This blog was actually started back in December, but I have not been able to bring it to completion, mainly because of the emotions that I faced as a result of being a patient for two short days in the hospital.
After 30 plus years in the healthcare field as a nurse and a hospice chaplain, I now have a better grasp and understanding of the emotions and feelings that the patients are experiencing. As a result, I have a different understanding of my journey towards healing and wholeness.
I have heard that all medical personnel should have the experience of being a patient and I applauded that line of thinking, but now I know first hand that it should be a mandate for any who are thinking about entering the healthcare field.
I had the privilege of experiencing what it means to be admitted inpatient and spend two short but very difficult days at the hospital. I have been a patient before for rapid in and out surgery, which did not seem to have the impact that this two day stay did. I went to the hospital in the middle of the night for Atrial Fibrillation and ended up staying for two days, and those two days were two of the most difficult days I have ever spent, emotionally. Not only was I at the mercy of those who came into my room, but I also was dealing with my own mortality and the feelings that my body had betrayed me in some fashion.
First and foremost, I had to acknowledge that I am human and that I am not infallible. Working as a nurse for over thirty years and as a hospice chaplain for five, one would think that this truth would not have escaped me, but there I was trying to work through my own emotions in a not so private place. There was no place to run and hide, which made it all the more difficult for me. When I am in crisis mode I have a tendency to withdraw until I have processed the situation with God, and there was no way to withdraw, no way to retreat!
Second, I was completely out of my element and seriously not in control. I just wanted to run and scream and go home, and I was never able to truly relax while I was there (can anybody relax in the hospital?). I never knew that I was such a controlling person, but being at the mercy of others for a two day stay at the local hospital brought that reality to me in a challenging way.
My down fall in this arena is that I am a caregiver and I preach caregiving to those I work with, and yet, I have failed to practice what I have preached, always putting others first and myself last. This may be humble, but in retrospect, surely not wise.
The reality of this hospital stay brought my humanity fully into focus and I was reminded that God is the only infallible One. My challenge is how to BEGIN the journey of truly caring for myself, in order to embrace my prayer of “Being a vessel that brings honor and glory to God.” I covet your prayers as I seek how to practice self care daily.”