HURRY UP AND WAIT!
“I think my throat is closing!”
These were the words that I mumbled to Dianne at about 7 a.m. We were
in a Reading motel room, and I had been having trouble getting saliva
and swallowing since about 3:30 a.m. And, it seemed like my problem
was getting worse.
Jim Herrold, my former college roommate, was getting remarried that
morning in a nearby town at 11 a.m. I was to be the best man and we
needed to leave by 10 a.m. to get to the wedding in time. We had come
for practice the night before and after a practice dinner we had returned
to the motel to avoid the trip home.
Aware of my concern and discomfort, Dianne helped me quickly pack our
belongings. We decided to dress for the wedding, check out, and head
to the closest emergency room.
We arrived at the emergency room before 8 a.m. and shared not only my
physical problem but also our need to leave by 10 a.m. to drive to the
wedding. While I was having difficulty talking at that point they seemed
to understand and appreciate my situation. They assured me that getting
help in time would not be a problem since it was early Saturday morning
and only one person was ahead of me.
So we waited … and we waited … and 45 minutes later I was
taken to an observation room where two ladies began to ask me a battery
of questions. They took all sorts of tests, but never even looked at
my throat. I had hoped that one was a doctor but it turned out that
they were both nurses. They kept assuring me, however, that I would
be out in time to participate in the wedding.
After this battery of questions they decided I needed an EKG and I had
to take off my wedding clothing to have this done.
With this accomplished, they then put me into a wheelchair and wheeled
me to another observation room where a doctor was supposed to finally
see me. By then it was already 9:30 and we had just 30 minutes before
we had to leave.
Finally another young lady appeared in the new room and again went over
my history and problem. She never looked at my throat either, but she
informed me that it was probably mucous caught behind my tonsils. She
said this often happens.
She seemed surprised when I told her that this would be unusual since
my tonsils were removed years ago. She then told me that a doctor would
soon be in to see me … she wasn’t a doctor either.
I told her that I only had 30 minutes until I had to leave and asked
her if I’d get to see a doctor in that time. Her reply? “Probably
not, and if you really have to leave just let me know.”
Incidentally, that was the last time I saw her. And, 30 minutes later
I went out to the desk and told them I had to leave. At first they thought
I’d have to sign a form but then they decided that since I hadn’t
seen a doctor I could just leave. They suggested that I come back after
We had waited there for two hours and had seen three nurses, but nobody
had even looked at my throat. They had to be kidding! Why would I ever
Someone volunteered to show us how to get out and we left – hopefully
never to return.
Incidentally, the longer we were out of the motel room, the better my
throat became. I really believe that it was either something in the
room or the air conditioning or something I ate the night before.
On Monday I tried to make an appointment with my throat specialist at
home. I told her receptionist that I had been to the emergency room
and needed a follow up visit. The first appointment they could give
me was three weeks later. So I guess the Lord knew I had to learn the
lesson “hurry up and wait”!
Do you find it hard to wait? I do. We all want instant answers and instant
help. But sometimes the Lord requires that we wait until He is ready,
in His perfect timing, to answer and direct us. So at times we must
learn in our spiritual walk to wait and to trust Him fully. And, He
never will leave us down.
The Psalmist must have realized this when he penned the words of Psalm
27:13,14. “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness
of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good
courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
And waiting on Him is always the best choice.
Oh yes, we arrived at the wedding on time and we had a wonderful experience
at a Christ honoring ceremony. I was fully able to participate and to
even enjoy the great food at the reception.
And one final observation. … the hospital never took my address
or my insurance information. So while I don’t know the results
of my EKG and other tests, they don’t know how or where to bill
me. I guess they will just have to wait for a payment.
It was an “interesting” way to spend a morning!