Does Misery Really Love Company? 

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Did you know there is a National Pain Week?  I heard it took place last week but according to other sources it was September 7 through 11 and opened with panache in Las Vegas with a large convention of medical professionals.  For me, personally, it was last week!

I celebrated pain week with abundance of well, yes, pain.  Sister Anita got me to the hospital Saturday morning and they shoe-horned me out of the car into a wheelchair and into the emergency room.  Writhing on the gurney, I kept saying to nurses, “if you give me a pain shot, I’ll be very, very good,” implying that without it, all is fair game!  The next day, three large kidney stones were removed through a surgical procedure and despite a blip of a heart reaction, I’m fine.  

I had had a stone removed two years ago so I recognized the symptoms early on.  And I knew this event was coming because at that time another stone showed up lodged in the kidney and I was told it would emerge eventually.  It was always in the back of my mind.  But this time things were significantly different.  How?  Let me share with you.

Hospital Availability  I am extremely grateful for Marymount Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic satellite.  They took me in immediately though I had seen

television reports of hospitals needing to turn away non-Covid patients who were in dire circumstances.  It seems Ohio hospitals are making every effort to be fair and accommodating.  Restrictions on hospital registrations also seems to be regional, even among states.  Living here, in northern Ohio, is a blessing.

Staffing Heroism  I could tell the nursing staff was pressured to do more.  RNs and Assistants cross-handled many responsibilities.  They worked cheerfully and compassionately among all patients even the most demanding.  I never knew my heart rhythm went awry until a bevy of nurses invaded my room and hovered over me adjusting wires and explaining what happened and how they would fix it.  Had not a nurse at the desk caught the

heart problem, I might not be writing this today.  One of the nurses blew a kiss to every patient when she went off duty.  They all created an aggregate of kindness which helps in the healing of those in their care.

The Tunnel of Loneliness  I was hospitalized a mere three days, a negligible piece of life considering that people have been there for months battling Covid and possibly other illnesses.  But during those days it became apparent that I do not do well when isolated.  No cell phone.  Television had no attraction.  I could not focus to read—and that is a true sign I’m ill!  Only one designated person could visit and that was Anita who had her own work to do so I felt guilty whenever she came.  I tried so hard to pray.  I tried to meditate.  The key word here being, ‘tried.’  I believe this loneliness was exacerbated by Covid.  No one had visitors.  Many patients were crying, simply crying.  Some were calling out for loved ones.  My roommate never had a visitor and when her granddaughter called her, she could hardly talk to her because she was trembling with joy.  Yes, misery loves company!  I never realized how much human contact means for the sick and lonely even though I have written about it in this blog several times. 

Reflection  So there you have National Pain Week for me.  I offer for your reflection something I have sifted from this experience.  I do not think Covid is the last of pandemics.  They may be coming even at faster rates than anticipated.  It seems incumbent that we rely on reputable science, real science, not politically hackneyed opinion.  We need more open-mindedness and less politics.  We need more masks and less resistance to them.  We need to pledge that each of us will do our part to encourage others to get vaccinated.  Individual freedom must never make someone else suffer.

What can you do to deflate the anger and resistance to science regarding Covid? What can you do to help heal damage done to innocent people because of the insistent opposition of others?  Ask the Spirit for guidance on how your talents can be used in this effort. Lift all of this in prayer.  You may be surprised at where you will be led.  

6 thoughts on “Does Misery Really Love Company? 

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  1. Sr Mary Ann, I’m so very sorry about you recent illness. I’ve heard kidney stones give you so much pain. It’s true about isolation. Those nurses surely must be so overwhelmed with being caregivers, but having to stand in for family, and being there at the most difficult times in people’s lives, all while going home and making families run smoothly. Good reminder. I read an expert saying because of Prilosec not vaccinating, we have another year before safety. Oh my🥲goodness. Hope your getting better and getting your strength back. Pam

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  2. Thank you, Pam. As a retired nurse, you surely know the challenges.
    Thank you for your support. It saddens me that we prolong the strength of the virus rather than the strength of community that masking and vaccinations would give. The virus is one wanderer and very potent; we are many. S. MAF

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  3. I am so glad that you are doing better. Having worked in the medical field all of my professional life, I can say getting the vaccines are far better getting the actual disease. I have seen patient suffer so severely, and at times, unnecessarily with diseases that could have been negated and minimized thru a vaccine.
    I pray for you continued healing. Stay well.
    Laura Mazzola Stone, Lumen Class of 1969

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  4. Thank you, Laura. You have helped many people in your career, not to mention keeping the docs in line! I cannot understand the resistance to vaccines and masks.
    But I pray for people who are so enclosed with fear or false independence.
    Much love to you—MAF

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  5. My dear Sr Mary Ann,
    As a multiple kidney stone veteran I closed my eyes cringing in compassion for your “adventure” which lead to your latest insight!
    Oh I pray you’re returning to normal activities for you know you are a most powerful influence cornerstone for so many of us!
    Truly delightful seeing you at the Reunion of Class 1970 a few weeks ago… your hug has powerful results!
    Thank you for being the best lovely person you are and sharing yourself to so many!
    Love ya

    Mary Kalabiha

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  6. oh Mary—I’m so sorry you had the same experience with kidney stones. I now have great empathy for anyone who suffers this challenging illness. Yes, I’m almost back to normal; a few more days and I will be allowed to drive. (Another type of isolation!)Now, you stay well also. People need you, too, as a hygienist. God be with you, Mary. S. MAF

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