Holistic Care-giving

wash clothLast week at the University of Utah and SHIM integrative healing conference, Dale Hull, MD spoke about his healing journey recovering from a spinal cord injury, which he titled, “Pleased but not Satisfied … My Adventure with Paralysis.” He said  patients have to subordinate themselves to other human beings, and it means a lot to them when those others love or at least like them. He said he could tell the difference when a care-giver liked him or not simply by the way the care-give washed his face. I think it would be hard enough not being able to wash your own face, but then add to it someone who doesn’t even want to wash it for you in a kind and loving way – that would be the opposite of a healing moment. This made me think about nursing and other care-givers.  Recipients of our care are sensitive and vulnerable. We cannot treat them with anything other than love and respect. When I am in a position of dependence and a recipient of health care, I want a holistic care-giver who likes me just because I am a fellow traveler. We can travel our healing journeys together.

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