February is heart month and in searching for the right angle I decided to spotlight a surgeon in Berks County.
My whole occupational life flashed before my eyes as a knife slipped out of my one hand and cut deeply into the base of my opposite pointer finger. I had never witnessed blood pour out of me so quickly, alarming me to the urgency of the situation. A band-aid was NOT going to cut it. After a few hours in the ER it was becoming painfully clear that this 2-second move could have disastrous long lasting effects. Before being discharged my nightmare started to realize – “Ma’am, we are going to need to refer you to a surgeon – we aren’t certain you need surgery but with your fingers response and all the inflammation – it is looking more likely than not….”
By now you might be asking – how does this bridge to heart month? Stay with me, I promise, it’s worth it!
So, you can imagine, being a massage therapist, the swirl of panic I might have been feeling and the sea of questions that swallowed me whole with a pending surgery and the complications that could follow. My consultation was scheduled 2 days after discharge and it couldn’t come fast enough.
Concerned for my Future
In walks the surgeon and before I could say anything, he introduces himself and lets me know he knows how important this consultation is for my future. He was made aware of my occupational concerns and while he was committed to make the choice that best secured the longevity of my future – surgery, for him, was always the last option – he believed in the body’s ability to heal. I could see him watching me as he spoke – the tears forming in my eyes as he shared more and more. Finally, he paused, just long enough for me to catch my breath. I looked him square in the eyes and shared a simple yet powerful, “Thank you.”
Do You Believe In Love?
Maybe it was because he too worked with his hands or maybe it was because he chose to bring his human to work. Either way, he led with compassion and I trusted I was in good hands. After running a series of tests he asked me when I hoped to return to week and my answer made his eyes go wide. “Well, Miss Warner, I am pleased to say you shouldn’t need surgery BUT that is a lofty goal. So, here’s the deal. You seem like someone who believes in love right? I look at him quizzically and nod my head yes.
The Healing Power of Joy and Happiness
“Not enough folks understand the power of joy and happiness – love really. So, if you mean to make your goal and get back to work, it won’t be enough to ice, eat well and do your exercises. I want you to fill up the next 2 weeks off from work with everything you love – everything that makes your heart happy – as much joy as you can handle – treat your WHOLE body to heal your hand.”
I stared at him with my jaw hanging open. Yes. Everything in me said “Yes” to these directions and I couldn’t have felt more grateful. Not only did I not need surgery but my surgeon was giving me the instructions I would have given myself. He believed in the strength of the whole, the power of love and the heart’s ability to heal. And I didn’t need to be told twice. Promptly, upon leaving his office, I went for OT, hit the grocery store, set up lunch dates, gathered my favorite books and planned out a heavenly 2 weeks, all while imagining myself walking back into my office serving my favorite people. The surgeon gave me markers to strive and indicators to watch, as he said, those 2 weeks needed to be very specific if I expected my body to heal in this timeframe.
A Message to Readers for Heart Month
Long story short, just as my surgeon predicted, with his instruction, I was back to work in 2 weeks and back to full strength in 6 weeks – no surgery required. The power of love I showed myself allowed me to heal.
So, during a month that seems to last a year and our hearts needing each other more than ever – remember – Happiness matters and love heals.