A NEW PERSPECTIVE (Immortality 2)

My friend and I resumed our conversations, having had a few days in between to contemplate things, and to have some more tests done. He informed me that a very, very complete blood panel was run on Monday morning, and his family physician had sought out whatever results were immediately available, and said that so far, everything was good.

There needs to be some comment about that physician. Both of us have known him for years, and he is one of a rare breed—totally thorough and patient oriented; in fact, he had a falling out with some former colleagues, all younger, partially due to what he describes as their focus on earning money and not on patients.  And both of us had recently resumed using his services, each of us having been working in other communities for several years. We are indeed fortunate to have him available and hope that he is able to continue treating people, not patients. His advanced age and multiple infirmities don’t seem to slow him down, as well as his commitment to the community of the state as a whole through his connections with the University and politically.

Back to the discussions. My friend said that the doctor admonished him for being negative, conjuring up final scenarios when a diagnosis has yet to be rendered. His reply to that was that the neurologist and his PA had both implied some tragic ending waiting in the wings, without being specific. This local doctor, actually the one who had referred my friend to the neurologist, gave him more information along with the scolding, and brightened up the day! I also entered into the attitude adjustment; I quoted to him some words from an Islamic friend of mine, taken from the Q’uran, and emphasizing a positive approach to dealing with the issues. And here is where the “new perspective” enters the picture.

The doctor asked my friend if he knew why there had been a spinal tap ordered for this morning; Friend said he thought it was to determine the kind of auto-immune condition in order for it to be treated. The doctor said that was partially correct; the actual intent was to test for Multiple Sclerosis as all the symptoms he has are classic examples of that disease. Friend’s first response to learning that he is saddled with a disease potentially terminal, after leading an active, healthy, and not-yet-complete life was a big shock. Now, there appeared a great sense of relief, knowing that he has accepted the fact that he does have some kind of condition and that if it is MS, that is one that not only is usually not fatal, but more often than not allows a person to lead a fairly normal life of travel, sports, and all the other activities one would want. I noted the new perspective—one of hoping for a disease of choice! Both of us know many people having MS, and have functioned normally for many years.

So, for my Friend, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. It may be permanent, transitory, or even (perish the thought) be the headlight of a locomotive rushing toward him. He will find out in a week or so the source of that light, and be given the tools to deal with it. And, as my Islamic colleague would indicate, he has at least been given the gift of Time.

Always Be Happy!                         Triumph Over Worry!

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