Earlier this week, I had a minor surgery to remove a cyst in my neck. The procedure was performed in an operating room. As they wheeled me in, I saw a room full of stainless-steel equipment and nurses bundled up in their surgical garb and masks and remembered I was going to be fully awake for this procedure. The area numbed with Novocain before the doctor was to remove the growth with a scalpel.
Being awake, I made small talk with the nurses, who were very kind and chatted with me too. There was one nurse whose job it was to sit and keep me company, while monitoring my vital signs. I did not think I was nervous since I knew what was going to happen and how it was going to happen. Yet the moment they helped me on to the operating table I seem to have gotten cold feet. I wanted to run away!
When she strapped on the blood pressure cuff, my cover of small talk and cracking jokes was blown! My heartrate and blood pressure were through the roof! Even though I tried to play it cool, statistics showed my body was clearly in fight or flight mode. The nurse, in charge of my vitals, was a welcome distraction from the reality of a large incision being made to my body while awake.
When the doctor walked in, I chatted with her too. She’s become my favorite doctor and I feel very comfortable with her. In my head, I was trying to calm myself, by inducing my own meditative state of breathing deep and such. No luck, my body knew what was going to happen and even though my mind was very logical and factual, my blood pressure was not coming down.
It’s like my body knew trauma was coming and it was very scared. At that moment I knew I needed comfort. I looked at the nurse, who was right next to me the whole time, and asked her. “Will you please hold my hand?”
She obliged kindly and continued to hold my hand for the whole procedure. Doing her best to ask me questions and give me distractions from the doctor and scalpel working diligently behind me. Nurse W told me she was a seasoned nurse, working part-time until retirement. I could tell. She had calmness and caring demeanor only years of practice can produce. It made me feel like I could ask her to help me in the only way she could, by holding my hand.
Isn’t it funny how you can find comfort in a perfect stranger’s hand in a time of trauma, anxiety or extreme stress? Okay, maybe funny isn’t the word. It is quite a miracle and blessing that humans can form a connection so quickly in times of need. What is even more beautiful is the nurse who chose to make this her life path; to help strangers with kindness and compassion in very stressful moments.
Nurses, Doctors, Firemen, Police Officers, Caregivers, are often there for strangers on our most horrible or trying days. The men and women who stand with folks in their community to help them through it all, are very much a blessing to humanity. Not everyone is wired to be able to have a heart, so giving and open, to hold a stranger’s hand even on a regular day with no stress.
Do some people hold more compassion inside then others? I think so. But what I find is that even those of us who aren’t comfortable with unfamiliar people will still offer comfort in times of duress, even if they too are stressed. Is this a characteristic built into our DNA, to care for others when it is most needed? Is it an innate knowing that we are all connected by the spark of God, that brings us all to life? I do not know. But I’d like to think so.
What I do know is that I am very thankful for the nurse who held my hand that day. She kindly offered me comfort and did her best to divert my attention from the surgery happening while we talked. I cannot help but use this scenario as an analogy of life.
It is on our hardest, most challenging days, that we need others help us get through.
Unfortunately, these days aren’t always as obvious as being strapped to an operating table. Sometimes there are strangers walking past us in the grocery store or working in the cubicle right next to you; that are having one of the worst days of their lives. Inner trauma is just as painful as physical trauma, just in a different way.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all live heart-centered lives so that others would feel safe in asking; “Will you please hold my hand?” when they need it most?
Even if it is just for a short time, your compassion does make a difference. Kindness is a characteristic that we must practice to be good at. Seeing folks in our community as extended family, instead of strangers, is where we can start. Do unto others and such. Remember, even a kind stranger serving as a short distraction from pain (in any form) can make a huge difference in the world.
Thank you for reading my blog today.
May you find comfort and love all around you. May you have the chance to act as comfort and love to another.
Wishing you an abundance of blessings,
Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister
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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister