Last year I suffered what is referred to as a heart attack. I got to the hospital in time, so there was no any major damage. I had one artery known as the "Widow Maker" that was 90% blocked, which seemed to be a very serious thing.
Who knew I even had a heart, but doctors are always right.
Coming home from the hospital, I had all kinds of medications to take twice a day, and my blood pressure needed to be taken twice a day as well. I didn't think all of this was necessary, but doctors are always right.
Fortunate for me, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage took over as my in-house medical supervisor. Please do not ask me what that means because I have no idea. She took care of all of my medication every day as well as taking my blood pressure.
I had no obvious after effects of this heart attack, and I seem to be doing just fine.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage several times a day would ask me, "How do you feel today?"
The first time she asked this, I smiled and chirped, "I feel with my fingers."
This was supposed to be a joke, but I was the only one who got it, and the other person in our residence did not think it was very funny.
"Stop joking around," she would say every day, "How are you feeling today?"
Then I would say, "I'm fine."
"No, you're not," she said. "You just had a heart attack, so you're not doing fine."
I'm not sure what it would take to convince her I am doing fine. So, I came up with an idea that did not work.
"Because of the wonderful work and care you have given to me," I said as cheerfully as possible, "I'm doing fine." Then I would smile back at her and say, "Thank you for all your care."
No matter what I do, I can never get the upper hand.
I am not quite sure how a person is supposed to feel after a heart attack because I did not feel any different than before.
A six-month doctor appointment was coming up, and I was hoping he could give me a good report. But, until then, I was at the discretion of my wife.
Every morning it became the same routine. "How are you doing today? And don't tell me you're fine."
Of course, I could lie to her and manipulate her to do things for me. That did cross my mind, but then I realized that eventually, she would find out, and payday would come.
I would always say, "I'm good today."
I did not say I'm fine, but that still did not settle with her, and she scoured at me and went back into the kitchen.
I was trying to come up with ways to answer that question, but nothing seemed to settle with her. So one morning, I decided to try something different. When she asked me how I was, I said, "I'm terrible today."
That got her attention, and she came and said, "What can I do to help?"
That is what I was waiting for, and so with a very somber tone of voice, I said, "Well, if you want to help me feel better, you could get me an apple fritter."
Unfortunately, it did not work, but at least I tried.
I was sure looking forward to my doctor's visit and getting the authoritative word from him. Until then, someone else in the house had that word, and it certainly wasn't me.
I am not very trusting of doctors these days. I don't know if they get it right or not. I don't depend upon them because I know a doctor can make a mistake. Sometimes a mistake is worse than the illness. But I take things as they come and try to think them through before making a decision.
Then, the day of my doctor's appointment arrived.
After I went through all of the examinations that doctors like him usually do, he looked at my results, and said, "You're fine, you're doing good."
When he said that, I looked at him, smiled and said, "Doctor, can I have that in writing?"
He laughed at me and then left the room, and I went home.
The first thing The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said when I walked in the house was, "What did the doctor say?"
I've been waiting for this moment for a long time and I was going to savor every delicious moment.
"My dear," I said as soberly as possible, trying to hide chuckles, "the doctor said I was fine and doing good, and doctors never lie." Then I splashed a laugh all over the place. It was one of my finest moments.
I do not often win like this, but I have learned that it takes a lot of work to get to one win. For me one win is worth the effort.
While I was enjoying my win, I thought of a Bible verse. “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9).
It’s very easy to lose heart and I’ve done it often. The key to all this is, don’t give up, be diligent and sow the right seeds.
[Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.jamessnyderministries.com.]