Sunday, January 11, 2009
Positive Thought= Positive Outcome
My friend and neighbor, Marian, recently sustained a displaced fracture of the proximal humerus (just below the shoulder). I saw her X-Rays and saw that the break was not a simple one. In fact, it required surgery with a plate and screw fixation. From my 21 years in the world of Orthopedics, I know how painful and debilitating this fracture can be.
Marian had just returned home from the Boston area where her injury occurred. When I received the news I made a house call to see if she needed any private duty nursing. I expected to find her in pain and restricted to her recliner chair. Instead, she greeted me at the door with a big smile and warm welcome. If her right arm wasn't in a sling, I wouldn't have guessed she had just been through the physical challenges she had recently endured.
A few days later, after being evaluated by the local Orthopod, she underwent surgery with a plate and screw fixation of the fracture. Two days later, I returned once again to give any assistance that might be needed and discovered her this time, playing the piano with her left hand. There was no outward sign of pain or suffering.
Marian had every right to be zoned out on analgesics. Many people would not only be suffering from the physical discomfort, but also from the emotional pain of having your life's activities modified dramatically. Instead, Marian is somehow staying positive through it all and is her usual gracious self.
Granted....Marian is naturally positive. Her nickname as a child was "Happy". Her spiritual muscle of allowing "what is" and being grateful, even when the normal life routine is uprooted, is what I believe keeps her in a state of well being.
So far all is well with Marian's progress. In fact, it is better than well. I have no doubt she will move over each hurdle with the same grace she has thus far. She will be back playing the piano with two hands before long and will eventually be jumping back into all of her usual activities with both feet.
Having had the experience of taking care of countless patients with the same injury, my appreciation and inspiration from Marian's attitude reinforces, once again, that thought creates your experience. Marian is making hers as pleasant as possible.