When you work out regularly and try to eat right (mostly successfully, save for a daily serving of pita chips and a few spoon forays into the peanut-butter jar); when you try to focus on what’s good in the world (and usually succeed); when you regularly practice inhaling positives like courage and peace and exhaling negatives like stress and worry, you kind of like to count on being healthy.
Because, truth be told, there are no guarantees. You know that. I know that. And I especially know that after unexpected numbers showed up in a yearly blood test, thus necessitating two similarly unexpected diagnostic tests two days after Christmas.
As I left the center following the second test, I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in years. We talked; she comforted and told me she would pray for me. When she texted me the next day and I shared my good news, she said she’d felt a peace about the outcome all along.
As for me, I alternated between wondering whether I should buy green bananas and feeling buoyed by a blanket of optimism and prayers from my sisters, their families, my son. I didn’t lose sleep; I did, though, wonder were the news not good, how long before I’d start feeling bad (which I haven’t felt in the slightest). And, quite honestly, if my son would be able to get a refund for the fancy activity watch he gave me for Christmas.
Those hours of uncertainty reminded me how life can change in an instant. How one phone call, one pivot, one touch of a doctor’s finger on a page of numbers that make no sense to us non-medical types, can jostle, if not totally alter, your world forever.
My doctor wants me to have a follow-up blood test in a couple of weeks to see if the wayward number has dropped. As tempting as it is to fret about that, I’m instead focusing on trust; replaying in my head her reassuring voice on the phone the morning after my tests. I’m also taking particular solace in the radiologist’s conviction everything was so fine that he didn’t suggest repeating the test to make absolutely certain.
The results revealed nothing; they could just as easily shown something serious. I realize that — just like I know (or know of) healthy people whose lives are sideswiped by a scary medical diagnosis. And thus I am, in the most humble, knees-on-the-floor sense of the word, awash in gratitude.
So for sunrises that have taken on new layers of awe, for pita chips and peanut butter that taste head-shakingly scrumptious, for stalwart sisters and for outcomes that allow my breath to flow normally again…The Grateful Runner says thank you.