Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gratitude.

Yesterday’s blog entry was triggered by a visit to the doctor’s office. As many of you know I struggle with chronic illness and hospital stays are often unfortunately, a normal occurrence. I highly dislike (not to use the word hate) anything that has to do with western medicine. Even as an infant I was extremely anxious when it came to going to the paediatrician. As a child it only got worst. I remember crying and having bowel symptoms before any kind of doctor’s appointment. By the time, I could choose whether to consult a physician or not, the choice was taken away from me because of juvenile diabetes. Depending on doctors for drug prescriptions made it impossible for me to follow my father’s route and see a physician only once in a blue moon. To be honest if it would have been left to me I wouldn’t be standing here semi-lecturing you about the value of healthy attitudes. I’d be roaming the realm of the ancestors and bugging you from the after-life.

Almost ten years ago I was admitted to the hospital for a kidney issue. The emergency was filled with people. A few dozen patients were lined up in the hallway, corridors of whining and crying individuals complaining about some ailment or another. I remained in a small examining room for a few hours until they could find a spot for me. It was 3 o’clock in the morning. I didn’t have access to a bell and I was hooked up on iv’s. I was feeling sick. At first I wondered if perhaps I was having a reaction to the meds the nurses had given me; but when my vision blurred, and I had difficulty breathing and thinking full sentences I knew that I was in major trouble. I remember closing my eyes and picturing the face of one of the nephrologists I had seen the previous afternoon. I repeated the visualisation a few times until I heard voices screaming my name from outside my door. In the corridor a few nurses were asking patients if they knew of me. It was an orderly who finally shouted: “In the examining room. She’s in the examining room.” The door burst open and I don’t remember anything else until two days later. By then, I was in my own hospital room, in one of the wards. I was told by the nurses who cared for me that “I was the talk of the hospital and lucky to be alive.”

Remember the nephrologist I visualized before passing out?
Well according to the story she ended up calling the emergency at exactly 3:00am wanting an update on my condition. She explained to the nurse who took the call that she was woken by a dream where she saw me calling her for help. After looking through my chart the nurses discovered that they hadn’t looked in on me in almost four hours which is highly unusual. When they couldn’t find me anywhere they sounded an alarm. The doctor who had the dream didn’t wait for anyone to call her back. She jumped in her car and made it to the hospital in record time. I was told that she took over the situation as soon as she arrived at the emergency and hadn’t left the hospital since the incident, waiting impatiently for my recovery. You should have seen the smile on the woman’s face when she saw me lucidly awake.

Everyone was surprised with the fact that Dr.J listened to her dream. They were later impressed when Dr.J who knew me very well, explained to everyone that I was a dream expert and capable of dream phenomenon. When I admitted having visualized and intentionally called out to her through the dreaming Dr.J was incredibly grateful that she took the time to listen and call in for an update. During the course of my hospital stay I was the cause of a lot of whispering. I had nurses, orderlies, doctors and even patients stop by my room to discuss their dreams and ask questions about numerous paranormal incidents in their lives. In the months that followed, my ordeal also became important in a dispute where doctors asked for crucial changes in the emergency room. I’m glad to report that the physicians won their cause.

Every year around Christmas, I take the time to go into the hospital to give holiday wishes and hand-made crafts to the nurses and doctors. Through the years I’ve come to know these people personally and care for them deeply. I often believe that a lot about my experience with illness is more about them than it is about me. It’s apparently the way it has translated itself. Doctors, nurses and orderlies are no different than any other human beings making a living. They aspire to succeed in their career; they get tired and fed up with co-workers or work; they struggle with personal, financial or health issues which like anyone else may distract them. They often feel unrecognized and unappreciated; but they don’t openly complain about it. And they certainly welcome a change of pace if you offer them a happy story and a heart felt thank you.

In 1996 when a surgeon saved my life from peritonitis caused by an appendicitis, I gave him a tobacco pouch and offered him a prayer in the same way our ancestors would have treated a Medicine Man. Dr.L was so touched by it, he literally whimpered in my presence for a few minutes. As you can imagine he got me crying like a baby too. I later found out that he left the hospital and joined an organisation which offers medical help to third world countries. Sometimes you just don’t know why you do the things you do until the Universe sends you confirmation. Through the decades I’ve become more trusting of my dreams and more confident with my actions. Where I would have censored myself more as a young adult, now I don’t bother with any kind of second guessing. After countless experiences I just don’t see why we need to keep asking for proof.

