On the way into work on Thursday morning I was in a dark place - exhausted, discouraged, sad and hopeless. An optimist by nature, this is a hard place to get to, and I'm so rarely there that I don't have a lot of plans for getting back OUT. I climbed out of my car into a pile of bright yellow leaves and even THAT didn't make me smile. On the way into the building I struggled to find something, ANYthing, I could sincerely and without a trace of snark tell God I was thankful for.
As I contemplated the number of patients I knew were loaded into my schedule against the amount of paperwork backed up on my desk, I rewound the weeks' workload and realized....very few of my scheduled patients had actually kept their appointments.
"No Shows" are a chronic problem in our office. Our patients are poor, mentally ill, careless, overstressed, and overbooked. They run out of minutes, pay their rent ahead of their phones, don't get reminder calls and take extra work hours when they are offered. And sometimes the 'no shows' come in clusters. The only reason I'd been able to manage all Babygirl's phone calls to the school and all her docs was because my patients weren't there.
So I stopped, and said a 'thank you' for the no shows. It wasn't much, but it was, honestly, the best I could do.
Babygirl's neurologist called, concerned about the medications and the kidney. The bottom line is that he doesn't want to be responsible for wiping out her kidney function. He's not. But he's freaked, a little. Nephrology didn't call. The school called. I told them not to send a tutor. Babygirl's still just too sick.
Friday morning, after 24 hours without the lisinopril, Babygirl awakens with a small tummyache and a small headache, overall, an improvement. I asked her if she could handle a tutor and she said yes, so the school sent one over for a couple of hours after school. Nephrology called and said they want the kidney retested Monday, so we won't know if the kidney damage is permanent or temporary until then.
Last night we went out for dinner. Babygirl ate a salad and part of a bowl of soup, the most I've seen her get down at one sitting in over a week. We went to Barnes and Nobles and she bought a Manga, getting into an animated conversation with the sales clerk about his 6-month stay in Japan. It was beautiful, heartbreakingly beautiful, to see.
Crawling up out of any hole takes time. Each battering we take lays open scars laid down by the last one and revives fears barely buried. We keep walking. Falling. Crawling.
Lord, give us the strength to get back up. Again. And again. As many times as it takes.