Living with a high level of physical health challenges requires that I attend routine appointments with various medical specialists. Finding the just-right doctor(s) is no easy task, but I have that all sorted at this point in my life.
Last week, we spent an entire day driving to and from an appointment with my respiratory specialist. Before my consultation with the doctor, a technician put me through a series of tests to measure my lung function. This involves blowing in and out of a tube with a clothes-peg on my nose. Unlike some tests, it’s painless.
I was given a good report. No progression, or decline in function since my last visit. I cherish such results because they are few and far between. Let’s face it, I live with a progressive incurable disease so I’ve learned not to make expectations.
My exposure to specialty medical facilities began as a child and continues. It is profoundly eye-opening to be with a group of people who, in my view, are dealing with medical circumstances much more difficult than mine.
People with wheelchairs, scooters, canes, walkers, oxygen tanks, young, old, amputees, sit together with accompanying loved ones, and wait for their name to be called. And, even though there is an invisible haze of pain and worry in the air, it’s not depressing.
I think of it as a “compassion campus” where the love of life is the only prerequisite. The judgement of class and culture is irrelevant and replaced with a tender respect for one another.
On my way out, I chatted with a woman who admired my scooter. She had a lovely smile, was likely my age, and used a wheelchair. She was an amputee and looking for a device that would give her more mobility.
“This is all new to me,” she said. I told her there are plenty of choices and suggested she take the time to read reviews and take a few test drives.
Much like a car, you want it to feel right and be functional.
As we drove away I was humbled; I feel this way after every appointment.
It reminds me to live my life now as fully as I can.
Be grateful for today and embrace your gifts, abilities, and the love that surrounds you.