Yesterday, I walked around with my Santa bag delivering gifts and cards between my medical test and appointment. I noticed after years of agonizing over hospital visits that yesterday, I actually enjoyed being there. Patients whispered amongst each other and some mentioned how nice it was that I generously gave back. The nurse behind the counter told the patients who were fascinated that the medical personnel actually anticipated me and kept an eye out for my visit.

“All of her gifts are hand made,” she said with pride, “and they are beautiful.”

Some people think that I’m crazy to work so hard on making things that I give away so easily to people that I barely know. Of course, my perspective is very different. I tend to believe that I know these people often more so than casual friends. You’d be surprised to hear what is shared when people are faced with topics of mortality. Plus, what other reason could there be than to give a part of yourself to those who have given to you a part of themselves?

I’ve come to understand that 75% of my health experience has been about bringing dreaming awareness to others. There hasn’t been one medical situation (mine or that of a loved one) where it hasn’t been about some kind of dream phenomenon. Some people will say that I could pick up a dream through anyone’s story; and they would probably be right.

I believe that nothing occurs without design.

There’s no doubt that I don’t like being sick and I still don’t like anything that has to do with medical interventions. I still have my “inner child moments” where I buckle in two and hold my stomach in anxious anticipation refusing one more needle or yet another test. Still, I can sincerely admit that I wouldn’t change any detail of my life story even though it is stained with pain and loss. I think that it’s possible for anyone out there who is living with chronic or terminal illness to let go of dysfunctional anger, resentment, bitterness, fear and anxiety. Life is eternal. It moves through illness and death. I think that our dreams can inspire us and guide us to fully live our story and embrace the learning and healing that life offers us with each breath.

Happy Winter Solstice to doctors, nurses, orderlies and all care givers out there… May the Cosmos return to you all the loving and healing you share with all of your patients.
Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas.

9 comments:

ChristyDeer said...

I loved this story! It reminded me of when Ryan was in the hospital after he was hit by a car.

Most of the nurses would come and take their breaks in his room, because, they said, he was the only one in the hospital who wasn't depressed, sad, or complaining.
And was welcoming and chatty too!

I always look up to Ryan and the way he interacts with people...fully welcoming to all and never a single judgment! it astounds me. It's what I strive for.

Fishrarr said...

Very interesting story for sure. I find that gratitude is the best way to work with the unseen world and therefore this world. Giving thanks before it even happens can work wonders, and shorten the journey of burdens by a long ways. Blessings, Tom.

Michelle said...

Your story brought happy tears this lunch hour Lisa! My heart is bursting from the love I feel in your words. I want to be in gratitude your story showed me how to do this. Beautiful!
Love
Michelle

LauraX said...

What a beautiful story from your lived experience....I am so pleased to have discovered your blog this evening! YOU are quite remarkable, what a gift you have to share with those you meet. For me when in medical settings...or at home when it is home health practitioners, the gift I give is kindness and gratitude for everything they do for me. I try to make every nurse feel comfortable no matter how many times it takes to get an iv into my arm (I have fussy veins that tend to blow). It is good to give back to those who care for us.

gentle steps

Wapeyit Malsom said...

To everyone,

Thank you for reading my blog.

LISA

Wheelkeeper said...

Thank you for your story Lisa. It is so heartfelt and real, the gratitude shines through every word!

MaryRose

louise said...

When Charles was at the hospital I had to fight with the beaurocrats and one nurse in particular, but most of those nurses and doctors where really great people.
There was this nurse in particular she had 2 children and treatted Charles like she would treat her own child, she was patient and loving.
We spoke a lot together and I told her how grateful I was that she was assigned to my son.
Louise

WampumBlueRaven said...

THANK YOU LISA... your post really demonstrated the power of a circular reality and the community it chose to create, despite the hardships of the illness.

THANKS AGAIN,
love and light
Nathalie

Wapeyit Malsom said...

I'm extremely grateful for your comments.
I love to share with you all and it's wonderful when you take the time to share with me as well.

WOLIKON (thank you)
LISA