Monday, February 3, 2014

The Thankful Heart Will Find, In Every Hour, Some Heavenly Blessings

Photo courtesy of Wallpaper Gang  
Today was a day filled with unexpected blessings.

I awakened bright and early at 6:00 AM.  My “To Do List” was long and filled with things I’d rather not do but knew they must be addressed.  I fed little Sophie her breakfast, took my insulin and the 1,000 pills I take every morning.  I hopped in the shower, got dressed and headed out the door in plenty of time (or so I thought) for my 8:30 AM appointment with my CPA.

The interstate was gridlocked making me 36 minutes late for my appointment.  I put my name on the sheet of paper on the clipboard and noticed that there were 3 other people’s names with appointments that were after mine.  The owner of the accounting service entered the waiting room, looked at the clipboard, walked to the back and told my accountant that I had arrived.

I left the house without my cell phone so I couldn’t call to let anyone know I was running late.  I thought I would have to wait.  I deserved to wait, I thought.  It’s rude to not let the person who’s waiting on you to show up know that you’re hung up.

My guy entered the waiting room, shook my hand and invited me to come to his desk.  I plopped all my paperwork in front of him.  He poured over everything and began to enter the figures into his computer.  We talked about little things while he continued to enter the data.

I sat pensively while he looked over my documents.  Last year I was hammered having to pay huge amounts on both my federal and state returns.  I had withdrawn a huge amount of money in 2012 from my Thrift Savings Plan to replace the insulation in my attic and crawlspace, put on a new roof, install new windows, buy a new refrigerator and buy a new packaged home heating and cooling unit.

The only thing I had hanging over me this tax year was a check that I had received from a life insurance policy that my mom had taken out.  She died in 1996.  I never knew she had done that.  It took the insurance company 17 years to contact me.  After a little while my guy turned to me and said that I would receive a nice check from the feds and the state would repay me $2.00. 

I felt myself breaking out in a big ‘ol smile followed by a bit of a giggle.  I thanked him profusely for his help, paid the man and walked to my car.  As I headed home I pulled into a gas station and filled up my car.  I was thirsty and walked inside to get a watermelon fruit punch-flavored sparkling water and saw a wounded warrior standing at the cooler.

We both headed to the counter.  He had a couple of things in his hands.  I told the clerk that I wanted to pay for the soldier’s stuff.  The clerk obliged and the soldier insisted that wasn’t necessary.  “Yes, sir, it is necessary,” I told him.   “You’ve sacrificed so much for me that these few trinkets are my humble attempt to pay you and your band of brothers for protecting my freedoms.”  He smiled.  We shook hands.  The clerk bagged up his stuff and we walked out the door together.  I saluted him and got back in my car.

If nothing else good happened today, the warm feeling I had would be enough to make my day.

I was now really hungry and decided to stop by a Mickey D’s near my house and get an Egg McMuffin.  While waiting in the drive-thru line, I saw a man who was filthy from head to toe.  His clothes were wet from the rain that had stopped just minutes before.

When I pulled up to the speaker, I ordered three McMuffins and an order of hash browns.  I paid the drive-thru attendant for the food and drove around the restaurant to see if I could find the man.  I found him walking alongside the road.  I pulled up behind him and put the brakes on.  I called him over and handed him the bag.  I told him there were two sandwiches and some hash browns inside.  Tears came to his eyes.  He thanked me.  I told him to take care and drove away.

I’m a pretty good judge of character.  I noticed that the man’s hands were rough and calloused.  It was pretty obvious that he had been no stranger to hard work.  The Lord had spoken to me in that drive-thru.  I knew in my heart that giving him the food was the right thing to do.

I drove the rest of the way home.  I walked inside the house and hugged little Sophie.  I told her we were so lucky.  She cocked her head to one side as though trying to understand my words.  I ate my sandwich breaking off pieces to share with her.

I felt wasted emotionally.  I needed a nap.  I laid down and awoke at 1:30 PM.  Now, I was off to an appointment with my lung specialist, but before I did that I called my cardiologist’s office to tell them how disappointed I was that I had not heard from the sleep specialist yet.  Was it a coincidence that three minutes later the sleep specialist’s nurse called to schedule an appointment?

I showed up ten minutes early at the lung specialist’s office.  The waiting room was filled with folks who were in bad shape.  A lady was seated with her oxygen tank in front of her.  A man with a tracheostomy sat beside his daughter.  I sat quietly.  How blessed am I?

Donna, who is the nurse for my lung specialist, went to Duke.  I am a big-time Duke fan.  We chatted about the game between the Blue Devils and Syracuse.  I reminded her that The Orange were coming to our house on February 22nd and that I fully expected us to return the favor by beating them at Cameron Indoor Stadium.  But…but we have the big game against the Tarheels first.

Donna left and in came the best doctor the world has ever known.  He asked how I was doing and I told him I thought I was doing great.  He listened to my lungs and laughingly said, “Show off.”  He said I sounded good.

We talked about how disappointed I was that I could not start my pulmonary rehab until October.  He said, “Yeah, I know.  I told them they needed to hire more people.  I’ll go down there tomorrow and have a chat with them.”  (I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that conversation.)

Then I told him how disgusted I was over not being contacted in a more timely fashion by the sleep specialist.  He defended the doctor noting that sleep study data is very complex to analyze and he was glad that I had called to light a fire under their ass.

I had one more thing I wanted to discuss with him.  I told him that since I first came to see him one year ago that I had received excellent care and was truly showing great improvement.  I shared with him that my regular physician had turned out to be very disappointing.  I asked if he could refer me to someone I could trust to take good care of me.

He rolled his stool over to the cabinet where a dispenser held paper towels.  He pulled out one and began to write down the names of three doctors.  He was very animated when he described them to me.  He spoke very highly of all three but his tone of voice was distinctly different when he spoke of Dr. Sensenbrenner.  He said I don’t need a “weenie”.  He said I need someone who will tell it like it is; someone who is tough but compassionate and has the best interests of the patient at heart.

I told him I would call tomorrow and set up an appointment.  Once I’ve done that I will call my current physician and kick his ass to the curb.

It’s been a good day and I have a thankful heart.

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