I had the honor of being the Health Care Director for my mom at the end of her life a few months ago. What an amazing and humbling experience for me.
She had called her eight children to visit as she prepared to transition. We came from all over the United States to spend time with her so that she could tell us stories of our childhood, and her life, and we could say our goodbyes. She lived to the age of 88, and lived actively, as it should be for everyone.
She walked everywhere, climbed stairs to the second story of her family home to get to bed each night, mowed her 1/2 acre lawn and raked the Autumn leaves at her rural home. She loved the beach and the outdoors, and played basketball at a park for her 80th birthday celebration. She rolled the trash and recycling cans up and down a hilly driveway each week, cleaned her own home, and provided all of her self-care up until the last few weeks of her life.
Yet when it was her time to go, she intuitively knew. In fact, the medical profession didn't quite understand it. Her numbers were "good," and she could do a lot more than other patients on the hospital ward. “Ms. Anne” often set the bed alarm off as she tried to stay active.
While Mom was in the hospital, they loaded her up with so many medications for every symptom that came her way. She at one point said the medications were going to kill her. Little did she know how right she was. The doctors were trying to stop her stomach from bleeding. So they administered ample amounts of prednisone, yet the bleeding never stopped.
At the same time, she was having a lot of skin irritations. I had brought coconut oil with me. I find it helpful, especially for older skin, as it nourishes quite well, feels good, and provides antioxidant and anti-aging properties. It also has antimicrobial and antifungal agents, as well as sun-shielding properties, and can help with peeling skin. My mom liked the feel of it and kept putting it on her skin.
When Mom requested that I get her home from the hospital to hospice care, I took her seriously. Although she had declined quite rapidly in a few weeks, hospice did not initially get approved. Having returned to California, I fought through the steps to get her home, and we had another hospice company visit her. It was then that we received hospice approval.
Mom stopped all medications except a couple for comfort. Her skin on her arms began to peel several layers, as if someone had poured buckets of hot water on her. It was raw and painful. When I asked the hospice nurse what could cause that reaction, she said long-term use of prednisone. My mom was on it for 2 weeks. I then realized why my mother seldom took pharmaceuticals. The side-effects far outweighed the benefits for her; she spent her life finding other ways to nourish herself to health.
So I asked the hospice nurse to apply coconut oil to her skin. The nurse informed me that using coconut oil went against the hospice doctor's orders. He prescribed vaseline and gauze on the wounds. I asked for the coconut oil to be applied first, then add the doctor recommended treatment. I was surprised that she continued to discuss this with me. Well meaning and doing her job, the nurse wanted me to know the seriousness of my request before she applied it.
Hospice is wonderful and did a fabulous job with my Mom’s end of life support! But have we gotten so off-track with pharmaceutical solutions that if we use a nutritive supplement - like coconut oil, we are violating doctor's orders? Seriously? How have we gone so wrong in our thinking and treatment of our health? Doesn't a patient have any say anymore into what she/he is called to do?
I am an advocate, a warrior, for listening to the body and doing what you are called to do, no matter what a doctor or anyone else recommends. The typical doctor may spent 10 minutes with you once a year, run tests and prescribe surgery/medication, but YOU are the best one to take the information presented, weigh all the pro's and con's, and listen to your body and your intuition to go with what you feel is best.
Especially as Highly Sensitive Empaths, we need to honor our bodies and create a superstructure of support for what they need, even if others don't agree with us. We are in charge of our health. That’s where being a Warrior Empath comes in. We need to follow our intuition no matter what, and go against doctor’s orders if we need to.
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