November 24, 2017

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

Doctor’s visit reveals God knows what we need before we even know

Debra Tomaselli“I wish I hadn’t made this doctor’s appointment,” I told my husband Joe as we sat in the waiting room.

Moments later, the nurse led us to an exam room. “The doctor will be with you shortly,” she said, before slipping away.

I looked at Joe.

“This isn’t where I want to be,” I grumbled. “I’ve never been to this doctor. I have one simple question for him, and it doesn’t matter anymore. My problem is much bigger than this.”

I cradled my head.

“Maybe I really need to be back at the oncologist’s office,” I said. “I don’t feel well. This doctor can’t help with that. He knows nothing of my health history. Cancer isn’t his specialty.”

Joe listened, knowing there were no easy answers.

Although I was here at the recommendation of one of the surgeons handling my care, I suddenly felt that adding another specialist would complicate things.

I wanted to leave.

“Let’s pray,” I said. Frustration punctuated every word.

“Dear Lord,” I said, “please guide this doctor. Please give him wisdom … because I sure don’t have any.”

Moments later, the doctor, a tall, blond-haired man with a thick South American accent arrived and introduced himself.

Although his job wasn’t to address my overall health issues, I advised him of my medical history, the ongoing cancer treatments, and the awful debilitation. Then I asked the question I’d come there for, which he aptly answered.

As we prepared to leave, he paused.

“When you say you don’t feel well,” he said. “What do you mean? What bothers you?” He was referring to my debilitating cancer treatments, the problem I was sure he couldn’t help me with.

I waved my hands around my head.

“Mostly, I feel disoriented,” I said. “Something’s just off. I don’t feel right. It’s like …”

“OK, OK,” he said, stepping back. “I understand.”

I stopped. Of course, he didn’t want to hear it. This had nothing to do with his specialty.

“I understand,” he said again. “I had that treatment. I’m all done now though. No more. It was a different diagnosis, but the same drug. I understand [how you feel].”

My eyes widened. I cocked my head, remembering how my oncologist suspected my debilitation may be caused by the treatments.

“I’m fine now,” he said. “I work all day, I exercise at the gym, I can do everything. … I’m fine.”

He picked up his clipboard, paused and looked at me.

“You’re going to be fine, too,” he said. “You’re going to be fine.”

Chills ran through me.

Just minutes ago, I’d been wishing I’d never made this appointment. I was sure this doctor couldn’t help.

But God was in control. He knew exactly who I needed. Not only could this doctor answer questions regarding his specialty, but he was, indeed, qualified to address my overall struggle. After all, he’d once been the patient, standing in my shoes.

“It’s nice to have a doctor who understands how you really feel,” he said, “isn’t it?”

I nodded. “Yes, it is.”

As he exited, he looked back at me. His message resonates deep within.

“You’re going to be fine.”

(Debra Tomaselli writes from Altamonte Springs, Florida. She can be reached at

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