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The medical procedures were not major, but were enough of a concern that I shared my anxiety with friends on social media. The three epidural injections were scheduled over a period of time and designed to relieve pain. I had opted to skip the pre-shot sedation. Sometimes, with no ill intent, “friends” increase the anxiety level. One friend replied, “I had the series of three; two out of the three weren’t bad.” Another commented, “A friend of mine was un-sedated for the first shot, chose sedation the second time!” Still another testified, “Hope they work for you. I’ve had more than I can remember and none worked for me.” One well-meaning friend wrote, “I hope this is your last injection.” Wow! One could take that as sounding a bit terminal. But one long-time friend assured me all would be well and encouraged me to just breathe correctly, passing along a soon-to-be favorite Spanish phrase, “Huele la flor y sopla la vela.” (Smell the flower, blow out the candle.). It reminded me of a proverb: “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” (Proverbs 27:9). The procedures went quickly and well, and I once again thanked God for friends who were supportive, even if some shared more encouraging words than others.

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