The Art of Communicating

>> Thursday, February 25, 2016

Due to the medical history of my family, the doctors in my life have requested I have a colonoscopy every few years. I know the drill…and it isn’t fun. When I mention to others I am scheduled for one, the usual comment is “the worst part is taking the stuff before the procedure”. I agree it is awful.

But for me it’s never been the worst part.

My husband would take time off work, because he knew I wouldn’t really know what I was doing for a day or two. I lived in a confusing fog. It’s an awful feeling.
Each time, before the procedure began, I would ask the anesthesiologist to please back off on the anesthesia, because I had a hard time waking up. They always agreed to do so…placed the IV in my arm and asked me to count backwards from ten. I could make it to eight before the world went away.

Yesterday I experienced my sixth colonoscopy. When the anesthesiologist came to my side, I knew I needed to speak to him differently than in the past. So I told him my stories.

I don’t take much medicine. One time when I was hospitalized, they wanted to give me a sleeping pill at bedtime.  Though I explained I didn’t need it, I was made to take it. The next day when I was taken to x-ray, they could not even put me in a wheelchair. I had to be placed on a gurney. I was told later the x-ray technician didn’t understand why I had been sedated to have an x-ray.

It was the sleeping pill the night before.

After several other stories that gave evidence to my susceptibility to sedation, the anesthesiologist said, “I understand what you are telling me. I will start with a little and you tell me if you need more”. There was no counting backwards. No feeling of being knocked out. I could see the screen the doctor was using. I knew when the procedure had been completed. And for the first time I knew what the doctor told me when it was over. I knew when I went home. I knew what I had to eat. I just knew.

No awful feeling.

In our daily lives…in our communication with others…are we saying the same thing repeatedly and expecting them to hear something differently? Do we need to tell our story instead of requesting a change in them? 

Do we understand the art of communicating? It sure made a difference for me this time.

“There was dead silence. No one said a word. With the room quiet, Barnabas and Paul reported matter-of-factly on the miracles and wonders God had done among the other nations through their ministry. The silence deepened; you could hear a pin drop.” Acts 15:12-13 (MSG)


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