Oct. 26 – Day 5
It is terrible to all of a sudden have the feeling come crashing over you that you were wrong and that the position that you held on to with such boldness was simply wrong and prideful. While it is terrible, it is humbling, and I have come to the conclusion that one of God’s main goals in his dealings with mankind is to strip us of our pride. Some people are innately more prideful than others–and I am one of those who are naturally excessively prideful, to my shame.
It is exactly because of this that God had a strange thing happen to me while in “prison” for 5 days. On the afternoon when I had written last I convinced those in change of me that I was not sick in a contagious way and they were convinced of it. But government policy stated that I needed to have this affirmed by a doctor. So I went in to see one, and I was enamored with the idea that I would be let out on this day. I went into a packed little clinic and waited for my turn to be seen. I sat down on some dusty chairs and breathed heavily through the annoying blue mask they had me wear. I was incredibly conscious of my surroundings and I didn’t want to touch anything–the last thing I wanted to do was get Swine Flu, because I obviously didn’t have it!
Almost three hours later I finally went in to be seen. It was kind of ironic because it is predictive of how the health care in America will treat all of us in the near future, since the Health Care Bill recently passes (barely). We shall see what happens, to me it is of no consequence, but for those who actually had the money to get good health care, like most Americans, I pity them, they are in for quite the ride the next time they go to the hospital.
As I went in to be seen by the doctor, she gave me some preliminary tests, as usual–checking my height, my weight, my temperature, etc. Then we went through the usual routine and I explained my almost non-existent symptoms and she agreed with me that my problem was not contagious and that it was a normal sinus cold. She was obviously in a hurry so she asked, “Does your school need me to do a test for Swine Flu?” I called up my Dean and he said it was not necessary. Perfect–I could get my note, some antibiotics and go back to real life. It felt great to think of what I could do that night–the renown singer Shawn MacDonald was playing that night at school and there were all kinds of things I wanted to catch up on in “real life”. I was done with “purgatory” and done with “prison”. I was tired of the long empty halls and the laughter that crept in through the closed doors from the outside. It was a nice Friday afternoon for everyone else, yet when I got out it would be like Christmas morning!
“Let me check with my supervisor…you can never be too sure…” she said quickly slipping out the door. Come on, let me go home! I thought. It was 5 o’clock, I wanted to be back for supper.
The nurse came back in a few minutes later and announced: “She wants us to check just in case, so let me take the test quickly here.” A swab of cotton on a stick went into my nose and she pulled it out and proceeded to leave the room, “I’ll let you know the response in ten minutes…”
Stupid. Boring. I’m not sick, darn it! I was very frustrated by now and I was becoming impatient and my head hurt.
But then the sly thought slipped into my mind, what if I did have Swine Flu? Now that a test was being done, it became a 50-50 gamble. My mind told me that I didn’t have it, but a strange sense was whispering–what if?
It was a long ten minutes and I was feeling extremely anxious. The longer I waited the more my anxiety grew. I started biting my nails. I started pacing the 6-foot room. I tried not to think about it, but I couldn’t stop.
“Okay God, I am pretty sure I don’t have the Swine Flu” I finally prayed, “but if I do have it, I will willingly go back to the dorm and go back into solitary confinement.” I committed myself to God’s plan, even though my brain told me I was foolish to think such things.
“Guess what?” the nurse said, looking in the room as she partially opened the door. I looked up nervously and she continued, “It came back positive.”
“Positive?” I wondered.
“You have Swine Flu!” she explained.
My heart sank.
“Aren’t you glad we checked?” She whispered, smiling large.