Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The park!!!

I took this photo about a week and a half after my surgery.  Sterling and I walked all the way to the park my our house, (on a good day it is about a ten minute walk).  I took it as a sign that my body was healing well and I was ready to get back to work.   So I went back to work, teaching and visiting my Hospice Patients.  Slowly my body started whispering (take more time), and then it started talking and finally it started screaming at me.  I heard my body whispering, and I decided it was just growing pains, and healing is not always painless.  THe good thing about the body is that it continues to speak up until you start to listen.   I am pretty stubborn, so it tends to have to get pretty loud.

So I took another week away from my patients.  I sent a request out to all my friend for some help with basic errands and tasks.   People offered so much support, they came by, they called me, they offered to do things I never would have even thought about.   There was a moment when a friend came by and asked "what can I do?"  I answered "Can you please take out the trash?"   It is such a  simple thing and it meant the world to me, the people that brought me meals, that helped with laundry, that called just to check on me.   It was very humbling.

So I took it easy and I still don't feel great.  I still wanted to stay in bed.   So as I drove the the vet to pick up medicine for Sterling I had to think, what is my lesson right now?   What can I learn from this?

1.  The body doesn't heal on the mind's time table.  It takes as much time as it wants.
2.  I am incredibly loved and blessed to have so many wonderful friends that are willing to help me with unglamourous tasks.
3.  Sometimes it makes sense to take your pain medication even if it means you will be stuck at home and unable to think clearly.  

However I was grappling with a statement.  As I drove to the vet I felt so useless, because I was not able to do as much as I wanted.   Because a simple errand left me exhausted and I still had a patient to see.   Then it all clicked.   

I am getting a brief, shallow glimpse into my patient's worlds.  A brief stint in what it is like to ask people to help you with simple tasks, to know that moving will increase the pain and still doing it anyway.  That anyone you have the ability to interact with is to be cherished.   That someone spending time with you, reading to you, or just being near provides comfort.   

People ask me what I do with my patients, and it is all very simple things, I talk with them, I hold their hand, I listen, I sit in a room with them while they sleep.   This last week has shown me what that is worth to me.   It is priceless, and I am so thankful that my friends and Adam took the time to be with me.    

Question to consider: What do you find the most comforting when you are getting better?

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