One of the most profound (I have a few!) moments in my nursing career was caring for a man post-stroke.
He was left side flaccid, very depressed, and not adjusting to his new normal. He would not participate in therapies. His wife was struggling as well and frustrated with the fact that he seemed to have given up.
I sat, held his hand, and spoke with him as he remained silent. I told him gently that he couldn’t go back, and he had a choice to stay stuck where he was, mind and spirit, or move with intention forward and learn how to use his new body in new and different ways.
He and his wife apparently sought me out for weeks after he finished rehab—and they finally showed up one day again when I was working.
“Watch this,” his wife said.
He was so incredibly proud to show me that he could move his left pinky finger, something he could not do when I was caring for him right after the stroke.
They both thanked me for my love, care, and words; it was the spark of love and life out of the depths of darkness that they both were searching for.
Everyone, including me, was in tears. Joy.
You never know how much your love, care, and kind truths can help heal and positively impact those around you when you embody love, itself—in any setting.
The small things are the big things. Patients are not their room number, their disease, or what happened to them. They are whole humans who may have temporarily forgotten this fact, and true healing begins with the mind and spirit; the body will follow. This is holistic care.