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Nov 21, 2018

The Resilient Life

Co-founder and Vice President Kim Eckenroth, MS, APRN, FNP-C, often writes devotionals for our staff. We thought you might also appreciate them, so we created a special section on our blog to share them with you. We hope they touch your heart too.

I am reading a book about the character trait of resiliency and how it applies to our spiritual life. It is the story of a man who frequently talks about his time on the track team in high school, how he received little encouragement at times and how easy it would have been repeatedly through those years to have given up on his immediate goal at hand. He applies this analogy to many experiences in his later life and how he worked through wanting to quit or give up, especially in difficult circumstances. He talks about how by nature he was genetically wired to be a quitter, his difficulties in early childhood, his lack of natural talent and so forth.

Gordon Macdonald has now written 65 books and speaks across the country to many men’s groups. He has obviously mastered how to push through giving up as he is a very accomplished individual. The book is excellent and I recommend it.

None of us really know what challenges our hospice patients and families have faced. We know the immediate struggle with the terminal illness and family crisis that has resulted. We have no understanding of the persons disappointments, hurts and failures in life. It is often these unresolved issues that our patients visibly and painfully struggle with that keep them from experiencing the peace so needed at the end of life.

One of our past patients comes to mind that some of our long-term staff will remember. We had a gentleman who had a very painful oncology issue. His wife would not give him pain medicine. She just did not believe in using them. Our staff approached this problem from every angle. We educated the wife about the medications and dispelled narcotic myths. We reasoned with her, drug concentration levels, nonverbal pain cues and the pain assessments of her husband. There was no stone left unturned, logically and clinically speaking.

After some period of time, the story began to slowly come out, bit by bit. Many years before, the patient had been unfaithful to her and she had not forgiven him. She wanted him to suffer physically as she had emotionally throughout their married life. Despite the close involvement of our chaplain and social worker, this reason for not administering the drugs had not occurred to us. After discussion, prayer and the miracle of forgiveness, this wife put her 30 years of pain behind her. Because of the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the faithfulness of our staff and our refusal to give up that we were witnesses to such a miracle.

Today as we start our day, I am asking God to give you insight into your patients lives and tenacity to push forward with the families we are called to serve. Praying for resiliency to continue to encourage, love and help relieve the suffering of those brought into your life today. It is in the interruption, the rerouting of your schedule, the revisiting of your patient that God uses your talents to help resolve these often life-long struggles and hurts of our patients and families. Your skill, kindness and competency serve as the vehicle where healing can occur.

Have a great day everyone,

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