The present for every sick person? Give time!

Thé present for every sick person? Give time!

Imagine that one day you are taken into hospital and put in a bed for months on end. You are lying there. Alone. Waiting. Connected to a drip, plastic tubes and beeping monitors, while your eyes are constantly turning towards the door of your room. Because there is no-one.
 
File:Krankenzimmer.JPGSpecialists and nurses come to your bed every so often. They give you attention and take care of you. It is not always easy, because the work pressure is high. It is often a hurried care. There is not much time for other things. At the same time it is not necessary to talk to the nurses about living with uncomfort, pain and loss. They know, better than anyone, the hard and rough side of a hospital bed.

Let us be grateful that they ARE there and do what they DO.
Being a patient is under-estimated. To be seriously ill, feels life threatening. Illness throws you back, confronts and makes you dependent. Isolates. When something is seriously wrong with your body, your spirit follows. A lot of things happen. Questions about life, belief and other issues arise. They force you to look at things in a different way. Unasked-for your heart is put to the test, your spirit chastened.

It is the inside of life that knocks at the door, holds up a mirror and invites you to be different, to look for answers, to be receptive to new, until then, unknown insights.

Therefore, do not enter a sickroom in order to talk and talk. The sick suffer and struggle with a lot, fight against sadness and loss, live with uncertainty, confusion, fear and many unanswered questions.

Every ” And how are you ?”…
is best followed by a respectful silence and listening. Give them the time to speak, the possibility to search for words or … to say nothing at all. In the context of drastic questions of life and death , silence is often suitable. Because when language is not enough, silence can be meaningful.

By ‘being there’ and listening, you give a sick person that which he needs most: presence. Or is it ‘being inside’?

Dutch original / Nederlands origineel: Hét cadeau voor elke zieke? Geef tijd!

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2 Comments

Filed under Health affairs, Movement Without a Name, Social affairs, Welfare matters

2 responses to “The present for every sick person? Give time!

  1. Twenty three years ago I experienced a medical crisis and was hospitalized for a number of weeks on morphine, seriously ill. I absolutely agree that presence and patience are the best gifts an ill person can receive. Slowed by the morphine which dulled the pain, my response time lagged and I wasn’t much of a conversationalist. But knowing people cared enough to take the time to be present mattered to me. One other thing that helped me tremendously was that every time one of my caregivers came in, including when the procedure was the middle of the night and would involve pain, they spoke my name and shared theirs. That was a real lifeline to me and I can’t emphasize that overmuch. Simply saying, “Hi, Joanne, it’s Mary” forged a connection I held on to when they proceeded with care. So, I want to thank you for this post, we need to hear this kind of information…and I thank you as well for linking my post, Grass Between My Toes, to it. I hope people also find it meaningful. Jo

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  2. Dear Jo, thank you very much for your positive reaction and your willingness to share some of your experiences.

    Like

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