Almost immediately, she (Nadine) got on the phone with a trusted friend and asked for a doctoral referral. Within a matter of minutes she came back from her office and had a name and phone number of an internist. I called the doctor’s office and got an appointment five days of making the call. I didn’t know I could get in so quickly, but the Doctor had a cancellation and put me in the slot.
Over the next 5 days, my symptoms continued to become more frequent, so that when we (Nadine and I) went in for the visit, I could tell the doctor what I was experiencing, the frequency of the painful episodes, and the blood pressure at the time of the episodes. The next two weeks seemed to be a blur. The doctor became alarmed at what I was saying and immediately called his cardiologist friend about what he was seeing. We have a house in Flagstaff to get some relief from the hot summers of Phoenix. He was very stern when he said, “There will be no driving to Flagstaff.” “There will be no exercise.” He wanted me to rest and do nothing until I saw the cardiologist. There just so happened to be a cancellation the next day so I showed up at his office the next morning.
Before I saw the cardiologist, my doctor wanted me to do an EKG test that day. I was following the advice of the doctor and went right over for the EKG test which was normal. It gave me some reassurance after the doctor expressed real concern over what was going on. He also set up an Echo Cardiogram the next day which turned out to be normal. I did get good news that I had a normal heart with no damage to the heart. But my chest pain persisted and that was alarming to the cardiologist.
The next day the cardiologist came into the room and began asking a barrage of questions. He concluded his time with me by wondering if he would just send me to the hospital right then and there to get an angiogram or wait for a few days to schedule a stress test. After asking a few more questions, he decided on the latter and set up the stress test for three days from there.
Long story short, I had the Nuclear Stress test which I failed and was in the hospital the next day getting an angiogram. All this to say that I needed to seek wise counsel for what I was experiencing. I couldn’t diagnose this on my own. I needed those in the field of medicine and in particular the heart doctors to ascertain what was going on and seek to fix the source of my pain.
What kind of symptoms are you having in your life? Does it involve a challenging teenager that you can’t seem to fix? Does it involve a spouse whom you are disconnected with and can’t seem to solve your relational problems? Do you have some addictive behaviors and have minimized the intensity of your problems? Are you finding yourself reaching out and experiencing a spiritual void that doesn’t seem to be resolving itself?
On this journey, there will be times when we need more than someone to come along and share our burdens with. We need wise counsel from someone who specializes in the symptoms we are facing. Seeking out, listening, and acting on that wise counsel can be the start of a new life.