Having under-the-weather days

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 9, 2002

Feeling a bit under the weather, I managed to drag myself to the doctors office Monday morning.

One by one, young and old alike, the patients for the day trickled in through the door, sign in and wait for their name to be called.

Friends and acquaintances fill the corners of the room and an occasional cough would bounce off the walls. Pretty soon, the sounds of conversation and laughter crash and recede like the waves of the ocean.

As more and more people fill the room, I noticed a woman sitting a few chairs down from me.

Of an un-determinable age, her pale face attests to the condition of her health. Her red-rimmed eyes leaked water, and a crumpled tissue rested in her lap. Like her, I, too, probably look worse than I actually felt, but I understood what would make her come and seek a doctors advice.

Her eyes were downcast, and I wondered why exactly is she here? A cold? The flu? Or heart problems, or asthma? The list keeps going on and on. Maybe it is something worse, like diabetes or cancer.

All in all, it makes me wonder if my simple spider bite is something I should be even wasting the doctors time on, when he could be ministering to those who have a greater ailment than myself.

It is then when I realize that pain, no matter what type or size, is something we all need help in dealing with. Some people may go to the doctor, others may seek out a loved one, but one thing is for certain, realizing you need help is the first step of recovery.

Take a moment out of a busy schedule and take notice of the person next to you in the grocery line or in the doctors office.

The person you meet could be spending their last day on Earth. Either through sickness or accident or maybe through an act of God, it may the first and last time you ever see the person next to you. So, make the most of it. You may be surprised. That little bit of attention could be the one thing that makes them feel better.

Take my advice. Next time, introduce yourself. Strike up a conversation. Tell them about your children, and let them tell you about theirs. Be surprised at what you can learn from them and at what you can learn about yourself.

By the way, if youre wondering about the lady next to me in the doctors office, I did ask. Her name was Mary and she was on vacation from Indiana. She had caught a cold from an afternoon walk on the beach. It was the best afternoon of her life, she said.