All Beaked Up with Nowhere to Go

22 Aug

It’s been a strange week for me. After putting it off for about 35 years, I finally agreed with the doctor that my sinuses might be a tad, well, debilitated. I think his exact words were something like, “I’m wondering if you’ve ever experienced a decent breath.”

Apparently, I couldn’t put it off any longer. I’d run out of excuses. It’s not that I didn’t care, but everything else seemed to come first. Family, church, work, social activities, writing, cleaning—everything. Anything:

It’s nearly Christmas. Perhaps after the holidays.

Let’s get through summer vacation and then maybe I’ll have it looked at.

I can’t do anything about it now. I used up all my leave over the summer.

Are you kidding? I’m about to start a new job.

I have this giant stack of coupons to clip…

Long story, shortened: I finally said yes. I took a few days off and committed my brain to a stranger’s hands. He authorized someone to pump anesthesia into my veins and they wheeled me away. In that last moment of clarity, I looked back to my friend and said something I’ve never found the slightest bit amusing, but for the moment it was perfect.

“Smell you later!” I remember the nurses giggling, but nothing else.

Today I feel a bit like I’ve been punched in the face. I’ve spent the past few days trying to keep my head still, and tilted back to hasten healing, wearing a bandage that looked like a duck beak. No television, no standing, no lifting. I couldn’t move if I wanted to. I felt as if I were carrying my head on a balloon string, the faster I moved, the more it jerked backward.

By the way, to my fellow bibliophiles who think this might be a dream predicament, yes, I shared your optimism that I might be left with no option but to read. I pulled out a Kindle and held it above my tilted head—awkward but somewhat doable—until I dropped it on my beak. I think I saw actual stars. Sadly, I had to do this three times before admitting reading might not work out.

So, I did nothing. I don’t know if I’ve ever done nothing in my life, but it’s been strangely freeing.

Despite this tale of silly woe, don’t feel sorry for me. I’m not posting this lovely picture to elicit sympathy. I find it hilarious. I can laugh because I see only positives. Every day my head is a bit better. Tonight I’m going to try washing my hair. Tomorrow I’m going to work (which is not a victory for me, but my boss will be glad, I think).

The point is, I know where this is leading. I still can’t breathe. The doctor said I shouldn’t expect to for a week or so but I can be confident the victory at the other end will be worth all the pain and discomfort. I, too, am wondering if I’ve ever experienced a clear breath. I’m wondering if it will be like the first day I put on glasses and the entire world looked new—will the world smell new? Will I sleep through the night? Will the weekly migraines ebb?

Will I find myself shaking my head over all this procrastination, asking why I didn’t do this sooner?

Ah. There’s the real issue. Over the years, this is something many doctors have often approached me about. I deliberately ignored their advice and encouragement, preferring my ordinary status as a prominent mouth breather and migraine sufferer to something I didn’t know. I don’t embrace change. But now I’m excited about what tomorrow might bring.

Isn’t this like so many areas of our lives? I have many tasks on my “to do” list that I’ve ignored or put off, thinking the timing isn’t right, I’m just not ready, or I have too many coupons to clip. I’m only cheating myself. Many of those are pathways God has laid out before me that I choose not to walk on, because I’m not sure where they lead. They are victories He has in store for me if I would only denounce my ordinary status. I know. I just KNOW, when I finally take those steps I will see victory, and I will wonder why I didn’t do this sooner.

It’s time to send that letter. Sign up for that class. Apologize, whether you’re wrong or not. Submit that invention idea. Apply for that job. Listen to that voice calling. Every day that goes by is one more day without tasting victory. For me, that looks like submitting a book proposal. What does it look like to you?

————–

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11.

8 Responses to “All Beaked Up with Nowhere to Go”

  1. colleen quinn August 22, 2021 at 4:45 pm #

    Praying for quick healing
    Great Advice !

  2. pggibbons August 22, 2021 at 5:29 pm #

    Rose, that does not look like fun, but change rarely is. Hope you heal quickly.

    • Portrait Writer August 22, 2021 at 8:59 pm #

      Thank you Pat. Looking forward to this change…finally. :/

  3. Cheryl August 22, 2021 at 10:00 pm #

    Rose, It is lovely to see you( good to know how to pray), and as always your shared insights and honest words are a breath of fresh air. Yes, I strongly suspect a book proposal may be on your horizon!

  4. Katherine Pasour August 30, 2021 at 5:40 pm #

    Oh, my, you had me chuckling all the way through your message. What an uplifting post when I know you’ve been through pain, boredom, and worry. And the lesson you shared is a good one–whatever we’ve been putting off–do it! Prayed for healing.

    • Portrait Writer August 30, 2021 at 8:22 pm #

      Thank you for your prayers Katherine. I’m almost back on my feet this week. 🙂

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