I have been sooooo busy and have neglected you, my dear blog. In May I quit my long term job, effectively ending a 22 year career as a tax accountant. On June 2nd I began a 10 week Clinical Pastoral Education program. And oh, yea, I got married on June 28th. I have alot of thoughts about all of these events, which I hope to get to later, but I had an experience at the hospital yesterday that has brought me to the "must write" stage.
I have a patient who has been on an amazing health odyssey, but may be turning the corner as we speak. She has suffered so much. Physical pain, loss of control over anything in her life, loss of personal power, it goes on and on. Among these tribulations, she has surgical wounds that have been slow to heal and they need their dressings changed every few days, a process which takes over an hour and causes her a great deal of pain. I was in her room yesterday when the wound care team descended and I could see in her face that she knew what that meant. She asked me to stay with her through the process. I felt terrified and honored at the same time. Needless to say, I stayed.
During the ensuing hour, in addition to bearing witness to her pain, soothing her, singing to her and reminding her to breathe, I witnessed the movement of the divine in those 3 nurses. They cared for her so deeply, one could see that they did each thing with such care, knowing they had to cause her pain, but being unwilling to cause any unnecessary pain. They spoke with her as another being, not a patient, letting her know her wounds were looking much better and they spoke to her about what they were doing in each step. They looked into her face many times, speaking to her, seeing her, acknowledging her humanity. The nurses transcended their nursing skills, which were substantial, and cared for this entire woman, holding her in a way that every one of us as a child of God is worthy of being held.
It was a Holy moment and a humbling one. I felt honored to be among those, who despite all they see in their jobs, despite the fact that they need to do their jobs, hang on to the knowledge of what is the most important to each of us, to be acknowledged and affirmed in our basic, shared humanity.
Namaste my dear nurses, for indeed I saw the God in you today.
Blessings to all who care for others,