Friday, July 14, 2017

First on My List: The Twenty Third Psalm

This morning I was scheduled for an MRI. The purpose of this test is to see if there is a recurrence of the spinal cord tumor I had removed in June, 2012. The tumor was benign, but there is a ten per cent chance of regrowth. The recommended follow up is every two years, but due to anxiety and concerns about the contrast material I need for this test I skipped/delayed it. But prudence won over anxiety and I found myself at the imaging center and 8:30 this morning.

I knew I was anxious, but until I was actually in the machine, I didn't realize how anxious I was. Thoughts of getting stuck in the MRI tube popped into my head, and I knew I could spiral into hysteria. I needed to calm myself quickly and with virtually no conscious thought "The Lord is my shepherd..." came into my mind. The Twenty-third Psalm is the only psalm I know by heart and the verses soothed me and brought me back to a calmer place. I recited it at least twice and then proceeded to a series of Beatle songs, followed by the streets in the neighborhood I grew up in. It was an odd combination, but I was able to get through the test without panic.

For my friends who are praying women, what prayers do you turn to? What prayers would you have turned to in this situation? For my friends who are not given to prayer for calming, would you have turned to music? Would poetry be your go-to? I've memorized a lot of poetry, but it didn't cross my mind this morning. Prayer, music and childhood memories saved my day. What would save your day?

I expect to get the results of the test early next week. I'm optimistic that the outcome will be clear and no recurrence, but until I hear from my neurosurgeon, "The Lord is my shepherd...: will stay in the center of my mind, continuing to clear the anxiety away.

As ever, thanks for visiting, and have a great weekend!

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