The fun part about the holiday season is the gathering of friends and family around great food and entertainment. It is also a time of giving and sharing. However, life happens in all occasions and what do you do if your aging parents fell sick and need a doctor?
What if Grandma needs to be taken immediately to the hospital during the holidays? At times like these, stress and confusion may exist if this happened…
We would like to share with you an article written by Dr. Eno on Connection and Spirituality in Medicine. We hope this special article will bring hope and build faith in you. We all wish we had a Dr. Eno near us who builds connection and practice spirituality in medicine.
Remember to take a list of all the medication, dosage and instructions along with you and Grandma or your aging parents. Also, don’t forget over the counter medicines that Grandma has in her medicine cabinet.
Keeping in Touch Solutions would like to send you a gift called Holiday Hope and Faith. Please send us an email with your name, address and phone number so we can overnight it to you as our special holiday gift.
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CONNECTION & SPIRITUALITY IN MEDICINE
By Dr. Eno Nsima-Obot, MD
Connection was something that I struggled with early in my medical career. It’s an area that normally left me feeling vulnerable. Think about it, when you are in relationship with someone, you are connected at a deep level.
The people you connect with, know all about you. It’s possible that intentionally or unintentionally they may hurt you.
It is no different in a doctor-patient relationship.
Treating medical illness can become a daunting task after several years. And we all know that not all illnesses can be cured. But physicians are Type A driven personalities.
We go into medical school to excel at what we do. We are in the world to make a difference.
We earnestly believe that if we try a little harder that we can save more lives.
Gradually, we come to the realization that no matter how smart or well put together our diagnosis or treatment plan is, we are going to lose some patients to death. I can tell you it’s not pleasant informing families of bad outcomes, of death.
We begin to suffer from the burden of not being able to provide immortality.
To insulate ourselves from what is that harsh reality, we begin to refer to patients as ‘the case of’.
For instance during residency training, when a doctor in training presents a case to a senior physician, it goes something like this:
‘I’m presenting the case of Ms. Jenny a 75 year old female who presented with diarrhea and vomiting…’
‘Ms Jenny’ became just another case that I had to get through during my day.
There is no connection. I treated her for whatever ailment she presented and we parted ways.
As I have grown as a physician, especially after training as a life coach, connecting with my patients and clients is an important part of who I am. It supports my personal development.
I am learning to reach out and be unafraid to feel the pain and uncertainty associated with the diagnosis of incurable disease.
I no longer look for ways to hide behind ‘it’s just a case’ and I’m ‘just doing my job’.
I’m not afraid to feel their pain, which at times that comes with deep connection. To be open and vulnerable.
I’m open about my faith and fearlessly declare that I serve a Higher Power. I’m not afraid to invite my patients to call on that Higher Power whatever they may perceive that to be.
Now I have also heard from some ‘know it alls’ that this is not ‘politically correct’. But perhaps I’m not meant to be politically correct as I work from a totally different paradigm of open heart.
Perhaps I’m not meant to be politically correct as I choose to live each day in line with my declared purpose.
I pray before I enter a room, that I put aside my ego and my need to look polished, right or smart and just hear my patient.
Last week was such an example about the power of spiritual connection.
I was the assigned physician for a patient who was admitted as an overnight observation. She had type 2 Diabetes and had come into the hospital with low blood sugars. As I performed my admission medical history and physical, I felt a stirring inside me.
I probed deeper, why did she not feel like eating causing her sugars to drop intodangerously low levels?
She sensed that I wanted genuinely hear her. She shared her diagnosis of a recurrent cancer in her right breast. The surgical wound had not healed in the last two months. She was depressed because without the wound healing, she would not be able to get the radiation treatments that would help place her cancer in remission.
Her husband had died some years earlier of colon cancer. She had two special needs sons and she was the primary care giver.
She felt she had nowhere to turn!
As I listened to this lady tell her story, I prayed that I be given words of inspiration and wisdom to serve her.
She did not need more medical facts. She already knew those. If the operation site did not heal, then the lymph nodes that still contained the cancer would become more inflamed and spread the cancer throughout here body.
Perhaps all facts but she did not need to hear this again.
Instead, I let her know that I heard her. I felt her pain. I reminded her that if she did not eat, her blood sugars would continue to drop low and that this would continue to delay the healing of her wound.
I took a deep breath and whispered to her,
‘But more important than all this is your faith..’
She peered at me. Perhaps surprised that a physician was speaking to her this way.
‘Yes’, I smiled down at her, ‘Your faith. Remember in that Great Success Book, He speaks of having faith the size of a mustard seed?’
She nodded, ‘Only the size of a mustard seed’ she responded as her eyes lit up.
‘And to remind yourself of just how small that faith needs to be, when you get home place a mustard seed in a handkerchief and fold it several times till it’s a tiny square and place it where you can see it’
‘Can you do that?’ I inquired. She nodded briskly brushing tears from her eyes.
‘Whenever you have doubts about His power to heal that wound, open up that handkerchief and look for that mustard seed’.
I had made a spiritual connection.
I asked her whether she would like a chaplain to come pray with her. She said yes. As I left, I promised that I would make sure that one was sent to see her by the next morning.
The next day, a wonderful chaplain visited with her and prayed with her and sang with her. Her sugars were back to normal and she was ready to go home.
The chaplain pulled me aside. She shared with me that my patient felt that she had been brought to the hospital at that precise time because I was destined to deliver that message to her.
I felt thankful that I had been able to do more than what would have been an easy therapeutic task. An easy 23-hour overnight admission. Simply reduce her diabetes medications, encourage her to eat and send her on her way.
As I sat at the desk writing notes and she waved goodbye to me I almost did not recognize her.
She looked radiant!
She had her hair pulled back in a ponytail and she looked pink and had a spring in her step as she walked down the hall.
Thank you Lord for the gift of your wisdom and for using me as an instrument of peace.
Here are some areas to look at in your life
In what areas of your life do you feel least connected?
In what areas of your life do you feel most connected?
If you were to be fully connected in every area of your life, what would that provide you?
As always I truly enjoy reading from you, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box, or if you would prefer to keep it private you can also contact me by clicking here.
To your Health & Wellbeing,
Born in London and raised in Nigeria, Dr. Eno Nsima-Obot is a board certified Internal Medicine Physician, with over 20 years of experience in the health & wellness industry.
She graduated from medical school in 1987 with awards in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Clinical Pharmacology and General Surgery. She was also the recipient for the quarterly award for compassion when she worked as a primary care physician with a large multi-specialty medical group in Chicago.
She is also a professional life coach. Based on her firsthand experience, she is committed to helping today’s 21st century woman enhance her health and wellbeing so that she experiences a more balanced life with less stress.
To download a free copy of her digital book ‘Dr. Eno’s Secret Strategies to Aging Gracefully’ click here (http://askdoctoreno.com/blog/secret-strategies-aging-gracefully/)
A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.
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