Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)
TITLE: Diagnosis: A Mother's Prayers
By Leola Ogle
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He jumped when Dr. Allen entered, a big smile on his face. “How’re you doing today, Sam?” he asked, glancing at the chart in his hand.
“I’m still having the pain. So, what did you find out?” Sam tried to act poised, not nervous or scared.
“Hm, the nurse noted you’re still having pain. Well, let’s have a look.” Dr. Allen laid the chart down before lifting Sam’s shirt.
Sam flinched as the doctor’s fingers probed on his left side under his armpit.
“It’s still a little red and irritated. Looks like a bug bite, but we’ve ruled that out. And it’s not a constant pain, and doesn’t happen all the time?” Dr. Allen looked puzzled.
Sam nodded, wishing the doctor would just tell him the test results. “It’s like I’ve said before. It’s a sharp prick, like someone poking me with a needle. It’s always on the left side not too far from my heart. It only happens one day, maybe two days a week.”
Dr. Allen studied the chart again. Turning to Sam, he frowned. “Your blood work came back fine. The x-rays are clear. We’ve looked at things from every angle. You say it’s a sharp, stabbing pain or sensation?”
“Yes. Not unbearable, but definitely noticeable. On the days it happens, it will occur several times throughout the day.”
Dr. Allen rubbed his chin and looked contemplative. “We can run more tests. Our only other suggestion would be to open you up to see if there’s something we’ve missed.”
Sam blanched. “Surgery? Not sure I want that. Listen, doctor, this may sound dumb, but I’m going to mention it anyway. I told you my dad passed away three months ago. When I went home for the funeral, well, my mom, she’s a church-going woman, a Christian.” Sam’s face flushed and his voice trailed off.
Dr. Allen smiled. “So you have a praying mom? It’s okay. I do too. My mom says I keep her on her knees.”
Sam chuckled, feeling relieved. “Maybe you’ll understand then. Before I left, Mom told me she wouldn’t stop praying until I return to the Lord. Said she’s praying the Holy Spirit will prick my heart until I see the light. I know it’s stupid, but every time I feel that sharp stab, that’s all I can think about, wondering if it’s the Holy Spirit pricking me because of Mom’s prayers.”
Sam could see Dr. Allen was trying to suppress laughter. Finally he said, “I do understand the Holy Spirit pricking a man’s conscience, but honestly, Sam, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t leave a red mark. Tell you what. I’ll see you again in a month, see how things are going. Any changes, increases in pain, give me a call.”
Sam dressed after the doctor left, admiring himself in the mirror. The suit really looked good on him, very professional. His mom had given him two of his dad’s best suits. This was his favorite. He’d had it altered to fit him, but it was worth it. He wore it at least once a week.
He made an appointment for four weeks, and then drove back to his office. He was feeling good about the doctor visit. At least the tests came back normal. That was a good thing. He reached for his briefcase as he stepped out of his car, and felt the sharp stab again.
He groaned. He’d made up his mind if they couldn’t find anything medically wrong he could only believe it was his mother’s prayers. As a boy, he’d loved church. Maybe he should give in. He couldn’t endure the pricking the rest of his life.
By the time his mother came to visit that weekend, he had surrendered his heart to the Lord. He felt good about his decision, and his mother was thrilled.
It was when his mother was going through a pile of Sam’s clothes to take to the cleaners that she found it. As she ran her hand down the suit jacket, something pricked her finger and drew a drop of blood. “Well, look at that. The tailor left a straight pin in the lining of the jacket,” she said, pulling it out and tossing it into the garbage.
Sam’s pain stopped, convincing him of the power of a mother’s prayers.
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