Monday, August 10, 2009

ransom the captive

I was looking for the right Bible verse to augment the visual of this compelling stained glass window from what I am gingerly yet excitedly calling my new Church, St. David's in Roswell, Georgia. I have a visceral reaction to the stained glass art, having felt chained in numerous ways at various times in my life.

I have a far less grinding trigger with not having found the right Bible verse. I am not a Biblical scholar. I accept that... {almost}....

"Ransom the captive," it says.

I have been claustrophobic. I'm much better now, but in times past, it would seem to take very little - a too-tight crowd, too much bustle and noise, being in an enclosed space, even The Dark - to push me over the edge into a panic attack. A pal or boyfriend would grab my hand as we crossed the street; "Come on, let's go!" My adrenaline would feel like it was shooting out of the top of my head as I jerked my hand back and said oh so indelicately, "I'm okay! Please don't grab me!" (No mean comments please about why I'm still single).

As I careened through pre- and post-menopause, the looney-tunes hormone fluctuations eased. I could be in a crowd. The music could be louder. I could do lovely, all-scrinched-in group hugs. My GOSH I'm getting BETTER! But it sneaks up and gnaws in surprise now and then. Absolutes evade me.

Today I began to do what I have been avoiding for my almost three weeks here: The footwork to find an oncologist in north Georgia. In Scotland it was easy if not always a close drive away. The Forres Health Centre practically fell over themselves to refer me to hematology/oncology at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, 85 miles to the southeast on a very gnarly two-lane road. The long drive was gloriously beautiful but oh, it was a schlepp. BOOM! Loads of oncologists.... until it became clear that continuing on there was not possible without me digging so deep in my pockets that I would go broke. Here, there's no pokey little health centre with G.P.'s phoning me on my borrowed mobile while I was out hiking with my friend Ruthie, giving me updates on whom they'd liased with about My Case.

I have begun truly scouring through insurance and medical center websites, groaning inside. I'm picking up the damn phone. The dance of playing meet-and-greet until I may or may not have the discernment to say "yes!" is not the two-step I'd rather be doing right now. I read through my tomes of alternate cancer healing and feel hope. After research, I add various herbal supplements to my daily regime... and as the weeks go by, feel better and better. It's bloody 90ยบ outside and I'm a happy girl! (I'm half-Russian and do not like extreme heat, in case you're wondering where that came from).

I see oncologists and shit happens.

So after the wailing this morning when I began to sift through the endless trudge of it all, I made some stabs. A former G.P.'s office in California can refer me to a 1st visit here. My medical insurance world remains a tilt-a-whirl funny farm, but at least my California policy will reach here to lovely Georgia.... for a time.

Chains. Emotions. Breathe, I say. And then I would say The Jesus Prayer (not breathing). Is it a sign of my growing health that my penchant for anxiety suddenly had a SPIKE today?

Ransom the Captive.

Lord Jesus Christ
Son of God
Have Mercy on me,
A sinner.

The word sinner used to annoy me. Now it reminds me of my Redemption. It reminds me of to Whom I go holding out my chained hands, feet and heart, asking, "Please set me free, o Lord; You have the Key."

I don't have to work it quite so hard.

Tonight I really need one of my meetings!

Lord Jesus Christ
Son of God
Have Mercy on me
A sinner.

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