minutes? Oh, no, this was even worse than I imagined. I truly did know what sausage must feel like when it's being stuffed into that casing.
I hate to admit this, but I teared up. I am normally NOT a crier, but I felt them coming and I couldn't stop. Goliath stopped dead in his tracks and said, "Why are you crying?" "Because I am scared to get in that machine and not have any room over my face!" I was visibly shaking. All of a sudden he morphed into the kindest gentlest person. He said, "Mam, I am going to take care of you. I promise if you need me to stop the machine, I will."
I got onto the narrow gangplank and he came over and positioned me properly. He reassured me that everything was going to be ok. When he began moving the plank into position, he stopped when he got to my neck. He didn't put me all the way in! The loud noise of the machine began and I wasn't expecting it to be so piercing. I nearly fell off the plank I jerked so. My knees hit the top of the tube! The procedure was loud and disconcerting. What did I do to get through it, you wonder. Well, I did what any former Baptist, now Presbyterian would do, I started singing at the top of my lungs..every hymn I could remember was sung while I was in that MRI machine that day. I didn't care what anybody thought, I was going to get through this while belting out Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art! At last, silence came. It was over. Goliath came around and helped me up and said, "I told you I was going to take care of you." I thanked him profusely for not cramming me all the way in the metal tube of terror and got my things together and got out of there.
On my way home I began to think about what had happened. Two people I didn't know from Adam's housecat had entered and exited my life. They made a very uncomfortable time much more bearable. They were kind and I personally think they were sent to that place JUST for me by an unseen Hand who is always looking out for me and for you.
Lessons to Be Learned:
1. MRI's aren't so horrible.
2. There really are some very nice people left in this world.
3. If you are an inventor, designer wooden legs may be something worth looking into.