The tests I mentioned in an earlier post went very well, and I’m “out the other side” of that particular challenge! And one of the things that helped bring about smooth sailing was what I did in advance of even going out the front door.
In my upcoming new book, Don’t Panic!: How to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough (which is available now for pre-order on Amazon), I talk a lot about how we prepare to meet crises. Not that we walk around thinking, “The sky is going to fall, I know it!” But that we take steps to make ourselves as strong as we possibly can before a crisis occurs (and we all know that one or more crisis will occur in each of our lives at some time!).
For the tests I had to have recently, for example, I took some steps to bring a bit of comfort and something distracting. I’ve done this before; once, when I was first diagnosed with lupus and had to go through tests that took the better part of a day (with lots of waiting around time), I took decks of children’s card games (Go Fish!, Old Maid, etc.) and friends took turns visiting with me and playing the games. We were quite a sight – a group of adults intent on being the first to gather all the like card of Go Fish! But the distraction helped tremendously, and the activity was a lot of fun.
Anyway, this time, for comfort, I took a couple of snack bars, a container of warm water with honey, and a bottle of water, some socks and a cap for my head. For distraction, I took something to read that was far off-topic of the subject of my tests. These preparations truly helped bring even more calm, and I also spent much time praying and thinking of far-flung friends and favorite places.
With serious chronic illnesses, we usually cannot avoid long stretches of time in waiting rooms or undergoing tests, but what we do in advance can help take away much of the stress.
Smooth sailing is a wonderful thing when you’re headed into choppy waters!