Which Direction?


We make choices every day. Sometimes we choose not to make a decision which means something unfolds not necessarily to our liking. Through my illness and recovery I am finding out all sorts of things about myself regarding boundaries and inner authority. On occasion, we have to decide upon a direction in life and go with it. Other times, we find the choice propels us in a direction that is surprising.

I had been in recovery a couple of hours when a man came by, wanting to bring me to my room. I was a bit gnarly with him because at last memory the nurse said I was not stable. I was not going with him until I had clearance from a medical staff person. There I was, fog-brained, but fighting against the inconvenience of this man needing to wait longer than he thought necessary to transport me. I am not sure what his problem was but I knew that the direction he wanted to take me was not life-giving but rather life-endangering.

This was one of several incidents during my hospital stay that made me tap into my inner authority and trust my intuition. My surgeon had a lovely resident working with him who would swing by mornings to check in with me.  She guided me in thoughtful ways with her great confidence spilling over into my pores.  One night early on I still had a spotter when I did my walk in the hallway. He told me in a veiled way that I smelled. In retrospect perhaps he should have alerted a nurse that I was leaking some bodily fluids that most people will never do in their lifetime. As the resident plunked herself down for her morning chat, I was grateful she was alone.  Already we had established a good rapport so I had some questions for her. I mentioned the foul smell that I emitted some nights. She assured me that I did not smell but I asked about my drain cup leakage and we decided that better care was needed for that wound.

That same morning we discussed who I should be listening to. Some days I received conflicting advice. This lovely woman basically said I was the boss of me. I knew what was best so even though people told me what they thought I needed to participate actively. In today’s first reading, from Acts, the Lord tells Paul in prison: Keep up your courage!  This encapsulated what I would need to do. In my life, I have struggled with authority and the resident gave me permission to claim my inner boss. I was going to walk boldly in that direction.

Overall, the medical teams were great but the care was inconsistent on a busy ward. What I found is that I am a patient woman but I also am learning not to settle. I am grateful for the encouraging words from the resident, my surgeon and other staff who helped me navigate the healthcare system with greater confidence. I could collaborate with the direction I needed to go  in order to move forward on the road to health.

Have you claimed your inner boss yet?



About sstyves

A Canadian prairie girl rooted in Ignatian spirituality, I seek God in all things. Whether I catch a glimpse of the Divine and delight in its presence in nature or in the beauty of an encounter with someone, I am ever so grateful that I can recognize the Creator. I greet each new day with hope and happiness, expecting blessings and miracles because I am created to praise, love and serve God. This blog is one way of realizing that through my writings, prayers, and photography. To God be the Glory!
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11 Responses to Which Direction?

  1. Your account is pretty harrowing, Suzanne. It calls to mind several incidents I have heard about, some of them lethal. It also reminds me of what you have said about discernment. It seems to me that given the enormities at stake, with so much resting on the patient, that if there are even small things a patient’s well wishers can do to strengthen her in her resolve, they should do it. It seems so perverse that even those with many well wishers still seem to wind up confronting certain existential enormities all alone, that the hospital is not always the refuge it should be.

    • sstyves says:

      Hospitals have over-worked and stressed staff. I have not yet written about one special night nurse who brought the gift of joy to his patients. Stay tuned!

  2. Monica says:

    I agree with LG above. It takes courage to stand up for what our intuition/inner wisdom tells us especially when we are medically vulnerable. I love the thought of the inner boss and especially in combination with Jesus’s words to Paul in prison (keep up your courage!). Best to you Suzanne, and other readers of this page.

  3. Trust your instinct, it can’t fail you. I hope you recover quickly Suzanne, peace out

  4. SimpleLivingOver50 says:

    Yes, our inner wisdom can be silenced by so many emotions, but once we find the time to actually listen we learn much. Congratulations on finding your way, I know you will move forward in the direction of better health. 🙂

  5. sstyves says:

    Thanks. Blessings.

  6. Pingback: In Praise of Doctors | God in all things

  7. Pingback: A Patient’s View | God in all things

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