Yes, I know I have spent a bit of time on medical stuff this week, but allow me to do one more, and then we will move on, ok?
So, I went to my clinic yesterday, and went through all the check-in procedures, once again pledging on my honor and my word that indeed I had not been messing around with anything CoVid. When the gal at the check-in seemed to think I was telling the truth, she finally handed me my clipboard – which is the equivalent of getting a hall pass in elementary school, or being given on of the keys to the gas station bathroom that is attached permanently to a three-foot long 20 pound piece of lumber. She told me to just go down a hall, and find my way to “room 13.” I walked and walked and walked, all the time having the feeling that I was somewhere I shouldn’t be without a nurse escort. Do they really just let people wander through the clinic rooms unattended nowadays? Apparently so, but I did look around to see if there were any sharpshooters with their rifle barrels pointed down the hall, ready to take me out if I happened to make a wrong turn, or look in a room that I shouldn’t look in.
I made it to Room 13. It was empty, except for a little desk and exam table and two chairs, one of which was turned around to face the wall, in order to make sure I “social distanced” myself from whoever it was who would come in and perform the first act of the play. Nurse #1 came in after a while, sat down and immediately asked, “Did you not want to fill out the form on the clipboard?” Since no one told me to do that, but instead just take the thing to Room 13, and since I had no glasses on at the time, I explained that to her. She decided to ask me the questions verbally, which by the way are the same questions I answered online to register for the appointment two days earlier, but apparently they are concerned that I either lied or my entire life had changed in 48 hours. They are tricky questions, too – like “Are you sick?” and “Are you NOT sick?” and “Have you NOT been sick?” I find it interesting that after I am subjected to these questions, which are not unlike the ones asked of immigrants trying to get through Ellis Island, then she wants to take my blood pressure. Nothing like bringing a calm peaceful heart pumping like the third degree.
She was the first one to check my records and see that I had not had a flu shot yet this year, and that I was also in need of getting the first shot to avoid shingles. Now, indeed it might be reasonable to say I “needed” to get shots, but not so much that I have ever “wanted” to have a needle stab me in the arm, not once, but twice. Actually, I am pretty sure that Cheri had called in earlier, and said, “Make sure he gets his shots – he’s been putting them off for no good reason.” So, there I was trapped, and all I could do was tell them to do their worst.
The nurse practitioner came in after a little while, went through the exam, and then again brought up the matter of shots. I was ready this time. Already knowing the answer, I asked, “Will these shots get in the way of my getting the CoVid vaccine?” You see, I had assumed that the CoVid people wanted a clean canvas for stabbing folks, and if I were all fussed up with two other vaccines, they might reject me…
So, it was then I heard the word. “You will have to wait two weeks after getting these shots before they will give you the CoVid, but don’t worry about it – there is no way you are getting the CoVid right now… there are too many decrepit people ahead of you.” In so many words. Apparently, even though I received a text message from the clinic telling me I am in the running for the big Shot, I am closer to the rear of the pack than the front, so why not make the best of raw upper arm muscle and jab me?
I agreed, much the same way Louis XVI agreed to the guillotine. She left, and after another little while (this is why when you go to the doctor, you should bring your lunch, because once you get in there, they will never let you go…), the first nurse came in carrying the instruments of medical “procedure.” Once again, she asked a million questions, especially about eggs and chickens and if I have not NOT been sick lately (again). I must have passed the test, because she then directed me to move to the exam table, and push up my sleeve.
In terms of execution, it wasn’t that bad. The flu shot was first, and she was a good stabber. Next however, came the Shingle Shot. This apparently will prevent anyone from building a roofline across the middle of my body, or my forehead. I know, I know – it’s not a disease I ever want to get, and so if this will keep it away, then do your best. As she wound up for the stab, in the same arm, she said, “This may h….” She didn’t have to finish the words. I don’t think my eyes rolled into the back of my head, but it did seem like the rest of my limbs were commiserating with the bad fortune of my left arm. All I could say was “Wow…” and not the good wow like I won a prize or anything! The “other news,” of course, is that besides being eligible for two CoVid shots in a couple of weeks, in a couple of months I also get to get another Shingles shot. The party never ends…
Everything was fine from that point on, until I went to bed last night. Imagine getting three whole hours of uninterrupted sleep, and then waking up. Wide awake. I slept and woke up for another five hours before just getting up for good. Apparently, shingles shots can do that to you somehow.
However, now I am sort of protected, and done with the medical industry for another six months. It’s not that I hate it – it’s just that I don’t like it very well, but that’s an old story.
There are times, in living an intentional life, where you do things you would rather not do. You do things that are not comfortable, nor that feed into your private nature. You intentionally place yourself in a position to do something that indeed is better than not doing it all. You go beyond your wants and wishes, to a much more reasoned and responsible interaction with the world. The uncomfortable things, like shots in the arm, are not accidents of life – they are intentional acts to keep you from other truly accidental bad things. This is important. Be reasonable and intentional today. Do what you need to do, and should do, and even must do because it is the right and important thing to do. It’s bound to make a difference in your life for the better, believe me, even if it pinches a bit.
Word for the day: melittology. Pronounced mel-i-TALL-o-gee. This is a pretty easy and direct one, since it comes from the Greek word, melitta, meaning “bee.” The logia, of course means, “study,” so mellitology is the study of bees by entomologists. It is also sometimes called “apiology,” or “apicology,” which uses the Latin word for bee – apis. That’s why beehives are actually called apiaries, but you probably knew that already. It’s also true that a take off is the word, “melissophobia,” which is the fear of bees, since the name Melissa means “honeybee.”
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.