Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve....

It’s Christmas Eve and I am contemplative.  I am thinking about that first Christmas so long ago.  How the characters in that story had no idea how it was all going to play out.  That one day, 2,000 years later, I would be remembering and celebrating the birth of their son.  No, I don’t think they really had a clue.  I think they were taking one step at a time… one tenuous step… one painful step at a time.  For us, we celebrate a wondrous and happy event because we know the ending.  But they didn’t know the ending.  They probably had no idea how it was all going to turn out.  And at times, they must have feel overwhelmed, frustrated and confused.  Sometimes, I think we forget what it must to have been like for them…. for Mary and for Joseph. 

It really wasn’t a pretty picture.  Mary was young.  Possibly as young as 15.  She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph.  Her life was taking shape.  Her dreams of a family were coming true.  And then the angel came.  Telling her that she was going to have a baby.  She is obviously taken back.  She was a virgin.  How could it be?  But it was to be.  So, she takes off immediately to see her cousin in another town.  She stayed there 3 months and then returned home.  This is NOT looking good for her.  Quite the opposite.  I mean, she goes away and comes back 3 months pregnant.  It doesn’t take a genius to put this one together. Not for her family, not for Joseph, or anyone in town. 

Mary tells Joseph the story.  He is ready to end it.  But God comes to him in a dream.  Tells him that what Mary told him is true.  Joseph, God love that man, takes her as his wife.  Knowing full well that people would talk.  They would call Mary a whore.  They would call his character into question.  He would either be a fool for believing her or a liar because the baby was his. But he does it.  He choses a path that few would take. 

I don’t know how they did it?  To know people thought such damning things about you when in truth, it was the complete opposite. They would never experience, in their lifetimes, the vindication of everyone knowing the truth.  No, they would carry the burdened of false accusations and condemnation. 

But they did it.  They walked down that road.  They bore the pain and the unknown.  They trusted that God would make it right, in His time, in His way. That is faith.  That is trust.

So, this Christmas, I thank them.  I thank Mary for allowing her life to go down a totally different road than she had planned. For enduring insults and accusations.  For carrying the baby that would ultimately set us free.  I thank Joseph for being faithful.  For persevering when things surely seemed grim.  For doing the ‘wrong thing’ in his culture and taking in a woman pregnant with a child that was not his own.  Thank you for giving me a beautiful Christmas gift.

Merry Christmas….

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again...

It is that time of year again. Trees and twinkle lights, hot chocolate and candy canes, chestnuts and fires. And Pap smears.  Yup, my annual exam falls in December.  Lucky me.  It has been this way for 7 years.  It is part of the joy of Christmas for me. 

I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate these exams.  Days before the appointment, I try to come up with a good reason why I need to cancel.  I don’t know why but I feel like I need a better reason than,  I  don’t like showing my lady bits to people and being violated with a mental object that looks like a pair of salad tongs. Now that I write it out….it seems like a pretty damn good reason.  

There is only one person I trust to examine my Nether Regions and that is Caroline.  So, when I arrive to check in, I am always nervous the receptionist is going to tell me Caroline is sick and I will have to see Dr. So and So.  That might send me over the edge.  So, on my way up in the elevator, I practice what I am going say and do if that scenario happens. It goes something like this: I cock my head to the side and say, “Oh No YOU don’t.  You can’t be changing up my doctors without me knowing about it!  I’m OUTTA here!” Then I do a snap wave with my hand,  turn on my heal and storm out of the office.  To which the receptionist turns to the other receptionist, raises an eyebrow and proceeds to write on my chart:  Patient pretended to be a ‘Sassy, black, urban, teenager’ and left the building… Appointment cancelled.
No such luck today. Maybe next year.

Since this is solely a Women’s Health Practice, I find the waiting area interesting.  I am always trying to guess what other people are being seen for.  Some are obviously pregnant, some not.  I generally assume if a woman is there and looks under 40, they must be pregnant (except for me of course).  Everyone else is probably there for an array of yeast infections, herpes and Chlamydia…especially the gray haired old ladies.  Don’t be fooled by their age….they still get around.

After a short wait, the nurse calls me into the back room.  The rooms are nice and cheery but that is there way of putting you at ease before the torture begins.  This is about the time my nervous energy kicks in and I become a Stand Up Comic.  The nurse asks me all the information type questions.  Date of Birth?  Changes in medical History? How much caffeine do you have a day?  What medications are you currently on?  Etc.  I like to mess with them when they ask these questions.  I tell them that I had a heart transplant in the past year or that I wasn’t sure if they wanted to know about my recreational drug use.
As the nurse is leaving, she asks if I would mind an intern observing during my appointment?  Sure, why not.  Come to think of it, why don’t we let her DO the exam. I mean, she probably needs the practice right?  HELL YES I MIND! And that was the end of that. 
Eventually, Caroline came in and we spent so time catching up.  It is funny the connection you feel with your gynecologist.  It probably has to do with the fact that they have had their hand in your vagina more than most people… it tends to bond people.  Now, as she is doing the exam, I am trying to relax but who can relax with someone’s hand shoved up you?  It is physically impossible.  So, since I can’t relax, I tell jokes.  And I am funny.  Come to think of it, I should charge for this stuff.  Make Caroline buy a ticket for my little comedy show.  I think I will suggest that for next year.
Apparently, I have what they call an ‘irritable uterus’.  Makes sense to me.  Honestly, if you started asking some questions, I bet we would find my cervix is pissed off too.  And my Vagina? Well, I would guess she is just plain angry.  Who wouldn’t be? With all poking and swabbing.   I think I might look into getting them so therapy after the New Year.
Finally, it is over.  At least until next Christmas.  When I will go through it all again.  But I will do it.  For my husband.  For my kids.  I don’t want Eric to have to find a new wife; it would be really difficult because I am pretty damn awesome.  And, I don’t want my kids growing up without a mom; especially if it could have been prevented.  So, I guess it is my gift to them.  My Christmas gift.  I know they won’t understand that now and it probably feels like the equivalent of getting socks or underwear on Christmas morning but in the long run, it might just be one of the best gifts I could give them.
Merry Christmas Eric, Nick and Ethan…