Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)
TITLE: Doctorese-English Dictionary
By Joanne Sher
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Knowledge. I have more than I can manage, but still needed more. To be more specific, I need information I can actually understand.
Craniotomy. Polycytic astrocytoma. Craniopharyngioma. Optic Glioma. Only a handful of the words I've heard in the past several days, and whose meaning I barely grasp.
I consider myself an intelligent person, with a fairly broad knowledge base. Yet, these medical terms have me baffled - and when unknown terms are used in reference to your husband, baffled is not a comfortable place to be.
The neurosurgeon--another term I'd barely known until this week--is no specialist in plain English (or bedside manner, but that's another story). I'd gotten some literature on this assortment of terms, but it seemed to have been written for Ph.D. candidates. An Internet search was just as fruitless. All I know is there's some type of mass on Max's brain, and it's affecting his eyesight.
What I need is a "doctorese-English dictionary," or someone who can do the translation for me. And, of course, the more this person knows about the brain and eyesight, the better. Unfortunately, I'm confident there is no such reference book, and I don't have any friends or family who fit the bill.
Well, except one: and he's at the other end of the receiver.
Ever since my mother died when I was seven, I've been very close with my Uncle Buzzy (her brother) and his wife, Tzippy. They have two daughters who are a couple of my favorite cousins.
As we grew older and started our careers and families, however, we didn't stay as close, but still saw each other on occasion. Debbie and Caryn had been at my wedding nine years ago, and Max and I had attended Debbie's six years after that, our newborn son Andrew in tow.
We had met her husband, Mark, before their wedding a few times (in fact, he'd been Debbie's date to our nuptials), but didn't know him well. All we knew was he was a friendly, personable guy and he was studying to be a doctor. Now, three years after their wedding, my cousin (in-law) Mark is in his residency somewhere in Texas, I believe.
Anyhow, just moments ago I'd spoken to Uncle Buzzy, Mark's father-in-law, about Max's health situation.
"Did you know, Dear, that Mark is studying to be an ophthalmologist? I just talked to him about your husband, and he told me that the doctor he's training under specializes in neuropthalmology (eye function in relation to the brain)."
How's that for news I could use? Needless to say, I got Mark's phone number within minutes. Now, the answer to my prayer is on the phone with me. The best part is that I actually understand what he's telling me. He is speaking in layman's terms about things totally incomprehensible to me not half an hour ago.
Mark has even offered to call Max's doctor with specific "doctor questions" for us and get back to us with the answers. What is better in a stressful situation like this than a knowledgeable, helpful advocate of a cousin on your side?
God on my side--but we've got both. And some people say these things happen by chance.
Questions: Have you ever had someone fulfill a need at "just the right time?" Did you thank God for that person, or just chalk it up to coincidence? Can you look back on your life and see the ways, big and small, that God has gotten you to where you are today?
Prayer: Mighty God, You are the author of all of our circumstances. Thank You for the "God-instances" You weave into our existence: those events and people that help us through the difficulties of our daily lives. Forgive us, Lord, for calling these miracles "chance" or "coincidence." Help us see, and praise You for, Your mighty hand in our lives.
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