Finally I had an appointment the next afternoon with a surgeon (the one who eventually fixed the disk) and looking at my pills, I realized that I was one short.
About twelve years ago I had a ruptured disk and was in really severe pain. The local clinic, thinking that I had a muscle spasm, had given me the most powerful painkiller they could and it allowed me to sleep some but certainly didn’t take away all the pain. I mean, I’m usually pretty stoic but I was lying in bed moaning!
That meant horrible pain while I waited for the doctor. I called the clinic and explained the situation. Either they had miscounted or I had dropped and lost a pill. Could I get just one more to see me through?
The woman on the phone went and asked the doctor. Sorry, no way. I’d just have to tough it out. I explained myself all over again, emphasizing that I just wanted One Pill. (This, by the way, was a clinic my family and I’d been patients at for about twenty years. I felt they should have known I wasn’t someone scamming drugs.)
Our conversation went on, back and forth for about twenty minutes with me getting increasingly upset (it was near time for my next pill and I was really hurting.) The woman on the phone went and asked the doctor again: same negative reply.
And then (and I have no idea where this came from), I heard myself saying, “I don’t want to have to do this but I am going to be forced to wish that this doctor feel that same sort of pain that I’m feeling right now.”
There was a startled silence and then the women on the other end said. “Don’t do that! Just wait a minute and I’ll be right back.”
When she returned it was to say that three pills would be waiting if my husband could come pick them up.
“I only need one,” I told her.
“That’s all right," she said, speaking in soothing tones. "The doctor wants to be sure you have enough.”
I’m still trying to sort out the message of this story. But I promise only to use my powers for good.