Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

I am not so naïve as to believe that your medical background will not help heal me.  However, there is a lot that you can learn venturing outside the classroom.  There is a lot that you can learn from people like me.  Come through my door.  Come sit by my bed.  Talk to me.  Listen to me.  There is so much that I/we your patients can help you learn so much more than your college education can ever teach you.

Lessons: Truly, I am sorry that you may be having a bad day.  I am sorry that maybe your significant other snapped at you as you were leaving the house.  I am sorry that your children were fighting at home this morning.  Tonight I cannot see my kids.  I have to stay here in this hospital bed.  I really am sorry that life is giving you some problems right now; however, at this moment, I want to be your most important problem.

I know that you are concerned.  I can see it in your eyes.  I know that you care because you take a moment or two to really listen when you ask how I am feeling.  The machines can continue beeping, but you cared because you took a moment to listen to me instead of to them.

I have had the opportunity to meet world-class medical personnel through my life experiences.  Many of these people were excellent providers of medical knowledge.  Those names have slipped quietly away from my memory.  Few though, have been amazing providers of medical care.  Those, those people will forever remain in my mind.  Dr. Howard: He cared not only about me, but about the care I received.  I was not a scheduled surgery; I was a person (a wife, a mother, a daughter).  Cheryl always asked about my children.  She still has a smile that radiates the room when I stop by to say hi.  Abby was an aide who brought me ice cream and a Styrofoam cup late one night to make me smile.  We sat together and ate – most importantly we smiled.  Julie took time to shave my legs in the midst of her busy day.  She did not have to, but I was eternally thankful.  I may not have had any hair on my head but she still helped me feel feminine.  Matt and Dana looked beyond the prognosis and into the hope I possessed.  From this outlook, I have the gained the ability to be the capable person I am today.  Justin, Dr. Wright and Dr. Duchaine all gave me time and support to find my weakness allowing me to gain insight on my strengths. There are so many more.  I do not remember any of their diplomas hanging from walls.  I cannot tell you where most of them gained their education.  Nonetheless, I can tell you what amazing hearts they possess.  These individuals carried me when I did not have the strength to stand.  To you I am grateful for the strength I have gained.

Yes, medical workers please do bring your medical knowledge to my room.  But it is your sincere care and consideration that will heal my soul.  And only with my soul together again can I stand this tall.  For that, you will never leave my memory.  Thank you to every caretaker out there that knows that value of caring for the person not just the patient.

Comments on: "Critical Lesson for Medical Personnel" (7)

  1. Ah. In the words of the amazing Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

    • That is such a true statement Stef! I remember so many people from my past based on the actions they took and how it left me feeling rather than the subtle passing we may have had. Thanks for reminding me of a beautiful quote!


  2. This is simply fabulous. I would very much like to share this when I go speak to a group of nursing students. Sharing perspectives can be so powerful. Thank-you for sharing your journey. Heather

  3. […] finally, this is a wonderful and informative post to the medical community from a woman who has seizures, stroke, and […]

  4. What an honor it is to have your blog refer to mine! I have been to your site many times and left with a feeling of hope lingering after each and every visit. My warmest wishes go out to you, Aidan, your oldest son and husband. Thank you for the optimism you deliver to others!


  5. nelson RN said:

    This is very touching, Tara… and an eye-opener for some who just come to work in the hospital and just try to “finish” the day. I have to admit that sometimes, when the workload is just too much, I don’t get the time to really sit down and have a chat with my patients. I regret these days because I know my patients need somebody who would actually “listen.” I have a nice post about this that you might want to check out – http://digitalcatharsis.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/i-want-to-listen/

    This is an amazing and well-written post.

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