Compassion

by Sarah Luna

I’ve begun my rotation in the hospital working as an exercise physiologist for inpatient cardiac rehab. If it were possible to sum up my experiences there in a word, it would be compassion. I have seen patients in pain. And then I’ve had to get them up and walking. I’ve had to unhook them and physically move them when they have no strength. I touched a blind man with AIDS whose skin looked like crepe paper and was covered in sores. I’ve seen patients only a few years older than me with bodies ravaged by drugs and smoke. Each time I see a patient, I must be encouraging and uplifting even if what I see makes me want to cry.

But there is strength, too. Yesterday, an 18 month old boy visiting his grandmother ran up to me and hugged my legs. I still have the cream of wheat he was eating on my pants. He held her hand as she slowly walked the corridor. A man who had just gotten out of open heart surgery this morning found the strength and courage to walk 280 feet. A spunky old woman about five feet tall told the doctor that he wouldn’t put her in a nursing home and proceeded to do a little jig in her room. I want to be just like her.

The vision of St Joseph’s Hospital is: Extending the healing ministry of Jesus, the St. Joseph Health System reflects God’s love and compassion by providing excellent health care. I feel privileged to work at such a place. My first day, I noticed that the prayer of Saint Francis appeared on each computer screen.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

This is my prayer for my time here at the hospital.

Advertisements