In the heydey of the Roman Empire, a conquering hero who returned to Rome was often (depending on the temper of the Senate or Caesar) given a parade through the city called a “triumph”. As parf of this, a slave followed the hero’s chariot throughout the procession — the slave’s only function was to murmur from time to time the phrase “Remember, thou art mortal”. No one lives forever and one day, the hero’s deeds would only be memories.
Today, I heard that whisper myself. I thought I was ready to get back to it — I had gotten out of the hospital, took my meds like a good little girl and even went and bought correctly fitted shoes. I was sure I was on the high road.
Unfortunately, a couple of days later, things started back down and I was in a lot of pain, my foot was swelling up and I was having a heck of a time trying to get a doctor’s appointment at the hospital where I’d been admitted a couple of weeks ago.
Finally, a wonderful appointment person at the Clinic’s Willoughby Hills office heeded my pleas for help and called me back when a cancellation became available. I wish I had her name — she almost certainly kept me from getting worse and I’d love to thank her publicly.
Anyway, to make a long story somewhat shorter, the doctor at the Clinic said in no uncertain terms that I belonged back in the hospital — an infection as bad as she felt this one was needed to be treated on an inpatient basis. And to add to the fun, when I got to Lake West, the doctors ran a bunch of tests and told me there was every chance a blood clot was floating around and, in addition to being treated for the infection, I had to have a CT scan to ensure no blood clots were in my lungs.
It’s almost midnight now. I just came back from the CT scan room, and I’m waiting. I’m not sure if it’s just the test or if they’re clearing a room or what, but here I am anyway. If was a little scared before, I’m incredibly scared now. No, that’s not exactly right. The idea that I’ve got a blood clot in my lung is not exactly comforting. And I fear pain and potential disability.
I’ve always said that I wasn’t afraid of death, just of dying. I believe there is more than this life — as a Christian, I believe that “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (I Cor. 2:9). I do love Him and I believe I’ll be with Him when I die.
I admit, though, that I’m a little frightened by the thought of fighting for a breath that never comes, for the pain of organs fighting to work properly. And I’m not READY to die — there’s a lot I’d still like to do. Although most people probably feel that way; but hey! 51’s not that old. I haven’t made it to Montréal yet! 🙂
So I “compose my soul in patience” and wait, and think about the other people in the other rooms, who are going through their own journeys and pains, and their families who are waiting to hear. I can pray for them while the doctors and nurses are doing whatever they’re doing.
And I remember that the journey never really ends. It just goes on a different road.