“Love in a Hospital”


Today I am reflecting on my son Hank’s most recent minor procedure that he had done at Upstate Medical Hospital here in Syracuse, NY. Nowadays I’m invited to be with him for comfort and support as he drifts away under anesthesia.  So I put on my ‘bunny suit’ and join the medical team as they wheel him down to the operating room.  On this and many other occasions I found love in a hospital.

I haven’t always found love in hospitals.  There have been some extremely difficult and scary times for Hank, his dad Marty and myself in these institutions.  Hank has been in all of the four major hospitals in Syracuse and we have had a wide variety of experiences, some of them very traumatizing.  Most of the trauma has been of course for Hank and whatever medical treatment or operation he’s needed to undergo, and because of our worry regarding his well-being.  But there have also been times of trauma because of the way that he, Marty or I was treated by various medical personnel. 

Hank has been poked way too many times with needles by residents who were afraid to ask for help.  He has been spoken to and around as if he didn’t understand what people were saying.  Medical mistakes have been made without apology.  Marty and I have hung on by a thread emotionally while doctors gave us every imaginable  risk factor seconds before going in to operate on our son.  We have had to fight to have our voices heard to protect Hank from unnecessary procedures, or given medications that he didn’t need or that we believed would have harmed him.  We have been looked at and treated as though we were nieve and under-educated because of the natural healing modalities that we use. 

Even from the time that Hank was a baby and had his first hospital stays and operations, however,  there has been love to be found in the hospitals.  There was always the caring nurse who found a chair for me to sleep in by Hank’s bed.  (Now there is the beautiful Golisano Children’s Hospital where the parents actually have a bed of there own.) There were the many specialists who reassured us and worked with us, especially Hank’s pediatric gastroenterologist.  This doctor told us twelve years ago that Hank’s colon needed to be removed and that we had no choice but to wait for serious complications that would certainly occur.  When we told him that we had discovered Young Living Essential Oils and planned to take him to their clinic he said, “Good!  You go and when you come back we’ll work as a team!” And of course the countless loving nurses, aids, doctors and residents who treated us with respect and compassion.

And in recent years our experiences in the hospitals have been more postitive over-all.  We aren’t looked at with disdain and condemnation as often when we tell medical professionals that Young Living oils, supplements and a strict diet play a very significant role in keeping Hank alive and healthy.  In fact the other day, after seeing me put Lavender oil on Hank’s hand to soothe it from a needle stick, a nurse asked me to put a drop on another ‘poke’ site. And best of all Hank had the anesthesiologist this time who actually asks me to put drops of an oil (I use Peace and Calming) in his mask to help calm him before anesthesia is administered.  

I am proud of all of the people in the natural healing community…we have fought hard to have our voices heard.  I am proud of the folks in the allopathic medical community who have listened.  I am grateful for the acknowledgement of the importance of families in hospitals, and for the respect that Hank is given so often now for his intelligence and feelings.  

I  know that we have a long way to go, but I am truly so thankful for how far we have come.  I know that Hank is too.


*I am of the opinion that Standardized Patient Programs throughout the country are having a profound impact regarding positive changes in hospitals.  Having worked at the Standardized Patient Clinical Skills Center at Upstate Hospital,  I have seen first hand the impact that this work has in shaping doctor/patient relationships.







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