When it comes to issues of personal health, the real killer is the uncertainty of where you stand or how things will turn out. It is like the old axiom: “Those who fear die a thousand deaths.” Occasionally, the reality is worse than the uncertainty – my father-in-law went through a whole battery of tests before everything else could be ruled out to leave him with the terminal diagnosis of ALS. But for most of us, the anxiety during those periods of waiting ends up being our greatest pain.
It all started back as young kids when we dreaded any type of scheduled doctor or dentist appointment. If our parents were smart, they didn’t give us much advance warning so we didn’t have time to fret. It was bad enough sitting in the waiting room, with that quickened apprehension every time the nurse opened the door to call for the next victim.
As we grew older, the causes for anxiety matured accordingly. Now with the benefit (?) of the Internet we have the opportunity to go to WebMD with all of our symptoms and be alarmed by all of the awful possibilities. Unfortunately, when we go into our primary care physician we must submit to a battery of tests by other labs and specialists . . . with the results withheld until we once again are granted the privilege of consultation. In some cases you would think they would make it a priority to not leave us hanging for weeks on end … but consideration for the psyche of their patient does not seem as high priority as balancing their own schedule or maximizing the number of visits from a billing perspective.
The urgency of resolving health-related is understandable:
“In the clinician-patient relationship, both parties have a natural desire to turn uncertainty into certainty. Both are motivated to know what is wrong, because both believe that by knowing what is wrong, they will know what to do. Generally, most people have a low tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty because it tends to generate anxiety. This is especially true in health care because the stakes are so high for the patient: health versus illness, life versus death.”
As believers in the Lord, we have the privilege of casting all of our cares on the Great Physician with whom there is no uncertainty. The one who holds the future is the only one who can truly minister His peace to our hearts.