Sometimes It Really is a Zebra

If you have any background in medicine, even if it comes from watching House or Grey’s Anatomy, you’ve probably heard the phrase: “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” The basic moral to this story is, think of the common answers before the rare ones.

Unless, of course, it really is a zebra.

A close friend of mine from college is afflicted with a zebra. No one seems to be able to know exactly how to help or to pinpoint exactly what it is that she has. She’s been to a couple of prestigious hospitals and still, no luck. This has been ongoing for years.

The past week has been downright dreadful for me. One thing after another keeps popping up, at the most inopportune moment. All of the recent events have my spirits at an all-time low. I can’t seem to catch a break.

And then today, I get a very short note from my friend. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard from her; I try to help when I can, but in my current condition, there’s nothing much I can really do to help but offer advice on how to deal with medical teams and other options for a second opinion. Her note makes everything else on my mind disappear.

She really has me worried. She’s to the point of being deathly ill, and there seem to be no answers. I’m really hoping that she can push through this current round of being sick and come out stronger than before, and hopefully I’ll get to see her again soon. Once again, I’m pretty much useless from here, when all I want to do is to use my two hands with God’s guidance to help heal the sick… and I am still in no way, shape, or form, close to being there yet.

If I may ask for a favor, it would be that for anyone who reads this to say a prayer (or send good thoughts, etc.) for my friend. She really needs them now.

Through everything this lady has experienced over the past several years, she has always been my cheerleader since our days in BIOL-L101 as competitors for a slot in medical school. For now, it seems she’ll be the patient. “Keep your head up. I’m going to need you as my doctor one day! No giving up!” That is my motivation when I start to lose it. Every time I wonder why my path has been long and crooked, my best friend Carrie reminds me that there are patients out there who need me, and it may take a little longer to mold me into the person they need.

So for now I need to keep my eyes on the prize and continue to work hard through all of the extenuating circumstances in order to some day track down several zebras, and hoping that my friend will at least be okay, but hopefully thriving and happy by the time I make it out the other side as a competent and experienced physician. All I can do from here now is to be a friend and be there when she needs me to be. I really hope I get to see her soon, and that someone figures out how to make her better in the mean time.

 Oh LORD my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. Psalms 30:2

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