All plans for the morning changed as we went back to the ER for the third time. I entered the ER as if on a crest of a wave – shortly after, a dozen or so folks swept in behind me, each looking for help – for health – for that sensation of well-being, strength, calm, and vigor. At least this is what I was looking for. All I could “see” was an abdominal inflammation and discoloration – my imagination ruled.
Mercifully, a triage doctor saw me, and pulled up the lab report, quickly learning I did not have MRSA, which the previous ER doctors assumed. (My lab work had not been finished at the time.) I learned that without lab reports, doctors treat what they suspect, while, if they have a conclusive lab report, doctors can treat based on what they see and objectively know. This doctor saw the remains of a sebaceous cyst that somehow had become infected. The cyst may have formed around an insect bite in I received in 2005. He proceeded to remove the offending substances, and remind me to follow up in a few days.
So, five years ago, an insect bit or stung me on my abdomen; I don’t know what. But I developed a tiny bump on which I could see what looked like bite marks. I showed it to a few doctors during routine physicals – and they were not concerned. No other signs of trouble until last week when the first symptoms presented and I took myself to a walk-in clinic. Was there really a connection? I don’t know – but I see in this experience a lesson.
Small problems, left unattended for whatever reason, may generate unanticipated or unintended consequences. Small duties, ignored for whatever reason, may also generate unanticipated or unintended consequences. And bypassing even the smallest opportunity to show kindness may generate unforeseen or unintended sorrow. Often overwhelmed – paralyzed – by news of world events, I need to remember that attending to the small stuff is where I can make the biggest difference.
God willing, an ER doctor was able to help me by excising the scars of an old wound. God willing, tomorrow, I’ll be able to do the next thing to hold my place in the human race. And God willing I’ll return a portion of the kindness, compassion and help shown me these past few days.
“Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin, . . . "
(Zechariah 4:10 TLB)