Question for Bernie:
I am a trainee paramedic, a calling I love dearly. From time to time we are placed in very stressful situations where any wrong move could cost a life. How do you advise that one can keep calm in crisis situations and perform effectively as we are trained to do, rather than sometimes feeling like the “deer in the headlights”?
As a health care professional, you will get used to the idea faster than most people that we all die. But it is important not to become unsympathetic to your patients. You are there to render a vital service and to show compassion as you do the best you can in each situation. That is what people in crisis need.
Remember to really listen to them and touch them—yes, you are trained to do both to get vital information about their condition, but go beyond that. People in crisis are afraid, and if you concentrate on calming them down with quiet, attentive listening and gentle touch, you will find yourself calming down.
As you deliver them to other caregivers, leave your patients with the reminder that they can heal and do not need to fear the future. Your kind, competent care will help them re-focus and find strength.
Question for Bernie:
I have been diagnosed with an acoustic schwannoma (2.5×2.4×2.1) in my left ear. I feel heavy on my left face and the numbness seems to be on and off along with tingling in my mouth that sometimes subsides.
First, I went to see our family neurologist who ordered an MRI. When I went back to discuss the results, our neurologist said that it needs to be surgically removed, and asked the secretary to make an appointment with the neurosurgeon. So I went to see the neurosurgeon for his opinion and was advised to go for radiosurgery instead. He referred me to another hospital that has the required facility. I was quite confused and felt like I was left hanging in the middle of nowhere. The whole process, including the mere mention of an operation, has already made me depressed to the extent that I can’t work normally.
I’m 49, single, and the breadwinner for the family that includes my parents (mother 79/father 74) and younger sister. We all live together. All my life I have supported my family including my two married brothers in time of difficulty. I do not want any of them to be affected by my situation, and that is why I’m trying to find alternative solution to my problem.
I’ve been praying every day and friends have been praying for me as well. I am attending a healing mass with my mother every Sunday and will continue to do so whenever there are other healing masses in our community.
I’ve also been reading some articles and came across your name. I decided to write hoping that you can help me with my health problem, including looking for an alternative approach like any diet program that I can start in the meantime. Thank you and God bless.
First, to help make the decision between surgery or radiation therapy, draw a picture of yourself having surgery and another where you are receiving radiation therapy. E-mail them to me if you can’t see from your inner wisdom what the right choice is for you.
Clearly you are one of those compassionate and responsible people who give generously in caring for others. That is a wonderful characteristic—but often caregivers tend to put themselves at the bottom of the list in terms of self-care. It is hard to understand that actually you should be at the top of the list, because self-care gives you the physical and emotional strength to make and sustain the strong Mind-Body-Spirit Connection you need to continue including the comprehensive care of others in your life.
On my website, click on “Resources” at the top of the home page which takes you to a page where you should select “Organizations and Websites.” That takes you to another page where, if you go down to almost the end of the list you will find the “Immune Competent Personality Test.” Click on that and read the questions.
Question for Bernie:
My sister has been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Will she make it?
The question is–can she make it? The answer is “Yes—the potential is there.” She is not a statistic.
So tell her to read my books and to love herself and her life. Healing occurs in an environment of love because love nourishes and supports the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection.
Look over the meditation and visualization CDs in my catalog—they can be so helpful in learning how to live in the moment. Help her accept focusing on herself, and really listen to her. You can be a great support by learning how to gently remind her to live in the moment.
Here is one of the quotations in my book 365 Prescriptions for the Soul that you and your sister may like as much as I do:
“Hope is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—”
– Emily Dickinson