Don’t Flinch

“Don’t flinch,” that’s the phrase I hear most these days. It comes out of the mouth of every nurse who draws my blood. She usually says it just before she roots around in my arm or hand searching for the one vein that’s not thoroughly exhausted by being tapped all the time for the deep red liquid that holds the secrets of my ailments.

Radiologists constantly tell me, “don’t flinch” whenever they contort my body into odd positions so images can be snapped inside my body. I often lay motionless with my arms at my side on the cold, beige tables listening to the sound of whatever machine is peering through my skin, wondering if this is what it feels like to be on a coroner’s table. Luckily, after each examine, I’ve always risen to face another challenging day.

My long list of doctors, most with specialty names ending in the term “ologist” like gastroenterologist, recite the phrase as the press on the very spot I told them was hurting me to figure out what’s going on.

I also hear “don’t flinch” from my co-workers, family and friends as encouragement to not give up the fight for my life.

The most demanding requests for me not to flinch comes from people who hold tight to their faith. To them, I’m not supposed to worry or fear what’s going on in my life because it’s all part of God’s plan. While I don’t doubt that’s true, I am also human. As a human, I can’t help being ruled by my emotions, including fear, at times.

However, I “don’t flinch” anymore when I hear the expression, face the actions or people that prompt it to pop into my head. Instead, I turn to my faith to help me quell my concerns, remain unflinching when I needed. My beliefs teach me that I am as God intended since He makes no mistakes; that He is watching over me and that when I feel the need to flinch, He will be there as my rock, keeping me steady.

About the author:

Nika C. Beamon is the author of the new IndieReader approved and Publisher’s Weekly praised medical memoir, Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House. She’s also the author of I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married (Chicago Review Press, 2009) and two mystery novels.

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