The Next Thing

Today, as is my habit, I woke up, made coffee, turned on the computer, and connected to the world. I also read my Bible, connecting with God. It was a leisurely morning. I didn’t feel any pressure to hurry and get dressed.

Until 8:30 a.m., that is, when I called the doctor to see if EJ could get an appointment. Monday EJ went to work, but he was in such agony from back pain that he was sweating and felt like he was going to pass out. He came home early and went to the chiropractor on Tuesday morning. The chiropractor gave him an excuse for work so he could stay home this week and rest his back, but EJ wasn’t sure if his company would accept a chiropractor’s excuse, so he wanted to get one from the doctor. (At the company EJ works at, a person gets 10 points for an unexcused absence. If he gets 50 points, he’s fired.) Plus, EJs toenails have been falling off–he’s lost five in the last week or two, which totally grosses me out–and he wanted to talk to the doctor about what might be causing it.

I thought we’d be lucky to get an appointment at all today or this week, but surprisingly we got one first thing–9:30 a.m. Our doctor is about an hour away, so we were already behind schedule and had to scramble to get dressed and out the door. We didn’t even have time to eat breakfast, and I didn’t have time to wash my hair, although I did comb it.

The doctor ordered blood tests, and since EJ and I hadn’t eaten for at least 12 hours, we went immediately to a lab and got his blood drawn. While EJ was waiting to be called in to the lab, a water cooler in the corner of the waiting room gave a big BLUUUURP noise. At first, EJ though it was a nearby man’s stomach, and the man thought it was EJ’s stomach. We all had a big laugh about that.

EJ and I were STARVING by the time we headed for home. We ended up stopping at a hardware store for lunch. We ate–what else?–nuts and bolts! Actually the hardware store was a strange combination of both hardware store and market with a deli, so we had a tasty meal. I just bought the nuts and bolts so I could say I ate nuts and bolts at a hardware store. Sometimes you have to go for the joke.

When we finally got home, EJ took his pain meds and then took a nap. It feels as if, right now, we spend most of our time going to the doctor or the chiropractor.

I once read a historical fiction in which the main character said that whenever she didn’t know what to do next, she simply did what came next. Sometimes the “next thing” was fixing a meal or doing laundry. That’s helped me a lot in life. As I’ve mentioned before, EJ’s company is difficult to work for, but we don’t know if he should count his blessings and stay there or try to find a new company to work for. We don’t know whether to continue living in our house and town, or move. We don’t know where to move to if we moved. We’ve prayed for direction, but all we know to do is the next thing, which is pursuing help for EJ’s health problems. He can’t do anything when he’s in so much pain. It could be that as we pursue his health, God will reveal the next “next thing.”

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