Have you ever experienced suspended animation? Before today, I had only experienced it once. It was the day my first child was born. Our doctor (in 1994) had given me an ultrasound during one of my checkups. I’ll never forget him telling us, “It’s a boy!” Dave and I were like, “Okay, good. We can carry on the Deters’ name.” (My family had 7 girls and no one to carry on the Lombardi name.) Fast forward to delivery day. The delivery was fairly fast. I remember the Dr. held the baby up facing me and said, “Patty, tell everyone what it is.” That was my first experience with suspended animation. I remember looking at the baby, and then looking at the doctor, and then looking at the baby.” And I couldn’t speak. I was thinking, “That does not look like a boy.” Finally, the Dr. said, “Is it a girl?!?!” I just kind of shook my head yes. (We had zero girl clothes and had only brought blue and yellow to the hospital.) I wouldn’t trade it for anything – but at the time I remember thinking, “I think I just experienced suspended animation.”
That’s how I feel today (a Monday). Six months ago, I had an abnormal female screening test. One test was abnormal and one test was normal. So the concern was not too high – especially in light of how I had been killing it in the weight loss/fitness area of my life. Well, last week was the 6-month re-check. It was on Thursday. The doctor was pretty sure she’d have the results by Friday and I wouldn’t have to go into the weekend wondering what was going on. Yet Friday came and went. I went to Denver with my family and I kept my concerns to myself. I read Max Lucado’s book on Anxiety and tried to quiet my soul.
This morning I wrote the doctor through the patient portal. The response was that “the result is pending at this time.” What does that even mean? Does it mean the technicians are backed up because it’s spring break? Maybe they are understaffed? Maybe they need a second opinion because something doesn’t look right? I just don’t know. I’ve only been talking to one person about this and I wrote that person. But again today I feel stuck – like that suspended animation feeling again. I can’t catch my breath. I just want to know. So sometimes the best thing I can do when I feel funky is to write. So I write. I don’t know if I’ll ever publish this, but I feel better just writing. I just need to stay calm and believe that I did not come this far to only come this far.
Today it is Thursday – one week since the re-check. I am in Ohio. Yesterday when I was on my plane about to depart to Dayton, Ohio, the doctor’s office called. I could not pick up the phone as we were literally taxi-ing to the runway to take off. I said a silent prayer that she would leave a message. And she did. Even though the flight attendant was saying “Please put your phones on ‘airplane mode,’ I put my phone up to my ear to listen to the message. “Patty, I’m going to leave this message on here because I know you are concerned. Your test results came back normal. All abnormalities that were seen 6 months ago are gone. We will re-check in one year. I want to make sure you know—the test result was normal.”
With tears of thankfulness streaming down my face, I quickly sent off 3 text messages, put my phone on airplane mode, and said a silent prayer thanking God for the victory. And she lives to see another day!