birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

In GODs Hands

Several years ago I began to experience my limbs falling asleep at night no matter how I lay in the bed. I began dropping things and having numbness in my fingers. I had pain in my wrists and fingers and was unable on some days to open a lock with a key or turn out a lamp at bedtime. I had several tests done for various conditions like carpel tunnel syndrome and something exotic called [X], which means that your muscles are compressing the nerves in your chest. Working in the medical field gives me a job and a place to learn constantly but sometimes it is like carrying around too much information. It's as if you went to the grocery store to just get a few things and ended up with a heavier load than you planned so you schlump to the checkout praying that nothing in your arms is glass… 

So the next test I am scheduled for is to have a test in my muscles where they put a wire in the muscles and send an electrical current through them to see if there is a problem with the nerves in my arms. Not a pleasant experience but it was a path to more knowledge. I deliberately do not go on any internet medical sites to look up nerve problems because back when I was in nursing school, I used to imagine every illness I studied as my own. I was picky however and only imagined the ones that were curable. 

I entered the testing room and met the assistant who set me up for the test. She was a beautiful young woman. She told me she was from New York but living in Birmingham to get a degree in neuro biology. She said that she picked Birmingham because she was a singer as well and she told me that “Birmingham was the new Portland” which apparently means that Portland has a lot of new bands. She had been in school in Miami and California as well. We laughed at the idea that Birmingham might be the new Portland because of weather too. 

The neurologist came in and he was from Nigeria. He said that his name was Dr. Eroboghene. I like words so I asked him what his name meant. He said “English names don’t mean things like the names in Nigeria.” I pressed him. He said “my name means everything is in GOD’s hands.” I think there was silence after that. I told him that I appreciated him telling me the meaning of his names and I told him that I was very grateful to hear it on that particular day. 

I intellectually know from experience that when I slow down my pace; I hear more, I see more and I breathe more. And there are times when that knowledge goes from my head to my heart and I am still in side. There is less anxiety—less reason to analyze. 

That experience reminded me to slow down to make space for me and the world. For me and others to connect. Once there is a connection and space to expand, the positive can happen and grow.