Wednesday, May 28, 2008

in praise of healers

I have literally 10 minutes to write this...and then I am off to the hospital to spend time with my mom. I mentioned before that she went through major back surgery on the 9th...had to have *more* emergency surgery on the 12th...spent 6 more days at the hospital recovering. She was rushed via ambulance and re-admitted this past Friday due to a serious infection. On the ambulance ride to Portland, I believe with my whole heart that the EMT's (who I have a deep and abiding respect and admiration for...they are, quite simply, the unsung heroes of my mother's saga) saved her life at least three times. Yeah. It's been a nightmare.

Early Tuesday morning, around 1 am, my mom hit rock bottom (her words) and was filled with a despair that she was never going to leave the hospital. She is very religious--and she tells me she prayed, hard, for a sign that she would see the green grass and big sky of Shapleigh once more. 10 minutes later, in walked her night nurse, a wonderful woman with a beautiful soul who my family is quickly learning to love. This nurse spent much of this early morning with my mom, first talking and listening, then massaging, then doing Reiki on her for a time. My mom describes the Reiki (which she had never heard of before) as the most amazing, comforting thing she has ever felt.

When I walked into the hospital at 7 that morning, she told me that God answered her prayers last night and sent her this nurse. And that a great deal of her pain was gone...poof. And that she was no longer filled with despair, but had a new hope that she would indeed get better and find her way home again. She said that for the first time in nearly 6 years, she was feeling little if any pain. And it should be noted that she went 13 hours yesterday without pain medication. I am fully aware that I may walk in her room this morning and find that she has had another setback--yet this gift of spending yesterday without pain is extraordinary.

There are small miracles that happen constantly in hospitals, and in my mom's case at least, nurses are usually the ones who hand-deliver these miracles. This experience has been overwhelming, in so many ways. Every night I leave the hospital, I am so deeply thankful for the care and compassion and love that these nurses have shown my mom, and by extension, my family.

And most especially I am thankful for this angel of a woman who gently laid her hands on my mom and gave her hope.


Dawn on MDI said...

What a wonderful, hopeful post. I have been thinking about you and your mom this past weekend and hoped that things were going ok. It is good to hear that she has a good healer (probably more than one in that place) and that she has hope. Attitude can make a world of difference in all kinds of recovery, and it sounds like your mom has hit a turning point. With hope, she is much better equipped to fight whatever battles she must in order to come home. Good luck to you all and know that good thoughts are headed your way from the wilds of Downeast.

MRMacrum said...

Ditto what dawn on mdi said.

It was not until I discovered my own mortality and chronic illness that I came to appreciate the power of hope. Allowing myself to fall prey to the hopelessness of my situation only makes matters worse. It is an ongoing battle. Attitude definitely rules here. My situation is way less life threatening in the short term than your mom's, but it is something that will shorten my years on this planet. And finding the right attitude to deal with it has been way more important in my recovery than anything the doctors have tried or suggested.

Your mom sounds like a strong woman. I hope for you and her the best of the time you have left with each other. I admire the committment you have made to her.