I am sorry
I am sorry
There are days that just feel wrong. All I can say is ” I am sorry” and then wait. No words are formulated and no preconditioned responses can be regurgitated. Immersed in the throes of patient care, it is very easy to be fully focussed on treating the disease and not the human being in front of you. Compassion and empathy are tools of necessity yet there are times when I feel inadequate with even these in my armamentarium. The best example is when I have to inform the patient about bad news. Their health is failing or they need to undergo a major invasive life changing procedure. Yes it may be for their benefit, yet the shock is at times too much for patient and provider. Regardless of disease be it cancer or heart disease or anything beyond a bunion removal ( being facetious) the seriousness hurts our psyche and fears set it. As physicians we are taught through experience to dawn the time honored tough coat when breaking bad news. Unfortunately, this strips me of my humanity as well as rendering me naked with compassion and pain as I wait for the information to create some assemblance in the patients’ distraught mind.
The wait can feel like an eternity, yet it passes with tears, fears and anger that finally reach the surface. No one ever wants to hear bad news about their health, yet it is the product of an ailing body that will aways fail or succumb to unwanted disease. When the anguish has settled a new opportunity arises that must be seized by both patient and physician. The patient can be pulled out from the blackness of almost despair by the ropes of connection and security in an undestined relationship to begin a different path.
The tough news once catabolized gives way to the avenues of healing. This is a special journey as both the patient and the healer partake. Healing is always two ways with healer also benefitting. With a sense of genuine love for another human being, there lies the cultivation of healing that has infinite potential of success. When both healer and patient bridge the gap of disease and treatment the seemingly endless horizon till better health does not seem that vast. Anything and everything can be shifted with the energy of love.
When holding space for a patient, friend, or family member I would suggest involving this powerful energy in the mix. What unfolds is boundless healing. I can say ” I am sorry….. ” but I can also say ” Let’s get you feeling better” ( from a space of love).
You can too.