Oy Vey

UncertaintyOne of my children is being evaluated for a fairly serious medical condition. It’s not fatal. It is treatable. But it is going to cause some changes in how we do things. All in all, it’s something we can handle. The part that’s been difficult is hanging in there while we go through the diagnostic phase.

I’m a person who is not thrilled with unplanned events – unless they are parties. Those are definitely okay with me. So – having a perfectly healthy child suddenly frequenting Children’s Hospital is not something I’m comfortable with – but then, who is? The good news is that the staff and our doctors have been wonderful. They definitely get it that it’s a stressful situation for all involved, and they work to keep it all pretty low key.

I know know the difference in the parking sections. I know how to get to neurology and cardiology. I know what to bring with me. I know that asking if my child is my child is part of the drill and not meant to refute the validity of transracial families. All I need to do is reply that I am the adoptive parent and we’re good to go. I get it that the medical forms are not set up for adopted persons. It still aggravates me that when I tell them I don’t know the medical history and they mark “No,” that is part of something that needs to be changed, but something that medical professionals work with all the time.

I’ve never been entirely certain about the Jewish approach to illness. I know that health trumps all – a good call to my mind. I also know that we Jews do not pray for miracle or specific things. I know there is a prayer for healing that is part of the service each week. Frankly, it seems to me the last place I’d want to be named is on that list. So what is the Jewish response to uncertainty about health? I’ll be interviewing our Rabbi about that next week. Meanwhile, here are my thoughts.

Part of dealing with uncertainty about a medical condition is feeling at a loss. I wish I knew what to do to fix this. The answer is that I can’t fix it. I can deal with it. I can do what I need to do to get answers and proper care. The rest is out of my control. Since I have no control, I think the best thing is to find some comfort in spiritual practices that bring me comfort. For me, that is lighting the Shabbat candles and having a Shabbat dinner, complete with conversation – and dessert. That’s what we’ll be doing tomorrow night!


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