Thursday, 17 October 2013

a glimpse of mortality

Waiting for my hospital appointment for an ultrasound scan, on my foot, was the first conscious dwelling on the possibility of it being anything other than an innocent lump. The two GP’s who had seen it already were ‘fairly confident’ is was innocent, but ‘just wanted to make sure’.

How fairly is fairly, I began to wonder? I remembered being fairly confident I’d get an A in my English Literature A level, but came out with a C! I recalled many a football season and even more matches, when I’d been fairly confident of victory, like England v Poland in 1973 and the Liverpool v Wimbledon FA Cup Final in 1988 (especially painful going on a bus load of Wimbledon fans!).

I looked around the waiting room and just hoped I looked a tad healthier than everyone else! Then I began to recall friends who’d been diagnosed following the routine visit, I’d assumed this would be.

‘Here I am, wholly available Lord’ I prayed, thinking (as if the Lord might not notice) I’d prefer my wholly available to include my left foot!
‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news’ … yes, Lord, but how much more useful to have two feet! By now, the smile on my face, which brought a strange look from the elderly woman opposite had descended into a thoughtful frown as I began to contemplate a false leg.
What if the Lord had other things in mind than a long life, here on earth? Humour has always been a useful defence mechanism, but facing reality has been a watchword, so this was getting tense.

Thankfully the NHS came up trumps. No long wait. In, at an earlier time, than my allotted appointment. A really speedy diagnosis. An innocent fibroma ‘caused by running a lot’. At this point I resisted asking the Doctor to put that in writing, so simply said, ‘in that case, can I say I’m delighted to meet you’. Thinking – oh how trite this sounds and I bet you get this all the time. A big relief and I’d only been thinking, seriously, about it for half an hour.

Of course, my diagnosis meant it easy to post this. Of course, I’ve preached on how we avoid the death reality clause, built into the fabric of our human being. What I realised is I’ve become too aneathitised against death, which is really unhealthy for anyone, never mind a Christian. So thank you Lord for re-opening my eyes.