Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
I’ve often envisioned and dreamed of myself as a conference speaker. That’s how I’ve experienced many of my heroes. I would attend their conferences and be moved deeply. As the car would drive away at the close of the weekend, I anticipated the day when I’d be called on to share a stirring message with others. Like in almost everything, there’s a dignity and depravity to that dream. A search for validation lodges itself there somewhere. A heart to fight and struggle for the hearts of others thrives, too.
Well, my dream has come true.
Actually, hardly. I will be at conferences and seminars across the country and maybe even the world. Just not in the way I thought. Shannon and I sat with my doctor last week as he detailed the abnormality with my megaurator and kidneys. We sat back and got comfortable in ours chairs, now accustomed to listening to “doctor talk”. This matinee warranted four stars. The condition within me is incredibly rare for an adult. In 99.99999999999% of the cases (me being the .0000000001 %), the urator that is too big is found and taken care of in infants. It was a mystery to us that my case was not discovered long ago. In fact, it’s so rare in adults that I will need a pediatric surgeon to perform the open operation. One friend joked that the surgeon would be so thrilled about the margin for error that he might even kick back and have a few just before my anesthetic kicked in. I didn’t laugh too hard. The exceptional situation caused my doctor’s eyes to light up as he spoke. Once he finished, I broke the silence with a joke, “As rare as this sounds, someone’s probably going to be writing a book on me.”
He gave me a completely serious reply. Something like, “Actually, if I was still in my residency/fellowship, I’d definitely be writing papers on this.” Then he took it a step further, sharing that the research documented from my case and surgery would soon become famous: it will be presented at conferences and seminars across the country. A dream come true.
So that’s the latest in my medical drama. Not exactly the way I envisioned life turning out. Of course, there’s a beauty in it, too. The heartache, fear, and anger are equipping me to better sit with people in the tragedies of life. My ears more clearly understand the cacophony of pain ringing in people’s daily lives. I can better hear and enter their story. For their sake, not mine. And that is a gift. Both to me and for them. And hopefully, if I am to one day share a message from a conference stage about life and God and hope and tragedy, because of all this, it really will be about you. And not about me.