Everyone wants to know how a sick person is doing, but, generally it is related to their physical ailment, not their psyche, their thoughts and fears.
I read a short review on a book by a nurse, Courtney Davis, who ended up spending twenty eight days in the hospital for what should have been a “simple surgery” and quick recovery time. The reviewer of her book, When the Nurse Becomes a Patient, struck on a point that I’ve overlooked for the most part when visiting in the hospital - the fear factor. The author wrote: “My pain was intense, and so was my fear. Fear is pain’s companion – and yet no care-giver asked me to rate my fear . . . Medication might lessen our bodily pains, turning an 8 into a 5, but it doesn’t necessarily render us less afraid.”
The scale of pain - 1 to 10 was taught to me by my assistant, the late Bob Smock. Although in usage for eons, since I had never been in a hospital I never heard it . . . not until he asked it of someone in my hearing. Now I’m wondering if I need to come up with an additional scale, that of fear, to discover what level is my parishioner in his/her spirit. We can and should pray for healing of the body, but maybe we need to expand our prayers and comfort to this area.
Of course, you probably already knew this. Maybe I’m just slow coming to the party.
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