One of the issues I address daily is tiredness. My own.
The tiredness doesn’t necessarily come from working too hard. There are definitely days where that might be true. But, more often than not, the tiredness comes from mental and emotional “overwork.” I take folks problems more seriously than I should.
That doesn’t mean that their health issues aren’t serious. They are; just ask them. Its just that I’m expected to have all the answers. I evidently have blue leotards with a large red “S” on my chest under my clothing.
When you’ve seen as many “walking dead” as I have and know there is nowhere else they can turn, it sucks you into their “drama.” Not drama as something fake, but true, real-life drama. The kind that leaves me sitting alone in my office wondering what in the world to do.
And often there is no answer.
At times this makes me excessively tired. I get mad at myself for caring so much. I envy the health care practitioner who can be coldhearted and distant. I want to be able to go out in public and not have to talk to everyone I run into about their health. The only thing I’m ever asked is health advice: “I’ve got this symptom, I ache right here, I had this happen, should I take vitamin X, what do you think about…, etc.” My food choices in restaurants are examined in the way you’d look at a goldfish in a bowl, with rolls of the eye, a “tsk, tsk,” or a “I can’t believe that YOU would eat that!” loud enough for everyone within 50 yards could hear if what is on my plate doesn’t meet their expectations of what I should be eating.
All of this has profoundly affected my faith. Positively. I guess you could say it gives me an empathy for Abba that I otherwise wouldn’t know. Even when I am like my patients with Him, He still wants to hold me, tell me its alright and that He DOES have a big red “S” on the blue leotards under his robe. He tells me its ok to tell my charges it is ok, even if they don’t think it is.
I read about a gynecologist who became sick and went to see an older doctor. The older colleague could tell that his younger protege had more going on than a simple health issue. His advice was: “People may say that only you can help them, but after you’re gone, they’ll say ‘He was good, but who do I see now?‘”
I don’t want to die having been “good” at helping folks with their health issues, but leave them asking, “but who do I see now.” I would rather have been that masked stranger with an odd sense of hope who transported them to an interchange with the Maker of health and being the one who was able to “high-5” them after He transformed them.
Perhaps it is time that I started believing it…