Emptiness Vs. Hope


There is a sense, as I write this…of emptiness.  I have wanted to write for a couple of days on my reaction to new health care legislation passing.  But after fuming on Monday, I am left…well…empty.

I have been following the health care debate for some time.  I knew that the bill was supposed to be voted on this past weekend, but a Saturday filled with “honey do” projects and a Sunday filled with going to meet Dog the Bounty Hunter at a book signing, it had slipped my mind.  Monday morning, as I put on my socks, I clicked over to Google news and lo and behold, there was the announcement.  I finally got to work, quelling my anger, having to go in early because I had to be with my wife for a medical procedure that she was having.  At 7am, I had to try and put whatever was going on in my head to the side and concentrate on how boxes were stacked on pallets.

At some point in the morning, someone made me mad.  I guess it is inevitable when a temp has to tell a supervisor that something needs to be changed.  But I didn’t really ask to be a temp, nor did I need the pushback.  Not that day.  I ran out the door at 11am to be with my wife for this procedure.  I got there, only to find out that despite the fact they had told her to be there at 11am (her Mom had dropped her off), they had not taken her back yet, and it was almost 11:30.  Finally, at some point before 11:45 (I’m not really sure because I didn’t check the time) they took her back.  I asked how long the procedure would take and they said half an hour and then an hour of recovery from the anesthesia.  I settled down with my book and I waited.  Around 1pm, I began to suspect that they would be calling me soon, but they never did.  1:30 came and went and I was fighting impatience.  Finally, at 2pm, I walked back to the nurses desk to find out what was going on.  “You must be looking for Kandice, right?” the nurse asked.  When I replied in the affirmative, she told me that the doctor had been late and that she would be out soon; they were doing the procedure right now.  I returned to the waiting room and waited some more.  2:30 came and went.  3:00 came and went.  Finally, at 3:30, after an hour and a half of being told that it would be “soon” and after almost four hours since my wife had left the waiting room for her procedure, I walked back there again.  I saw my wife, sitting up on a gurney, looking very pleasant.  The nurses took the pager that had given me, which had never gone off, and as they led me to the seat beside my wife, I told them, nicely but firmly, that they needed to do a better job of keeping the family in the waiting room informed of what was going on.  We then had to wait yet another hour because the doctor wanted to speak to us about the results of the procedure and he was conducting another procedure.

Finally, around 4:30pm, the doctor came to see us.  “I don’t like what I see,” he said, and went on to explain that something was inflamed that should not be and it could mean that my wife’s initial diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis was incorrect, or that the pouch that had been created surgically was infected.  Not really good news.  We left the hospital with little hope.  I was tired from waiting and she was really tired from the anesthesia.  After we stopped for dinner, I returned home to find a few responses on Facebook from my status update about the health care bill and after a day of being angry, my words were probably more blunt than normal.  To be honest, I’m really not wanting  to talk about this health care thing anymore, suffice to say, I don’t really think that it is going to do what the Democrats want it to do and the economic ramifications of it will be, in my opinion, devastating.  For the record, that is not a prophecy, it is an opinion.  I could be wrong.  I hope I am.

After two additional days of partial-brooding, I am left where I have been many times.  I have never been one of those people that walk around with a perpetual smile on my face (at least, I don’t think).  The truth is that even though I am a Christian, I really do not expect life to be hunky-dory.  Life is tough, but God is good, as the saying goes.  I will say though that I have fallen victim to putting my hope in something other than God which is sin.  I have had to ask forgiveness for that.  It’s a lesson that I have to be continually reminded of over and over.  Where will be this landmark health care reform take us?  What will the result of my work situation be? What will the prognosis be for my wife? I really do not know, but I cannot put my hope and trust in something other than the One who offers ultimate hope and trustworthiness.  It only leaves emptiness and despair.

Now that I have written this, putting it in writing, I am left…hmmm…what am I feeling?  I don’t think its emptiness…acceptance, maybe?  I think that may be it.  And while I must confess that I feel far from hopeful, I think that acceptance may lead to hope.  And that hope, in the Ultimate Giver of health care (ok, that may have been a little cheesy) is something that I can hold on to.

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