I was going to call this post "The Waiting Game," but anyone who has been to to see a doctor or to have a medical procedure lately knows what the waiting game is like. You sit and think and think and sit and the ruminations pile up in your mind and life takes on an ugly cast. At that point you are ready for someone to make decisions for you. "Yes" or "no." "Heart event" or "not a heart event."
What these last few weeks have shown is that life is not so binary, not so "I'm right and you are wrong." Opinions change, diagnoses change. And in those changes are gradations of thought.
At times you welcome the authoritative, binary pronouncements with their definitiveness. "This is not a heart attack and there hasn't been a heart attack." Once a marker has been reached, you know where you are and where you might be going.
The grays in life and in medicine are much more difficult and much more common. "We're going to cast a wide net here," is what Dr. Fatima Hyder told us as she laid out the treatment plan for Ed's community acquired pneumonia that was complicated by an irregular heart rhythm. Working with a cardiologist, no, three cardiologists, and respiratory therapy and nurses and labs and x-rays brought lots of grays into the treatment plan. "That happened? Then we will do this next." "I'm not sure. Let me check." "I'll get information on the med for you."
One day, in talking through the gains of the day and looking ahead, Dr. Hyder commented that fifty percent of medicine is magic. Magic, she said. Half is hoping and praying and watching and waiting and being in the grayness of life.
If I have been reminded of one thing in life these last few weeks, it is that very few things are what they appear to be. Life is much less binary. It's more shaded and tinted. And rather than adopting the erstwhile shades of gray concept, I'm going to think shades of pink, my mother's favorite color.
Life went all the way from RedRedRed, through a taupey mauve, to a rosey pink -- a soft pink, nonetheless. It was a colorful, non-binary waiting game. Life is like that, a lot.
Wanda Hayes Eichler