Read part two here.
During my five-day stay in the hospital, I am confident that I met with every single kind of doctor possible. Some of those doctors made a lasting impression. Some I wish I could forget forever and others I will count in my blessings for eternity. Jeremiah is one of the most impressive people I have ever met, let alone doctors, and has a good friend (a psychiatrist) who also made an impression on me forever.
It was Sunday morning and I was discouraged. I had spent four days being told I was crazy and feeling awful. My occupational therapist, Jeremiah, came into the room. He could tell I was done. I wept to him with the amount of hopelessness I felt. I just wanted to get out of that place and feel good. No, I didn’t want him to push me in a chair to see the sunshine again—I was miserable and I intended to stay that way for a while!
He must have been in tune with the Spirit or something, because he said, “There is an LDS worship service in an hour. What if we go to that for our occupational therapy today?” I complained that I looked terrible, smelled bad, and my hair was dirty. Jeremiah was exceedingly kind in his response. He said, “What if we get your hair washed and give you some clean scrubs to wear? It won’t be Sunday clothes, but then at least you would feel clean for church.” I finally consented, very curious how this would all happen.
Jeremiah left for a few moments and returned with a handful of treasures. One of my favorite treasures was an inventive hairnet that allows you to fully wash and scrub your hair clean while laying in a bed. (They really should market these to all people!) He also provided me with clean scrubs and helped me to change my clothes in a very dignified manner. After I was washed and dressed, he helped me comb my hair so that I could feel less yucky. He even took me to wash my face in the bathroom sink. (Breaking the bedside rule was almost enough to make me shout for joy!)
After I was cleaned up, he took me outside of the hospital and let me sit in the sun for a few moments before he wheeled me into the tiny church room. Shortly after we entered, the opening hymn, “Be Still My Soul,” was blaring in my ears. The talks were all about trusting in the Lord during our trials. One of my coworkers and friends said the closing prayer. It was exactly what I needed to make it through the hospital stay.
Jeremiah was a tender mercy to me and showed me the value of true individual kindness. Every action he took was so generous and above and beyond anything that I could have ever expected. It was good for my heart to believe in humanity again. He helped me to feel heard and remembered as a person and child of God.
In all my life, I hope I never forget how big of an impact kindness can have on the human soul. It doesn’t have to be a really big thing that bring great healing and hope to the heart. Small things can go an extremely long way to make a difference. Jeremiah probably won’t ever remember me by name or even the experience, but it is something that I will never forget.
The next day, the doctors decided that I might have something called conversion disorder and brought in a psychiatrist to speak with me. We talked about how I was feeling and what was happening. He was very kind and thorough in his evaluation. He was compassionate and a great listener.
While the psychiatrist was there, he took time to review my labs and every part of my medical history. He became very concerned that no one had been monitoring my liver. Apparently, the enzymes were 4x higher than they should have been. He was good at helping me to remember that even if I did have mental challenges (which, at this point, he was unsure about), I definitely also had physical problems.
After the psychiatrist’s evaluation, whatever he said to the rest of his peers lit a fire under them. They ran more and more tests: a heart x-ray, EKG, CT Scan, more blood work… The list went on and on. Thankfully, every test came back showing how extremely healthy I was, which meant, sadly, that no one understood why my fainting episodes were occurring. Since it was a mystery, they decided that even though I couldn’t walk on my own, it was time for me to leave the hospital.
About Ashley Dewey
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.