That Should Have Been an Email
Now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s chat for a minute. The 4th of July started my week off on a very relaxing note. I did absolutely nothing all day and I really enjoyed my day off. I really like days like this because I don’t have an agenda and I can spend time with my husband and watch crappy TV shows without feeling like there is something else that I should be doing. The rest of the week crept by in a snail-like fashion. I woke up late a few mornings, stayed up way too late a couple of nights, and the workday seemed like it wouldn’t end. All four days. One thing stuck with me this week. The dreaded meeting that could have been an email.
Let me set the scene for you. I left the house at 7:55 am for work which starts at 8:00 am. I arrive to work at 8:05 and rush to my office to drop off my things and then I dash to the meeting. On the way to the meeting which is literally a couple of doors down from my office, I receive a message on my phone that says “Meeting is still on for today“. Great, everyone is waiting on me.
I walk into the meeting and we go over a few diagrams. The director asks if we have any questions and no one does. Meeting adjourned. Ok, so this diagram could have been emailed to each participant and the time could have been spent working on something else. I promise that I’m not just saying this because I was late. This actually made me think. There are other instances in my life that I tend to rush and wish they could be something as simple as an email.
A prime example is an appointment that my husband had last week. As I stated in my introduction, my husband has Chiari Malformation. We are accustomed to medical appointments now so this was a just a typical follow-up appointment. He had to get a CT scan the week before and this was the appointment to talk about the results. So we were led into the office where the nurse asked questions about symptoms and took his pulse. You know, the usual. Then we were told to sit in this quiet room, left to our thoughts while we waited on the doctor. I’m not sure if it was just me being nervous or if the doctor took a really long time to come into the room on this particular day, but I felt a bit of relief when he walked into the office.
The doctor began to read the notes from the CT scan and look at the images. He has an amazing poker face, but the length of time that it took him to look at the images and the number of clicks that he made with the mouse assured me that this was not news that we would be excited to hear. He began to speak and explained the things that he saw to us. We were able to view the images ourselves and ask questions. Then he spoke the dreaded words “You will need another operation“. I could tell that both of our spirits dropped when we heard this. We had taken two steps forward and five steps backward. Now, here comes the part that makes me cringe and compress complex life situations into email format. The waiting!
So now that we know that there will be another operation, we wait. How long? We don’t know. We have to wait on the insurance to approve the surgery and basically tell us which hospital we will use. Then the doctor’s office will have to give us a time and date. Now I’m not discounting the importance of being in a doctor’s office when you find out about a pending operation, nor am I downplaying the awesome doctor that my husband has, but in my mind, this visit played out a little like this:
Dear Mr. Kay Saga,
We have reviewed your CT scans and the images have revealed that you will need another operation. We will work closely with your insurance company to expedite the approval process and provide a surgery date for you as soon as possible. In the meantime, please be patient and do not panic if you haven’t heard anything in a week. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions that you may have EXCEPT “Have you heard anything from the insurance company yet?”. Thank you for choosing us.
I know this may sound a bit crazy to some people, but let’s be honest about feelings here. When your spouse is going through things that you can’t help them with or make go away, you feel lost. Doctor visits become stressful and you just want to tune everything out. In your mind things should be fixed quickly and waiting, even a few days, is too long.
The email version of this conversation would have been a little easier to swallow than actually being there in the moment and hearing the silence fall throughout the room. I know that this is a lesson in patience for both of us and that things will work out in the end. It is now my mission to be in the present moment and not allow my mind to race or dump things that I don’t want to deal with in email format. I am learning to feel and breathe and those are powerful tools to possess in this thing called life.