As I sat in the waiting room two days ago, and noticed that it felt oddly familiar and comfortable, I assumed that was what I would write my next blog post about: waiting. The hundreds and hundreds (if not thousands) of hours I have spent in waiting rooms over the past many years. Then there’s the months and months and months of waiting to get into specialists and some of the best doctors in the country. I thought I would maybe add something about how good things happen to those who wait, even if the waiting is 8 or more years. After the surgeon came out and told us how wonderfully everything had gone, I had this hope that the seemingly eternal waiting was over.
But then Becca does what she always does: she had a complication. A flash pulmonary edema instantly filled her lungs with fluid and the pandemonium began. My thoughts on waiting flew out the window and were replaced by the experience we had over the next several hours:
Connections = Power
There is absolute nothing that can substitute for the strength and power that come through our human connections. Nothing!
As we arrived at the ICU room they had quickly moved Becca to, our hearts broke to find her hysterical and frenzied. She was completely panicked, unable to get any air into her lungs and feeling like she was drowning. Which technically, I suppose she was. She was surrounded by a team of trauma doctors and nurses desperately trying to talk with her and calm her down so she could try to focus on intentional breathing and not frantic gasping. They were having no luck and it looked like sheer chaos.
Right now the hospital rules dictate that she is allowed only two designated visitors in total, but only one at a time. The very wise and experienced team working on her immediately backed off and let us both in right away. They knew full well that she needed someone she loves and has a bond with to step in and try to calm her stress, anxiety and fear. They graciously faded into the background and we stepped in to take over in that space where medicine and even the best team of doctors around can’t reach: the need for love and meaningful relationships.
Though it took some time and repeated efforts, we were successful. The longer we were there, the more it took only a physical touch to calm her down. Just a touch continues to ease her stress so she can relax and focus on her breathing. That simple touch conveys so much meaning:
- It means someone loves her.
- It means someone she trusts is watching out for her and knows she is struggling.
- It means safety and security.
- It means she is not alone.
That touch is her connection to surviving.
Likewise, the phone calls and texts I have gotten the past few days have certainly saved me. They have eased my stress and helped me know that I have friends and family that care. That I am not alone.
So at this moment I ask everyone to stop and think about who might need your connection today. Who might need your physical or social touch? Who can you check in on or stop to visit? Who desperately needs the love you have to help comfort and ease their stress or anxiety? Who needs to know that they are not alone?
You may not feel like it, but you are an incredibly powerful person. YOU can provide the power those around you need for survival. The connections YOU make with someone who is struggling can change the course of a day or even the course of a life. There is nothing that can make up for the connections that people have with YOU.
Reach out. Empower. Encourage. Help. Make a touch. Show love.
Please make sure those around you never have to feel alone while fighting a monster!