Today’s post is the first guest post that we’ve published on And He Walked With Me. My friend and mentor Dr. Bill Bagents offers some thoughts about a small medical procedure he recently had. I appreciate Bill’s wise insights.
Because of my brother’s recent bypasses, my doctor expressed strong interest in having my heart checked. Because this agreed with my parents’ wishes, I chose to cooperate. Thus the minor medical adventures began.
Turns out that I don’t qualify for a stress test due to lack of symptoms. That doesn’t grieve me at all. I had a stress test once, years ago. I found it surprisingly non-stressful. As per usual, my blood pressure was a bit high in the doctor’s office. It’s generally well-behaved at home, so I’ve diagnosed myself with “white coat syndrome.” You can google it.
Thanks to Laura’s good insurance, I did qualify for an echocardiogram and a carotid duplex. It’s strange to lie on a table and watch images of your heart function. I found it entertaining that some of the images looked like moving Rorschach cards. It’s amazing to learn how much a simple and non-invasive test can reveal.
I also qualified to wear a heart monitor for 48 hours. Getting it required a trip to the main medical office “across from the Cox Boulevard church building.” If you pass the church building, go another quarter-mile, skip the building on the boulevard, and find the bigger building behind the medical offices, it is “across from” that church building. I will admit wondering if this was part of the stress test that I didn’t qualify for.
I’m glad I’m ambulatory, as the testing part of the medical complex was “take a left, take the second hallway to the right, at the end of that hall go left, sign in, sit down.” To do that, you walk through two seas of humanity (obvious exaggeration) in large waiting rooms. My waiting room was far smaller and filled with some really pleasant people.
Half an hour later, the nurse called for Regents. Turns out that was me. With a last name like Bagents, you learn to be imaginative. Wore the monitor, took the tests, and I seem to be relatively OK for the shape that I’m in. I’m also more grateful than I was.
- To date, I’ve spend amazingly little time in medical offices. Most of my time with doctors has been waiting with others. Six decades of health is a HUGE blessing.
- When I visit medical offices, they’re happy to see me. I have enough plastic in my pocket to keep the financial relationships going.
- So far, I’m able to walk in and walk out. All my medical adventures have been minor.
I know it won’t always be that way. Unless the Lord returns soon or I die suddenly, my health will eventually erode.
I hope my minor medical adventures will give me more compassion and understanding for those whose adventures aren’t minor. I hope my minor issues will make me more thankful for my current level of health and strength. I hope my minor adventures will keep reminding me to pray for friends and brethren who face struggles that I can’t begin to understand. I hope we all realize and remember that we aren’t permanent here. Our forever home with God awaits us
(2 Corinthians 5:1-8, John 14:1-4). That home will be sweeter than our very best dreams.