Day 24 – Patients and Patience, What the Doctor Said

When we arrived at the doctor’s office yesterday for my follow up visit about 3 weeks after my back surgery, the parking lot was packed.  It was the same way in the waiting room.  My wife Marta had taken the day off so that she could drive me to the appointment for a couple of reasons.  First, one of my restrictions following the surgery was that I was not supposed to drive.  Between taking pain medications and muscle relaxers which can make you drowsy and the difficulty that nerve irritation can have on some people’s ability to feel and manipulate their feet adequately, NO DRIVING is a common restriction for a few weeks following back surgery.  The second reason she wanted to go was to hear everything the doctor told me.  I have been to doctors before and apparently omitted “pertinent” information when reporting back to my spouse.  Marta also wanted to divulge to the doctor an unconfirmed report that one day when I was left alone I had swept our entire house (which has tile floors throughout) using a Swiffer Max broom.  This report has neither been confirmed nor denied and no reliable photos or other evidence have yet surfaced to sustain the accusation.

We arrived for the 10:45 am appointment at 10:30 am.  We were finally called back about five minutes past noon!  Many years ago this would have bothered me greatly and I would have felt the need to let somebody know exactly how I felt and maybe even given them a piece of my mind.  Through the years I have learned a couple of things.  One, I cannot afford to lose any more of my mind.   I need to hang on to every piece I have, so I no longer give a piece of it away so freely, especially when it only involves me having to wait.  This doctor’s office has never had problems with making me wait before, as a matter of fact, I usually get in early and the receptionist did indicate they were running behind and stated they would get to us as quickly as possible.  So what happened on this day?  I don’t know.  Maybe they had overbooked for the day or maybe there were some special cases which required extended time and attention from the doctor.  Maybe some people were having hard times dealing with the emotional issues of learning that they would have to endure yet another surgery.  Maybe someone had been in a car wreck in the early morning hours and the doctor had been in an emergency surgery.  I don’t know what had occurred.  But I do know this.  I was okay.  I was waiting with my wife.  We had time together; time to plan our lunch, time to plan our day and time to laugh about what a memorable anniversary day this would be compared to the other 25 we had experienced before.

We ended up having a good report with the doctor.  He reviewed some new X-rays and said things looked great.  (The screws and rods were much bigger than I imagined them to be!)  The doctor told me to do even less than I had been doing and not to worry about my walking chart for the next 2 months so that the sciatic nerve pain would go away completely.  I was given the okay to take some occasional “strolls” but not to go on my 4 times a day walks for exercise.  In essence, he told me to take it easy and come back and see him in 2 months.  I received permission to drive and a note to go back to work in a couple of weeks.  It was a good appointment, even though we had to wait.

When it comes to unexpected delays and waiting, I think of something I heard an older man say in Sunday school class about 20 years ago that changed my perspective.  “Some people get all upset about that flat tire on their car.  They jump up and down and yell because now they are going to be late for work or late for some other event.  But what they don’t know is that by taking the time to change that tire, the Good Lord helped them avoid being in a wreck on the highway.  You may not know the reason for the delay, you just have to know that you are in God’s Hands.”

Whenever I become anxious about how long something is taking I remember what that man said.  I also remember what King David said in Psalm 94:19

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.    Psalm 94:19

Don’t let delays get you down.  Trust in God, place yourself in His Hands.  Stay focused, stay positive and know that God has your back.

If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can send me an email directly at

About pastorpstephens

I have been blessed to have served as a pastor, a chaplain and to have been involved in other ministries throughout the years. My wife Marta and I have been blessed with a wonderful family that includes our daughter, her husband and their two daughters and our son and his wife and their son. Each of them are very special to us so please keep them all in your prayers. One truth that I always try to share with people I meet is that anything God asks you to do, He will help you to do. God has your back.
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