Focus on gratitude, even when visiting vampires

Published 2:40 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023

By Les Ferguson Jr.

I went to the doctor the other day. It was time for my annual check-in with my VA Health Care System physician.
I’m proud to be a veteran of the US Navy. I’m also thankful for the medical resources I need from time to time that are available because of my service.

And because this appointment was a fasting visit with complete blood work, I got up early and endured black coffee only. In time, I saddled up my trusty truck and drove up to the Marshall County VA clinic in
Holly Springs.

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It was a beautiful sunshiny day and an easy, relaxing drive.

Relaxing is important. I have a well-documented case of white coat syndrome – which is a nice way of saying I’m often a nervous, worrying wreck and that plays havoc with my blood pressure.

But not this day. This day everything was copacetic. My blood pressure was normal, and the visit with staff and doctor was pleasantly short and sweet. Even the vampire who took my blood was kind and
efficient – all in all a relatively painless visit.

Can you say whew?

The truth is there is no baby like a grown man baby. I always say needles and pain when they ask if I am allergic to anything.

But like I said, all was well, and again, I’m thankful for my medical options. If you have any medical care access, you are far more blessed than many in our big world.

Recently we celebrated Nurse’s Week. At the time, I didn’t say anything relevant in my social media accounts, but I am saying it now: Nurses, doctors, orderlies, dieticians, counselors, therapists and anyone who helps provide any measure of health care is a blessing, and worthy of gratitude.

We complain about a lot of things in our culture. And I get it. There is much that could be better and should be. There are injustices and difficulties all around – and if we are not careful, those things can
become our focus to the exclusion of all the joy that can still be found.

So let me encourage you to do two things: spend more time being grateful than complaining; and, the next time you interact with a healthcare provider, tell them you are thankful for who they are and what they do.

In the meantime, I hope you stay away from needles and pain!

“Hallelujah! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.” (Psalm 106:1 CSB17)

Les Feguson Jr., is minister at Oxford Church of Christ. Write to him at