As many of you are aware, I was recently hospitalized as a last-ditch effort to get rid of my 8-week left side headache. (Thank you so much for your prayers, by the way. It meant so much knowing that the Veritas community was lifting me up to our heavenly Father.) I’ve been reflecting on the care I received since I’ve had SO many medical appointments lately. Here is the resounding theme I walked away with: Just listen.
It started with my first MRI. I was feeling a bit uneasy about sitting in an empty lobby and I wasn’t sure I was in the right place. I walked up to two ladies who were chatting away behind a desk. “I have a 3:00 appointment for an MRI,” I said, “am I in the right waiting area?” One of them rolled her eyes and the other one nodded her head curtly. I sat back down. Two hours later, the technician was apologizing profusely because they had called my name and I wasn’t in the right waiting room, so another patient was in the MRI. Just listen.
Cut to my hospitalization. The nurse who admitted me was ready to start my IV. My husband told her that it took seven tries to start an IV when I had one of my babies. She brushed him off. I asked her if she was really, really good at starting IVs. “Oh, yeah,” she confidently asserted. Three blown veins later (plus a significant amount of pain), she called another nurse to try. Just listen. After I was discharged, I received a call from someone who wanted to schedule my CT scan next week. “But I already had a CT scan in the hospital,” I told her. “No,” she argued, “you had an MRI. We need to schedule your CT scan.” “I had an MRI in the hospital, too,” I calmly stated. “They wheeled me over to radiology twice. Once for a CT scan and once for an MRI. I was there.” Just listen.
But wait! I have a good example to share! My family practice doctor is kind, caring, and he listens. I’m incredibly grateful that I can schedule an appointment with him and know that he will not dismiss my concerns, roll his eyes at me, interrupt or talk over me.
How are you doing in the listening department? James 1:19 says, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” We all know how it feels to be dismissed or unheard. For today, let’s make a vow to just listen.
With a closed mouth and open ears,