Be Strong. Take Heart.

In the Waiting Line

I haven't been writing much.  My hands are swollen and painful and my heart is heavy with reality.  There are so many things that I want to do that I cannot.  I want to play music, I want to run and I am painfully trying to write.  This entry is isn't about feeling sorry for me though.  It is about sitting in the mud, on the floor in the deepest abyss that you can imagine.  It is about sitting there and looking up at the impossible and saying,"I'm still here, and I'm still fighting the darkness."
I was watching people in many lines waiting the other day at the grocery store.  They are all in a rush.  Everyone is in a rush.  I am not.  I often watch life as if it is a movie and I am the camera.  I take in everything around me and think about what makes things work, and what slows things down.  The grocery store for instance.  Everyone runs around, gets their stuff and then they wait in line to pay for it.  Several stores have tried all kinds of things to speed up this process again because everyone is in a rush.  Nothing really works though.  Self-checkout lines always have the rookies or the software glitches that slow down the lines.  Normal lines always have price checks.  Everything has something that slows down the process.  The main reason for the checkout process is so that they can see everything you have so that you are not stealing from the store.  They will tell you differently but that is the main reason that checkouts are constructed the way they are.  What if the carts had scanners on them so that every item you put in your basket you scan.  Maybe even have a weighing device that measures product weight as well.  When you are finished you go up to the bagging area and place everything in bags, pay and leave.  No waiting lines.  Everyone does things at their pace.
I mention waiting lines because I seem to be waiting in them as well.  I have to be diligent in pushing my doctors to keep trying to find out what is going on with my body.  It isn't because they don't care.  It is because they have to many people to deal with on a daily basis and if I am not in line then they don't "check me out".  So I call every so often pushing for more testing, more inquistion.  I am my own advocate for my healthcare because as most of you know, there is no one out there doing this for you.  So I put myself in the waiting line to have procedures completed and tests run.  And then I wait for the results.  Some of the tests are major and can have life altering effects or they could be negative and it means that you just have to find another path of research to resolve the problem.
This Wednesday, I will have a biopsy of my abdomen so that they can take a piece of that tissue and stain it with Congo Red.  If it turns green then it means that my tissue has the amyloid protein in it.  It means that I have amyloidosis.  This would mean that unless I had extreme treatment that worked like stem cell transplantation then I would be dead in around three years give or take a year.  This is a heavy thought to carry with you while waiting in the waiting line.  After I get the biopsy then I will put it on the checkout counter and at that point it is out of my hands.  It is what it is.  If it is positive, I will fight through what is given to me.  If it is negative, then I will keep looking and fighting the daily pain and strange symptoms my body is throwing at me.  I just feel deep in my heart that I have more to do in this life and that somehow I will get through this.
So I stand in the waiting line just like everyone else, just for different things.  But we are always better whent that process is over.  Most people wheeling out of the grocery store have a smile because they are not in the waiting line anymore.  They have what they need so that they can move forward with their lives.  I am pushing to get out of the waiting line, to get what I need so that I can deal with whatever it may be.  I smile in the line but it is a burdened smile.  I want my old smile back.  The one that isn't covering a monster inside.  I want a smile that is covering a strong, healed person.  Now that will be a hell of a smile.
So the next time you are in a waiting line remember, the line will end eventually, it always does.  Just make sure that you are getting everything you need and that you checkout with a smile.  And still remember that letting someone if front of you won't displace your standing in life.  If you measure your standing in life by where you stand in line then where you are standing is where you will always be.  But if you let others first and don't worry so much about your place in line, life is easier and it will make your standing change the heart of a stranger.
Much love to all the family and friends that have called, written and prayed in support.  A special thanks to Jon & Carolee.  You guys are in the hands of God and it shows.  Thank you for loving us.
Andy BarwickComment