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    • #30790
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      During hospital registration it is common to be asked if you practice a specific religion. This isn’t meant to be intrusive but to assist staff in respecting religious beliefs and offer the service of a chaplain. Many hospitals also have special areas reserved for prayer, meditation or simply a place to sit in quiet and collect your thoughts.

      What are your thoughts about these services? Have they helped you in the past? If you haven’t made use of them is it something you might consider during a future hospital stay?

      I interviewed a hospital chaplain for my column this week. It provides a lot of insight. Link below.

      Hospital Chaplains and Meditation Rooms Can Assist in Holistic Care

    • #30800
      V.R. Peterson
      Participant

      Excellent article, @ColleenSteele! I’ve never spoken to a hospital chaplain before, but when my son had his PTE surgery, I would find comfort in visiting the meditation room at UCSD. When my daughter-in-law to be had emergency brain shunt surgery, I visited the chapel. I guess the chapel and the meditation room serve the same purpose — they always help me feel peace.

      Several years ago, I was good friends with our local bishop’s wife, and she told me that the hospitals would often call him to tell him when a member of his church group was in the hospital. I remember filling out the form when I had my C-sections. I’d answer which religion I am, and then where it asked if I wanted them to contact my bishop, I’d always say no. I was friends with the bishop’s wife and the relief society president (the lady who schedules meals for those having babies or surgery), so I figured the bishop already knew.

      • #30802
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        Thanks @mamabear007! You brought to mind something I should have mentioned in the column. Having worked for the Catholic Church for almost 20 years I know that contacting your parish office, minister, priest, whoever, prior to a scheduled surgery or hospital admission is helpful. That way they can plan their schedule and make sure they are available if a patient requests them. I’m sure this is helpful for any denomination.

        Most hospitals that have a chapel or meditation room make them non-specific to any faith. Anyone can go into those areas and either pray, meditate or just sit and enjoy the quiet and peace. Honestly, I would go to ours more often to settle my mind and heart than to pray. But I have also heard it said that just being silent and calming yourself is a form of prayer too.

        One thought I had when you mentioned a friendship with the Bishop’s wife, is that unless you told her a visit would be welcome, they might have assumed you wanted privacy. I hope you aren’t in the hospital again any time soon, but something to consider if there is a next time.

        Thanks for reading the column!

        • #30851
          V.R. Peterson
          Participant

          I did want my privacy, @ColleenSteele. Even though I was having surgery, it was a routine surgery (C-Section). If something had happened, I would have had one of the nurses call the bishop to ask him to come give me a blessing. Otherwise, I just wanted the quite time with my new babies. <3

        • #30855
          Jen Cueva
          Keymaster

          @mamabear007 that is understandable that you wanted your privacy. The chaplains at the hospital and bishops, too, all respected that decision, I am certain.

          I can tag again, so yay, you will know when I talk about you now, LOL.

          I hope that you are doing well. What’s new in your corner of the world?

        • #30864
          V.R. Peterson
          Participant

          @jenc, our area is in drought with extreme fire danger. The temp is 88, the humidity is averaging between 10% and 20%, and the wind is blowing, so if a spark lights anything, there will be no stopping it. There have been lots of fires in mid to southern Utah. So far nothing in our area. 🤞🏻

        • #30870
          Jen Cueva
          Keymaster

          Oh no, @mamabear007. I hope that your area continues to be out of danger from the fires. It is horrible hearing about that and any natural disasters.

          Sadly, as you mention, it doesn’t take much to spark fires with the wind and the drought conditions. So stay safe, and please do keep us posted.

          Is this the norm for that area, or it related to the droughts?

        • #30953
          V.R. Peterson
          Participant

          @jenc & @ColleenSteele, This is a really weird year. We’re at extreme fire danger (the highest level of warning), but we haven’t experienced any fires within about 100 miles. We also haven’t gotten any smoke from the surrounding fires, which is quite strange — we usually get smoke all the way in Utah from the California fires. I’m not sure why, but I’ll take what we can get and be grateful for it.

          Last week we had two days of rain. The second day it was heavy enough to flood our basement; thank goodness for the sump pump! A few hours after it stopped pouring, the ground was bone dry. This is a really weird year, with more fire danger, but no fires. In fact, according to the fire danger map, our area has a greater fire danger than those that are actually getting fires.

