In Live more simply

Going to the doctor has turned me into a total jerk

Last week I scheduled my annual medical checkup.  On my list of favorite things to do, this one ranks in the same category as unblocking drains.

First up, I went for a simple blood test.  I’ve had loads of these in my lifetime – no problem.  But this one leaked.  Into my arm.  Within a few hours my arm was covered in deep red and purple bruises and by the next day it was painful every time I moved.  My mood soured and turned as blue as my arm.   And I was not yet done with the medical examinations.

The next day I sat filling out one of those forms that the medical profession’s receptionists dream up during their slow season.  I filled out the reams of information, all the while my arm was throbbing.  I had barely sat down after handing the completed tome back when I heard a loud sigh emanating from behind the counter.  In her loudest voice, just short of shouting, the receptionist informed me and the entire waiting room that I had filled the form out incorrectly.  To a chorus of suppressed sniggers I slunk back to the counter.  “Here”, she jabbed at the offending information.  I read it, re-read it and wondered what made her, a total stranger to me, decide my name and address was wrong.  “That should be your husband’s information,” she said.  I looked up just in time to see her rolling her eyes.  And that is when I turned into a total jerk.

My arm hurt and I did not like being turned into the waiting room’s entertainment for the morning.  I proceeded to explain to her, in a voice I reserve for fools and dithering idiots, why my husband’s information was completely irrelevant.  I took great pains to put forward every reason I could think of and some that I just plain made up.  By the time I had finished not one person in the waiting room dared to make eye contact with me.  Not even a lick of a snigger could be heard.  I sat down, feeling justified – an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Except that is not where it ended.  Later that night, when the throbbing had subsided and my emotions were not all riled up, I thought about the incident and I was ashamed.  My excuse – I was in pain and in a bad mood for having a bunged up arm for no good reason.   The scriptures teach that we should confess our faults one to another so this is me confessing.  I was a jerk.

Next time someone pushes my buttons I’m going to give them a break.  I’m going to assume they’re having a bad day.  I’m going to walk the second mile and I’m going to turn the other cheek. I am not going to render evil for evil or riling for riling.  I’m going to remember, take pity and show compassion.  At least, I pray that this is what I do.

Also, I’m going to apologize to the receptionist.  In fact, I apologize to all receptionists everywhere.


Question: I clearly need some tips on how to stay cool under pressure.  Any ideas out there?

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