I had my glucose tolerance test today.
The glucose tolerance test is a medical test in which glucose is given and blood samples taken afterwards to determine how quickly it is cleared from the blood.
I got to the surgery at 7.30am and the lovely nurse took some blood.
Then I had to drink a bottle of lime flavoured glucose syrup which would have been okay if mixed half and half with vodka or gin, but which on its own was rather sickly. I did feel quite nauseous after drinking it all.
Then I had to sit still in the waiting room for one hour when more blood was taken, then a second hour when the final blood was taken.
So I set myself up in the furtherest corner from the door with a folder of work and my laptop.
Time passed quite swiftly and I got quite a lot of work done in those 2 hours, but I also noticed some things I never would otherwise.
I suppose that most people in the waiting room are there for 10 – 15 minutes at most and we usually pick up a magazine that we’d never actually purchase and look at the latest pics of stars without make-up. until someone calls our name.
But sitting there for 2 hours you notice the other people.
Most are anxious, some are scared.
I saw a young boy with his arm in a very dirty and well decorated cast who was grinning bravely as his older sister teased him about the saw the doctor would use to remove it. I wished his mum had been reassuring him instead of filling out forms at the reception desk.
I saw a young woman in her twenties, so pale and shaky as she approached the desk to say she was here to discuss her results – and so bubbly and cheerful when she was leaving. I wished she had had someone with her to hold her hand and absorb her fears.
I saw an elderly man, dressed to the nines for his trip to the doctors, sit upright and expectant and smiling hopefully at everyone who went past. I hoped the doctor’s visit wasn’t his only social outlet for the week … or month.
I saw an exhausted young mum with dark purple circles around her eyes trying to calm a colicky baby who had an ear-spitting scream which her toddler attempted to destroy the notice board and scattered foot-piercing drawing pins all over the floor. I hoped she wasn’t all alone, coping with her bundles of joy.
Each person I saw was there because they were worried.; some with good cause, but most with none.
But I realised that although these are just tiny snapshots of the lives of strangers, they are situations and emotions we can all relate to.
These people all had fears.
Do we think of the ministry of healing as helping people in their times of fear?
Is this my lesson for today?
Help me to see when others are scared
and to be brave enough myself
to hold out a hand
of comfort and solidarity
for a worry shared
really is a worry halved