It Sat and Listened …
She knew it was not going to be good news. That gnawing pain in the pit of the
stomach was getting worse and, when the whites of her eyes turned yellow (for
example), she knew she had to see the doctor. The CAT scan confirmed what the Disease Management Care Blog (DMCB) already knew: it was cancer
and it was going to kill her in a matter of months.
In the months of DMCB
follow-up, the patient talked about her pain, other docs, family, regrets,
treatments, comforts, side effects, new limitations, waning appetite, getting
skinny, numerous fears, dying and, yes, religion. Aside from taking a few
seconds to drag a stethoscope across her chest or poke at her scarred abdomen,
the DMCB mostly listened.
It sat still and listened…
So writes Dr. Jaan Sidorov, as he highlights the value of listening in the ways that we at Someone To Tell It To model to those who are confronted with often life-altering, life-threatening realities:
In retrospect, the DMCB was using a long-used strategy of patient centered empathy. As a nonegoic counselor, it was enabling the patient to think aloud
with a non-judgmental listener and “process” a new reality.
We are grateful for Dr. Sidorov’s appreciation of what we can do to be a partner with those living with disease and with their medical providers. To walk with them in frightening and uncertain times is remind them that others care about their well-being. It is to remind them of the strength-giving importance of sharing what they are going through. It is to remind them that they do not have to make this journey alone.
We hope that you will take the time to read the entirety of Dr. Sidorov’s message. His words highlight the value of caring for one’s spirit, every day of course, but especially in challenging seasons of our lives.