Call me dense but I never really made the connections between the word “patient” meaning someone who is being treated for injury or illness and the other word “patient” (1)able to wait without becoming annoyed or (2)anxious or slow to lose one’s temper with irritating people or situations. Now I’ve had an opportunity to reflect on them.
When I first broke my ankle, they sent me home from the ER with a hard cast and I was told to wait eight days for the surgery, to give the swelling a chance to go down. Not only was I very bummed out but I was in pain, scared and not able to do ANYTHING! They sent me home with crutches, without instruction and without the strength or skill to maneuver them. I mean, really–what are crutches? A pair of sticks on which you are supposed to balance while you hop around on one leg! I’m sure there are a lot more coordinated people out there than I am but right from the first, I felt myself teeter and begin to fall over. This would not do! The last thing I wanted to do was to fall onto my broken ankle.
Left with no alternative, I mostly stayed put. But while I was perched on the couch with my swollen leg in the air, on the first floor of my house, all my STUFF, all the things I needed, were out of reach! Now, my husband has been terrific. He and my daughter were soooo sympathetic and helpful. But when I asked for things the fifth, sixth or seventh time, even the most solicitous of family grow weary. I tried very hard not to be demanding, to ask for all the things at the same time so it wouldn’t require multiple trips, to not ask them to look again when I had asked for something very specific, telling them exactly where to find it and they brought me the wrong thing–or nothing at all.
So I learned not to ask sometimes. I waited when I needed things until someone was available. I didn’t insist on what I needed. Other things would work, or not, but I would not ask again. They were doing so much. So I learned to be a patient patient. The situation was certainly irritating but losing my temper was not an option. I am grateful to my family but now I have a much greater appreciation of what it is to be (a) patient.
The image at left is a painting titled “What Took You So Long?” It is soft pastel 19″ x 25″. She seemed to me the opposite of one who has learned the lesson of patience. She is so filled with attitude.
The drawing at right is my (tongue in cheek ;o)) rendering of a self portrait that I zipped off yesterday. Can’t wait until I can trade in the boot in this picture for one like the boot in the picture above. Much more my speed!