I have had the honor of knowing Roger for about 9 years, he held court, that's the best expression i can say for it, at one of my Nursing Homes. Although he was limited by paraplegia and suffered from many ailments from before i knew him, he was of indomitable spirit, and his transition saddened me.
I have for some time been on his email list and he kept me up to date on the parties he had in, or went out to ....few patients in all my years working in Nursing Facility Care have had as many visitors or been taken out for as many activities as Roger.
And he was forgiving of my limits, of the fact that we could not cure his illnesses, or even make his symptoms go away, but that we could continue to care for him and be present for him.
On day Roger showed me with the greatest pride a photo album his friends made of one of his birthday parties. The joy he received (and gave) from (to) other people was truly astounding.
When he sustained a leg fracture, his orthopedist recommended either very taxing surgery or amputation which i felt was not necessary ..... as i discussed it with Roger without the surgery he could never bear weight on the leg, and as he said "I"m not stupid, I haven't been able to walk on that leg in over 10 years." We tried Reiki and eventually we reduced the pain, and Roger got what would be called a "fibrous union" - it didn't allow him to bear weight, but allowed him to sit up in his wheelchair, and go out with his friends, and avoid a major operation.
Roger in spite of all that was stacked against him won, because he did not focus on his limits or wait to die, he lived the days he had and sent incredible ripples to his friends and through the world - people are sharing stories about this incredible loving human being and are inspired.
In another case, Molly one of our music therapists played (and recorded) a version of "Heavenly Days" - the favorite song of one of our patients who recently transitioned, Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn loved this song more than any other, and was going to be played at her funeral, and remind her friends and loved ones of her spirit - and send ripples through the world.
And i met with another family member today, we were just being present as we waited for her Mom to transition. Her hospice room was a peaceful and comfortable place, and family were present and sharing stories. They had some questions for us about the health care process, and i explained that there were no medical treatment options, but sometimes people improved when we least expected it, and encouraged their prayers in their own way. And after we talked the daughter told us, "Thank God I found believers here, this could have been much harder. What we can see with the spirit eye is amazing, there are spirits all around us - if i didn't believe in that I would have no hope."
And so in honor of Roger, i would suggest that we go beyond the tenets of "do no harm" and "practice evidence based medicine" and suggest that we never take away hope, and that we remember those who we have had the honor to be present for, and let them continue to live by telling their stories.
When we could not cure Roger's leg by conventional means, Roger asked me to provide him with Reiki, and, he was able to get out again with his friends. Now that he is outside my site, i will continue to remember him in my sending of Reiki, and remember the power of his hope when i find other patients who we cannot cure.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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