Talking with a patient 

I sat down with a patient of mine. This particular man has Parkinson’s disease. I was needing some help with motivating myself to get my day done so I asked him, “what’s the most challenging part of motivating yourself?”

He sat there, broken body and shining pair of blue eyes behind his poorly fitting glasses. “The hardest part about motivating yourself is loss of mobility. It takes you longer to get things done so people end up doing them for you. Well, then there is also the speech difficulty, where you can’t get your words out right and of course no one really takes the time to listen to you so then decisions start being made without consulting you. I guess I would rather have Alzheimer’s than Parkinson’s because then maybe I wouldn’t know what is happening to me. Because when people start working around you and doing life for you, you begin to feel more like a thing rather than a human being.”

Needless to say, tears ran down his face as he was finally able to say this. My eyes were blistering with tears as well.  I’m not sure which motivating lesson I received, but I did leave his home understanding this:

Sometimes and some days, people are so unused to being attended to with a open pair of ears, that when finally attention is given, the first thing that will surface is pain. 

We must understand this. In healing there is a principle that before it gets better, it looks worse. Be prepared when offering your understanding that a person will hand you the most painful feeling first, before the joy, before the laughter, before the pleasure. 

I’m sure that today, he is looking out his window at this foggy morning, talking himself up to get out of bed one more day, to make it count, to live. The Lord bless you man, for helping me understand. 

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