Wednesday, 12 March 2014

When You Feel Like More Than A Patient

You will indulge me for spending an inordinate amount of time heaping praise on the health care system - and more importantly the precious souls that I have been exposed to since this journey began almost one year ago. It is our nature not to speak out about the good which is why I spent the bulk of my career in health care defending the system when things went awry between patients, family members, advocacy groups and care providers. So much rooted in internal dynamics in families that tainted the provision of care...each situation so linked to moments when people did not felt heard. I have always had intense compassion for those patients - but I have learned a lot about the perspective of those providing care in recent months - more directly than I ever had the opportunity in the past.
So it is a testament to the bond that has been forged between me and my merry team of care providers that some special moments happened today. First, a call from beautiful Fiona from my family doctors office to check in on how I was doing and to let us know she'd heard from my doctor who is out of commission for a few weeks. My sweet, amazing Dr. Leah Norgrove had me on her mind - as she is constantly on mine. This unexpectedly lovely exchange - yet another reminder that despite my failing body I am so deeply connected and indebted to the special souls who have been there for me in these last tumultuous weeks. Then came a surprise visit from my regular home care nurse Joan Doerkson who just wanted to check in, even though I am temporarily under the care of the broader Palliative Response Team. Seeing her lovely face ...sitting in the sunshine with her hand on my back - brought its own sense of healing. Then around the same time the joyful nurse Carol and counsellor Arnie from the PRT team came to follow up on some unfinished business from yesterday - both a pleasure to be around. One can not help but to be bowled over by these special people who have come into our lives and our home - by something deeper than their amazing skills and experience but by the love they bring each and every day to the hundreds of patients who depend on them and the relief of knowing they can pick up the phone and the kindly cavalry will be at the door - armed like Mary Poppins with a bag of treats and delights - to bring you back to a new definition of comfort. I am blessed and in awe at what I continue to receive - even as my body continues its steady and necessary decline. I am simply and gratefully drowning in love.

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