Sunday, October 30, 2011

Too Numerous To Count

My Mom and I went to a nice lady’s room to tell her that we know why she was having fevers and the pain in her back.  It’s because she has a kidney infection, but she will be alright because the antibiotics will help her.
This nice lady has so many problems in her life --  she had a spinal cord injury in a car accident when she was only 18 and so she can’t walk, and she has a large open wound on her back that goes all the way down to the bone.  The wound has not healed for two years.  She also has diabetes and heart problems and has had a stroke, and she recently lost vision in one of her eyes.  To make things worse, she recently lost her job because of her vision problems, and so she lost her home too.  But somehow, in spite of all of her problems, she is one of the nicest people we know.  She always smiles and tries to make other people feel better.  And she has a soft warm lap that I like to rest on.

Nice lady: “How do you know that I have a kidney infection?”
Mom: “Well, in your urine test we saw that there were quite a lot of white blood cells, which are there to fight infection."
Nice lady: “A lot? How many white cells is a lot?”
Mom: “The laboratory reports it as TOO NUMEROUS TO COUNT”.
Nice lady: “Wow. That does sound like a lot.” 

The nice lady became quiet and looked thoughtfully outside the window.  I turned over onto my side, and she took my cue to scratch my chest gently for a good long while. 

My Mom waited silently. She smiled at me approvingly, because she could tell that the nice lady was enjoying me and that I was enjoying her too. I smiled back at my Mom with my eyes.

Then Mom asked what the nice lady was thinking about.

The nice lady answered, “I was just thinking how that is a new and unusual way to report a very large number that is beyond measure . . .  And I was thinking, do you know what else is  TOO NUMEROUS TO COUNT ?        . . .        All of my blessings.”