Suzi and I are TherapyPet visitors and we and our friends Jan and her dog Lorelle visit the Pulmonary Sub Acute section at a hospital once a week (almost weekly)and the Rehab floor. On the PSA floor and we visit one patient and her mother who is always there. Six plus years now this forty one year old woman has been in a mindless state so they say since the day of giving birth to twins. She suffered an aneurysm in her heart during the birthing and then a stroke which all caused by the inept anesthesiologist who has been since retired and a sizable sum in trust has been paid by the insurance company due to mall practice his a mall practice.
Meanwhile this woman’s life was sucked out of her. Dr. Jill Bolte’s book, My Stroke of Insight, offers excellent information from the point of view of the victim of a stroke or aneurysm. She is a brain neurologist specialist research person at Harvard Brain Institute. This book offers the hope that the person is really “in there” but cannot function cognitively because the left side of the brain is probably dead or asleep as is the case in a great percentage of strokes, she said. I found her book most encouraging.
The right side of the brain she says is often not effected as much as the left brain, and the right side of the brain is where the emotions, the intuitive aspects of awareness are active. She talked of her own stroke experience and how she was aware and thinking even though when her mother or doctors or nurses spoke to her she could not understand the garble of the words; they were not able to be understood by her, yet she was thinking, somehow, what is that word? what is “soup” or whatever the words may have been. This was remarkable since the left brain is recognized as having language capacity and her left brain was flooded with blood and dead.
This where Dr. Bolte identified this “knowing” as her “authentic voice” or her “authentic me” which was able to think and perceive energy positive or negative by people in her presence although she was unable to communicate or comprehend language.
Back to our patient, in this last year and half I have noticed her eyes responding to our presence, and voices. I have also noticed she is exhibiting more emotion and expression in her eyes. For one she now really focus’s on me and looks into my eyes and looks me up and down. Her eyes well up in tears if I haven’t been there to see her for over 3 weeks. Lately she has actually spoken a few words; that is she has repeated back the words. One day she answered a nurse with “why?” She is so dear; I know she feels the energy of love, of God’s love, of our prayers, our positive hope that we talk about over her. She is very definitely “in there.”
My heart goes out to her; I pray for her daily morning and night and whenever I think of her; which can be often. She has taught me so very much about gratitude, about contentment for where I am, for the blessings I have been so fortunate to be heir to via my Lord and my family. There are many tragic conditions that other people are living through, one is a lady who is the room with her.
She is really in a vegetable state and nothing is really being done other than basic care for her.
It seems to me now after reading Dr. Jill Bolte’s book that there should be brain neurologists involved with these people. The only doctors that see these patients on this floor unit are lung doctors, not even neurologists are called in for diagnosis. It seems a tragedy to me.
After praying and getting caught up with the mother, Suzi and I go upstairs to the Rehab floor. Today on this floor there were thirty-nine patients. The floor consists of halls that make a complete square with nursing stations on two ends, rehab labs, also staff and janitor rooms are in the inside walls and the outside walls are all patient rooms. One of the rehab workers, leads us along to room to room; they go in each room and ask the patients if they are up to a TherapyPet visit. Some are and some aren’t; some we don’t ask because of need for translator or quarantine reasons.
When both teams, Suzi and me and Jan and Lorelle visit we share the attention. However, Suzi attracts attention from everyone; the nurses, the CNA’s, mostly women but men too; people who are staff workers. Lorelle does too since so many people have had Labs and love them so very much. Its the touching, the rubbing, and the cooing of expressed love that seems to give us the therapy of renewed energy and happiness. So we visit not only the patients but everyone. There is a lady doctor who loves to see Suzi when she is there.
We don’t keep count or remember the count, but on the average we visit about four to five staff people, and about five or six patients sometimes more sometimes fewer. Occasionally we sit and visit longer than usual; the patient governs the length of our visit; some just love to pet Suzi & Lorelle, Suzi sits by them on their beds sometimes to their joy, while the patient talks to Suzi or to Lorelle or Jan or me asking questions. They love telling stories about the dog they grew up with or have or how they are going to get a dog. We hear a lot of baby talk to Suzi and Lorelle…its amazing. Everyone always thanks us. It takes a good hour to make one round of rooms. Sometimes it is longer. On the second floor we stay from half hour to 45 minutes. Once or twice due to discussions I stayed almost an hour; that day I didn’t go upstairs and Jan and Lorelle weren’t’ with us. All in all it is can be draining but it is a heartfelt experience; it is fun to see people happy and enjoying the dogs. Suzi is really a charmer.
Suzi and I do walk every day though along the water Bay Walk just along the skirts of The Shores where we live. We are so close and Suzi loves to watch all the other people walking their dogs. We’ve met some very nice people and dogs on our walks. It seems wherever we go people stop us to talk about Suzi or their dogs. She always without exception puts a smile on the faces of those who spot her…even from people in cars driving by on the road. She is truly a “lifter of hearts”; thats’ my little Suzi. I’m just along for the ride.
We really enjoy the warmth after all the rain and wind we’ve been graced with lately. We did love that too and walking in it is fun for us. Not Suzi’s favorite though to get wet. Now the weather has lightened up with sunshine as summer is about to be upon us. I suppose we will have to readjust now to the warmer weather. But we healthy and can walk, praise God!
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