I volunteer at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in a program called Transforming Care at Bed Side (TCAB). This last Friday I got to see some very sick patients and, although conversation wise we did not exchange too many words, I got to do little favors for them and could see in their eyes that that made them happy. However, one of them thanked me for caring, which was very nice, but I felt that there was more to it than that.
I was looking her right in the eyes when she said that and I had this strong sensation that she had said it because she thought that people usually do not care that much about what happens to other people. This belief mediated her response to pain. She had decided to suffer in silence because she thought that people did not care. This reminded me of another patient that I had visited some weeks back. She was an elderly woman. I asked her if she was in pain and she said yes. We talked about what was the cause of her pain. At some point I had to leave in order to visit other patients. She made me promise I would come back. I went back after a while and we picked up where we left off and we had a nice, long conversation. She was smiling when I left. She was not in pain anymore.
Do not hesitate to ask for help when in need. People do care and it can help your health.
Blog by Marian Popescu