The conversation spun round and round until I finally stopped her, having been sufficiently spanked for not picking a primary doctor sooner.

Dr. Rheumy's medical assistant seemed angry with me, her tone curt and unhelpful. She said things I know are not true. (She was adamant that some blood work, ones she has ordered for me before, are outside of their scope.)

So, I stopped asking questions and told her I would search for a new doctor without her input, and her response was to give me a customer service line, as if I called to complain.

I had called for her help, and when she called back days later, my request was met with fear and threats. Threats that if I don't 'take care of myself', the consequences could be serious.

(I called to get an appointment, to be seen. Oh well.)

I got off the phone and realized how often I react to fear. Fear if I don't take certain meds, my autoimmune disease will take over my life. Fear that if I take immunosuppressants, I will trash my liver or face lymphoma.

Fear my kids are not prepared for the future, when I visit the school.

Fear over the economy.

Fear I will pick the wrong candidate.

And when I am scared, I am easy to bully.

I am capable of making difficult decisions and taking charge when I need to. I tend to forget that. I tend to look too long and hard at the experts - the church, the politicians, doctors - for answers.

I'm sick of it.

The bus rolled up and soon, my garage was full of neighbor kids, ones I worry about during these hard times. I tend to hold my fear inside; cry privately over their often neglected lives, their families stretched further than mine.

I feel powerless.

But I'm not. Neither are you. I made simple snacks and sat out on the porch, watching the kids run and play.

One of the boys - one that's in foster care and has already suffered enough, born to meth addicts and saddled with chronic health problems of his own - smiled and thanked me for the snack.

I told him he is always welcome here, and I meant it.

And at the risk of sounding trite, I believe we have the tools to make our world whole, to make a difference, each in our own small way.


thank you for the reminder that we each have the power to make a difference for ourselves and for others. Telling a foster kid he is always welcome at your home- that may be the first time anyone has ever said that to him. Even knowing when to stop talking-as with the medical assistant- may not have felt good, but did not prolong the unpleasantness so you could move on with your day and find better ways to get the answers you need. I am slowly learning.
That was so beautiful, Lisa. I love the way you write. So powerful...so stirring...yet quietly inspiring at the same time.
Anonymous said…
I like this post a lot... nicely written and so true.

Thank you!
Bee said…
Now that is making lemonade from your lemons. Thank you for reminding me of it's sweetness.
Mrs. G. said…
Me too!

I can be crippled by fear. Sometimes I literally yell "f*ck it!" to snap out of it. Try it...it works.
Lola Bacon said…
I certainly needed to hear that right now. I love the way you write and the things you write about. Thank you for sharing these parts of yourself, it's already making a positive difference in at least one life.
I get it. There are many many things over which we have NO control. Scary things. But we can control how we react, what we do, who we appear to and model for our children. Beautiful post.
*thank you*

I had one of those snap out of it moments when I got off the phone Monday. Something shifted.

I feel like I've been in this weird fugue lately, in robot mode.

And so scared all the time...

I don't know what I'd do without my blogging community. :)
I totally feel ya sister. This was such a powerful, passionate post.
katydidnot said…
you are amazing. and i think it's wise that you realized that you can be bullied when you're afraid. that's a good thing to know.
How heartwarming. The answer is in our own backyard. Or garage, depending : )

I understand your fear, from the other side. My husb has an autoimmune disorder. I've faced down that fear many times.
Saucy said…
Hey Lisa,

What autoimmune disease is weighing you down? For me it is rheumatoid arthritis and it BITES. Let's stick together sister. Sisters in meds.
Daisy said…
What a fabulous post. I loved it. You're so right...fear can be debilitating (sp?). We must reach deep inside and find strength.
Christi said…
I don't want to be bullied either.
lapoflux said…
This really resonated with me - I've been tinking about it since I first read it (too quickly, on the way out the door) yesterday. Thank you.
And lovely about the little boy down the street.
Madge said…
amen. and we have to keep reminding each other of this as well.......
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
Amen Sista'. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of what is *true* and *important* You have a way with words! I needed that on a pretty *blue* day. XOXO, Emily
stephanie said…
You are remarkably, amazingly poised in my eyes. I want to have your calm insight when I grow up.

Can we schedule the after-school-meetings thing again? I relish your presence :)
Saucy said…
What you did was to extend yourself in a random act of kindness towards that young fellow who needed a soft place to land and a little snack... isn't that all it takes to ease your own fear and suffering? The power of a gift. Thank you.
Kudos to you for giving life a little kick back in the butt - and for carig about kids who need it most.
Oh, Lisa, you are such a powerful woman and writer. I'm just sitting here in awe of you right now. I am behind in reading and just got around to this post today. No accident. (I'm famous for making everything into a SIGN.) This post was just what I needed today, just what my heart needed today. Thank you.
Beck said…
I needed to hear this today - it really was a necessary reminder to step away from the grip of my own fears.
Thank you.

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