Perception or Reality?
posted by Wendy Lerman @ 10:07 PM
Sometimes it's as simple as turning off the light and turning on the lamp. When it looks different, it feels different. Depends on how you look at it.
More than Words
posted by Wendy Lerman @ 8:39 AM
The process we use to communicate with one another is often more complex than it needs to be. We all have the ability to communicate one way or another, though there are barriers to contend with such as language (and so forth) but that shouldn’t deter us right?
I started volunteering for the Reiki program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in April of this year. I’ve been assigned to two oncology pods in which I give reiki sessions to patients from both Brigham and Women’s and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. So far I’ve seen a wide range of patients suffering from everything imaginable. Oftentimes the patient doesn’t speak— or understand English— but I still manage to communicate with them because it goes beyond comprehending words.
“A” was one of my very first patients and he spoke very little English. His nurse felt strongly that “A” would greatly benefit from and enjoy a reiki session and urged me to go see him. Once I discovered that he didn’t speak English I was tempted to call for a translator but decided to give it a try and see what I could come up with.
I couldn’t help but stare at the pictures of “A”s” baby and wife on the wall. This very young man had a bad prognosis and did not look well at all. His eye color couldn’t be distinguished and all you could see was red—so very red…it broke my heart. I communicated with him the only way I know how—through my heart and he didn’t hesitate so I gave “A” his first reiki session— during which he fell sound asleep. As I left his room I hoped that I made a difference somehow.
“A” remained in the hospital, I— continued to give him sessions each week— began to notice how much better he looked and his spirits began to lift. Two weeks ago today I couldn’t get over how fantastic he looked and wondered if he would be released to go home.
Last week I popped my head into his room and noticed he was standing and walking around. His wife and baby were visiting and I told them I would give them some time together and check back. I had another reiki practitioner with me who has just joined our team and was showing her the ropes as far as hospital procedures go. When we returned to give “A” his session, he had literally just taken a turn for the worst and the doctors were in there trying to stabilize him. His wife came out to inform us that her husband was really looking forward to his session today and she then proceeded to break down. We then took her to the family room, gave her reiki, and once we were done, with tears in her eyes she told us “Now I see why my husband love reiki so much”.
“A’s” nurse didn’t know if he would survive the night. I informed our coordinator of the situation and she put him on the referral list to receive reiki from the next shift of volunteers.
When I arrived at the hospital today I was informed that “A” passed away yesterday. From our log books I saw that he was placed on CMO (comfort measures only) and received a few more sessions since last week.
Today just wasn’t the same. “A” has been there since the beginning of my new journey and now he is on a new journey of his own.
When I offer a patient a reiki session and they’ve never heard of, or want to hear more about it, I explain the process but I never expect anyone to believe— just because I said so—my hope is that they will experience it and decide for themselves. When they feel better, they know, and then want more. It’s all about how they/you feel. I wasn’t able to explain reiki to “A” with words but I still communicated with him just fine. RIP “A”.