Health, Health Care, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatoid Disease

Beautiful Kidneys, or a Way with Words

you-have-a-way-with-wordsThis morning we drove to the other side of town while it was still foggy out; I had an appointment for an upper abdominal ultrasound. After many years on methotrexate, my blood work began reflecting elevated liver enzymes last summer, and my new-as-of-last-week rheumatologist wanted a closer look.

A very nice technician took me back into the depths of the outpatient center and began the study.

“Take a deep breath, as deep as you can … Hold onto it … … … … Breathe. Excellent!”

I found the repetition reassuring. While I cannot control the medical “grade” I receive, at least I know that from a behavioral point of view, I cooperated to the best of my ability, held my breath as long as asked, and over and over received the affirmation, “Excellent!” A+, right?

It was a complete upper abdominal ultrasound, so it took a while. Just when I was feeling more relaxed, the technician had to press a little harder to get her angle, and I coughed. And coughed. And coughed. The student observing was sent for a cup of water. I half-sat up, awkward, en déshabillé. The technician never lost her calm, good-natured expression. We began again, and I was asked to roll toward her.

That’s when she asked what work I do. When I answered, her face flashed recognition; she said, “I’ve heard you preach, at Saint Thingummy’s! I remember that sermon; it might be the only sermon I’ve ever remembered. It was about the ocean.”

I tried to remember the sermon while maintaining focus on breath held and released. “Excellent!”

She asked if I would allow the student to take some extra pictures, as part of her training. Of course, I said. “She has beautiful kidneys,” said the technician to the student. “Why don’t you get me xyz measurements?” She left us alone.

Beautiful kidneys. I guess that’s something.

The technician returned to walk with me out to the waiting room. “Was it,” I asked, “about being knocked over by the waves?”

“Yes,” she said, “my husband remembers it, too. You have a way with words.”

So do you, excellent technician. So do you.

3 thoughts on “Beautiful Kidneys, or a Way with Words”

  1. I just love that a. you have beautiful kidneys, b. that you ask for an A+ at the doctor’s office (I do all the time. Every. Time. and c. that you had the opportunity to experience how God uses you and your gifts to far flung and unexpected places.

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