He was testing me.
“How many fingers do you see? What about this stick with a ball on the end, how many balls can you see? What if I move it way over here? How many now?”
Then he got out a tuning fork. “Can you hear this? What about when I touch it behind your ear, can you hear it now? What about now?” He pressed the tuning fork to the centre of my forehead.
“Yeah, it’s louder on the right,” I said.
“Can you feel this?” Poke. “Yes!”
“What about here?” Poke. “No.”
After a half-hour of tests it was a new day. Well, Thursday. And it was confirmed. The tumor was effecting my hearing, facial feeling and possibly my vision - all on the left side. He had a tool to test everything all neatly arrayed in a briefcase.
“It’s like your bag of tricks,” I joked. “You’ve got a toy for every test.”
He agreed and then I asked something I had been wondering as I watched him work.
I said, “I know you want the best for the patients and wish they weren’t sick.” He nodded. “Putting that to one side, do you get excited when something unusual like this comes along? Is it fun to explore a patient’s abilities when their brain is working differently?”
An uncomfortable grimace played across his face and slowly morphed into a smile. “The brain is a magic machine.” He said. “Yes, I do enjoy it. It’s fascinating.”
This world is filled with lots of broken people. Or at least with people with lots of broken bits. Isn’t it nice that there are gifted people — healers — who are wired to be enthralled by our broken bits and compelled to put them back together again?
I’m glad that neurologist loved brains. I’m glad he was there at midnight to explore mine. Thanks Doc. I’m glad you love what you do!
That experience got me wondering; perhaps each of us are a mixture of healer and sufferer. At times we need help. At other times we provide help. In what special way are you wired to help others heal? You’ll know it when you love it.