Several years ago I walked into my boss’ office, shoved a piece of paper under his nose and asked him to “sign here, please.” “Am I going to go to jail for this?” He asked. “No, not for this,” I assured him. He smirked at my implication and obligingly signed the paper so we could move on with our lives. (Side note: My boss was always careful of his responsibility for any and all paperwork etc. our office produced, I promise. He just trusted me, his able assistant, to help him read things.) Having survived the transition a private firm made when acquired by a public company, and more recently having been a very small cog in a very large corporate machine, I am familiar with SOX rules and how even little data monkeys like me had to be very careful with our numbers since it was ultimately the CFO’s neck on the line when it came time to publish quarterly earnings.
A couple of years ago I took a survey re. “What’s the worst thing that could happen to you at work?” It was a tie in the end between a doctor friend who told me about the harrowing day he had spent in the maternity ward, when an umbilical cord problem led to massive blood loss for the Mom, and a friend who worked in the Intelligence Community, and promptly answered, “A Congressional hearing.” With this dose of perspective, my job suddenly seemed easy-peasy.
To those who have told me that this situation could be much worse, I say, “Duh.” I may have had some vision changes but I still have two eyes, and I spent most of 2011 in Rehab Hospitals, so I’ve seen lots of people who are worse off than I am. In a strange way, it’s encouraging for me to see these folks. They may be struggling to gain a full range of motion, or sitting in a wheel chair with the cane/walker their PT is teaching them to use, but they’re trying – they’re not just sitting there waiting for something to happen. That’s not allowed in Rehab, anyway. I’ve seen a patient who had to be lifted out of his wheelchair with a little crane/harness thing (I think they used that on me, once, before PT14 decided to just use his arms), but he was being ejected from the chair because he still had to log his physical therapy time. The inability to move your limbs (or anything, really) was not an excuse.
When I got sick my sister told me that Mom said that the worst thing that could have happened….happened. She had been concerned when I moved to OR that if something happened to me she wouldn’t be able to get to me fast enough. That’s exactly what transpired. I had asked my Oregonian parents, DnA, for their cell phone number so I could list it in the “In case of Emergency” section of my cell’s contact list, but nothing ever happened to me while jogging, so they never got a call. It was my friend, former classmate, and coworker, L, who got the call (from her husband, E, my parents’ point of contact) and came to the hospital where she informed the staff she was the closest thing I had to family in Portland, so they let her in to see me in ICU. I think her obviously Asian descent gave her greater credibility than my church family who were also at the hospital. My family got flights from the East Coast as soon as possible, and prayed I’d still be alive when they arrived. My sister also took some comfort as she flew solo from Charlotte by dosing herself often with Pepto Bismol.
So the worst has essentially already occurred, and we survived. We’re still kicking! And laughing. And eating. We are Tans, after all. So whatever is ahead is okay.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
p.p.s. I forgot to mention 2 more stuffed animal sightings last week: a rainbow unicorn and a furry white thing, both carried by the same girl (probably a mid-late teen). She wears the cropped hair (super cute on her, btw – I tried to convince Mommy and my sisters to shave my head when we got home but they refused. My window of opportunity is now closed.) and the brain helmet (she has multiple designs) indicative of head trauma. When I triumphantly pointed out the stuffed animal accompanying her to Rehab, Mom squelched my enthusiasm by bringing up the point that she’s much younger than me, but still.