        • #30962
          Colleen Steele
          Keymaster

          @mamabear007 I hope you knocked wood when you updated us! I’m surprised by our area too. We have been on red flag alert but so far no fires. Little nervous about the 4th approaching. Fireworks are illegal here but that never stops people. I hope you and your home continue to stay safe.

        • #30965
          V.R. Peterson
          Participant

          @ColleenSteele, yes I knocked on wood — and I prayed too. Most the towns and cities across Utah have passed laws banning firework sale/use, yet there was a big firework stand in my grocery store parking lot. It’s not just fireworks that concern me, though. It’s also people driving in the mountains on their 4-wheelers, target shooting, or even mowing lawns. All those things can create sparks that can ignite the dried-out plants, whether in our lawns or the mountains around us.

        • #30872
          Colleen Steele
          Keymaster

          Praying you don’t experience any fires close to your area @mamabear007. I understand the concern. Last summer we had really bad fires in WA and CA. Our home, like most homes in WA, doesn’t have air-conditioning but we had to close up the whole house to protect Cullen from the thick smoke and ash.

          Do you find that if the fires aren’t in your area you still get the smoke and ash? Even when there aren’t fires in WA we will get smoke from CA who really has a time of it every summer.

          Stay safe my friend!

        • #30863
          Colleen Steele
          Keymaster

          @mamabear007 I totally get that! To be honest, sometimes even under serious circumstances people my opt out of the chaplain visit. Cullen was one of them. Cullen would ask for me to step out of the room with them if I wanted to speak or pray with them.

          He viewed them as one more person keeping him from rest, that and with all he has been through and having lost close friends to the disease, he has struggled with his faith. I know he still has it but he struggles with the why’s.

        • #30866
          V.R. Peterson
          Participant

          @colleensteele, I certainly understand Collen’s mindset and reasoning. It was something my son struggle with.

      • #30819
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Manny has spent time in the meditation room at UCSD, too. I was the only inpatient once except for my RHCs, etc., when I saw Dr. Channick there.

        @mamabear, was your son at Thorton?

        You mention the Bishop and visits. I had had the local church pastor come visit me several times when I was at the local hospital.

        When I am downtown, I either get a call or visit from the chaplain.

    • #30801
      Clyde
      Participant

      When I first went to the hospital it was because of heart failure and PAH.  This was during the height of the pandemic and visitors were not allowed in the hospital.  The small rural hospital told me there was nothing they could do for me and they would transfer me to hospice so my family could visit.  While waiting to be transferred, a tiny little black Muslim lady came into my room.  She had a purple robe on that reached to the floor.  Covering her head was a pure white Hijab.  She told me she was visiting from Africa and wondered if we could pray together.  She had the most beautiful little angelic face.  I remember thinking how out of place she was.  I agreed and she held my hand and said a prayer.  She left and 30 seconds later my cardiologist came into ICU and said they were life flighting me to a large hospital hundreds of miles away.  Needless to say I survived and am doing well.  I went back to the hospital for some follow up test 6 weeks later.  I thought I would find this lady and thank her.  No one had any idea who I was talking about.  I went to the Chaplain’s office and asked.  No one knew of any such person.  Asked my cardiologist if they had visiting physicians.  He said yes but no one that remotely resembled her.  He told me to ask the ICU charge nurse. She would know anyone that visited patients there.  No one knew her.  Some say I imagined the whole thing.  Why would a 6’ 2”, 240 pound country boy imagine such a thing.  Don’t seem logical to me.  I believe she was sent….

      Thanks for listening

      • #30820
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Wow, @Clyde, that is an awesome and beautiful experience that you shared. I think that she could be your angel. Like Colleen, goosebumps as I read this run down my arms.

         

        I am happy that you had this experience and that they saved you, and now you are here with us. Beautiful, and you tell the story so vividly.

        Wow, I am still in awe.

    • #30803
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @clydedodge this gave me goose bumps! I think this experience was special no matter what it was, a live person, a spirit of some sort or something your mind created. If they were caught I’m sure they would have been removed, but perhaps it was a relative of another patient and praying with you was also helping her? Or something of that nature?

      It’s a beautiful memory, imagined or not, so hold on to it. Thank you for sharing the experience with us!

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