Working in the ER at the hospital in my local town, I had the wonderful opportunity (read: misfortune) to meet all sorts of people. I worked there for five years and learned that there are some rare breeds in these parts. Some days, I felt like I needed to buy a ticket to The Freak Show before I clocked in to work. I should’ve been paying to see some of the things and people that walked through the door of the ER. One time there was a lady who had just been discharged from the ER and needed to make a phone call to her cousin’s ex-wife’s sister’s brother’s daughter-in-law’s mom, who just so happened to also be her brother. While this might sound slightly exaggerated, I can almost guarantee you it is not. How else would you explain these rare breeds?? Anyway, I could not help but overhear her conversation that went a little like this: “Hey Bobby. This is Linda Sue Ellen. The doctor said I done got that flumonia, you know that disease that makes ya real sick. Anyway, come get me. And bring me one of them 32 oz cokes from the Kum&Go. And some smokes. And hurry up. I ain’t got no shoes on and it’s cold outside and them insurance people are wanting my $3 copay for Medicaid and I ain’t paying no dang $3.” A part of me wanted to be mad at her but then the other part just had to feel sorry for her because, you guys, she had the flumonia. Poor thing. Flumonia: a rare cross between pneumonia and influenza? You tell me…..
Anyway, all that to say, my trip to the East Coast was amazing other than ending up with a nasty stomach virus on the last day I was there. I missed my flight back to Missouri because I could barely even stand, I was so weak. My cousin took me to the hospital and after a few tests and a liter of fluids, it was determined I probably had the flu. So, I can relate to poor Linda Sue Ellen who had the flumonia and I’m here to tell you, it is no fun. Although, a 32 oz coke and a pack of smokes is the last thing I wanted when I was leaving. As I was being discharged from the hospital, the very kind nurse looked at me and said (and I quote!), “Sweetie, get home, get better, and take care of those barefoot Missourians.” She hit the nail on the head with that one!!
I was able to reschedule my flight for later in the afternoon yesterday, which worked out great because this flight in particular was far from being full so I sat in the very back and had a seat to myself so I could stretch out and sleep. And I met a very kind gentleman who got my bags for me….probably because I looked like I had just crawled out from underneath a boulder. I was in rare form! I looked like one of the patients at my local hospital!! I was publicly unacceptable yesterday! But thanks for the kindness, Ash! I’m much like my Aunt Roxanne in that she never went anywhere without meeting people and making new friends. I love that she passed that trait along to me. At her funeral, there were so many people there that she had met on various vacations and cruises from all over. She was a friend to everyone. There’s a quote that says, “Try to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy or brightened a small town by your contribution.” This is exactly how my aunt lived and how I pray that I live my life as well. And when I get the chance to meet people who show this kindness to me, it reminds me of really how important it truly is. So, I guess getting sick wasn’t so bad at after all. Trying to find the silver lining in being sick might sound silly to some, but to me, well why not?
I was thinking on my way home last night that the last time I had been this sick was my last day that I was in Africa a couple years ago. I remember being so weak and wanting to be home in my bed and in the familiar surroundings of my home and the convenience of clean hospitals if needed. That long flight home was miserable and when I stepped off the plane I cried just knowing that if I was going to die, I’d die on American dirt. Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic, but you get my point. Then last night, I was thinking again about how miserable it is being sick in general but being sick in an unfamiliar place is even worse. How do missionaries do it? I suppose that when God asks you to do something, you just pray for peace and when situations like those occur, you continue to trust that He put you there for a reason and wouldn’t allow things to happen that He isn’t capable of taking care of. If God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it, right?!?! I’m not saying that being sick on the East Coast is even comparable to what missionaries go through in foreign countries, but you get my point. All I know is that I need God in every single moment of my life. Without His grace and mercy, where would I be? When I was so sick yesterday, of course I was a little bit scared. I didn’t have my mom or dad there with me, and even though I’m 26, I still wanted the comfort of my parents. I had to let my faith be bigger than my fear.
I’m home now and I slept a total of 17 hours. That flumonia knocked me plumb out. But I’m finally feeling better and have some sort of an appetite back so I MUST BE ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY!! Ya’ll know I love to eat! My dad has quarantined me to the basement and I have strict orders to spray anything I touch with Lysol and if I need anything from upstairs, I’m to call him and he will place my order at the top of the stairs and after I’ve washed my hands and put on a mask, I am then allowed to come to the top of the stairs to retrieve my order. You’d think he’s never been around sick people…….isn’t that what he does for a living?? Anyway, who am I to judge?
Love you guys! ~Rach