Like many of you, I have spent a fair amount of time sitting in hospital emergency rooms. Usually E.R. visits are filled with trauma, pain, and fear.
Our latest E.R. experience was a ten-hour visit that started last night about 10 o’clock, in what was supposed to be a vacation day.
Rather suddenly my wife began experiencing terrible pains in her side, at times accompanied by nausea and vomiting. By last night our only recourse seemed to be the E.R. After a long and sleepless night, we were grateful and relieved to have a diagnosis – a kidney stone is causing the problem.
Not knowing makes everything so much worse. A mysterious pain accompanied by long spells of waiting in uncomfortable surroundings, with no end point on the horizon, grinds you down physically, emotionally, and spiritually. For me to see my beloved wife once again in so much pain pushes all sorts of buttons. I don’t think my faith is particularly strong in these moments.
When they ask, as they must, “on a scale of 1 – 10, what level is your pain?,” you want to shout, unbearable or even unfair. Mostly you just want somebody to make it better.