To Heal… You Must Feel

Dear Reader:

Yesterday was another learning day for me…the best kind of day.

Anne took me to my regularly (now weekly) scheduled appointment in Mt. Pleasant but sadly she was feeling badly! She had called me Thursday to warn me that she was getting the sniffles…she could still drive but just wanted to give me a heads-up in case I would rather not risk getting a “bug” from her.

I reassured her that Mandy and Eva Cate had the sniffles while decorating the tree and I could hear people coughing in the theater Thursday night and blowing their noses…we have to make choices…especially this time of year….risk being around people and catching a cold or staying quarantined and lonely…I choose the risk of a cold. I am a people -person and sad when I am isolated too long alone from friends and family.

Anne surprised me with two Christmas presents… books she thought I would enjoy reading…one of which was 52 Little Lessons from a Christmas Carol (Bob Welch) So all the way to Mt. Pleasant I read the title of the 52 little lessons on life metaphorically taken from Dickens ‘Christmas Carol.’ (*We had a great discussion just from reading the titles.)

The twelfth lesson (obviously) hit home for me…“To Heal You Must Feel.” How true this statement is…from my own perspective.

For the first time since I initially entered the Comprehensive Wound Center...the outside office door was open yesterday. (Which, in itself, was fortuditious since it is the heaviest door I have ever had to push open.) Inside was a white Christmas tree..filled with all kinds of pink flamingos…open to view for anyone just walking past.

It didn’t stop there either….there was a pink flamingo decoration beside it and all the way to my treatment room Christmas flamingos filled the walls and lined tables or desks…the Christmas Culprit…the funny and wonderful Bobbie…my nurse. She loves flamingos. It just didn’t make me smile…but it made me laugh out loud.

Before I was called back for my foot procedure… I accidentally wandered into a dark room (off the bathroom) and was curious at what I saw. There were these two long (body length) white tubes for patients to lie in.

When Jim (my male nurse) was finishing up putting on “my boot”( as the procedure is called) I asked him what those two “capsules” were….he said they were used in hyperbaric oxygen therapy. (*We have all heard about divers getting the “bends” and the machines they use on them…it is a similar device…just different construction in some cases.)

Jim went on to tell me that some patients must come in every day…it is a serious two-hour life and death procedure for them…some come twice a week and they come from other towns and cities throughout the lowcountry and midlands. Oxygen pours into their skin pores which is needed to keep some of them alive.

Suddenly my foot wound, wound vac and now my new tech procedure paled in comparison…my heart went out to these special patients who need the machines to continue life…not just as a short-time therapeutic means to an end.

In A Christmas Carol…the first time we see and hear emotion from Scrooge is when the Ghost of Christmas Past brings Scrooge back to the boarding school where he lived as a boy…the experience touches him deeply.

“The Spirit’s gentle touch appeared still present to the old man’s sense of feeling. He was conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares long, long forgotten. “

Scrooge remembers the lonely little boy still inside him left at a boarding school where he was ridiculed… “and he sobbed.” 

Over the years Scrooge had dealt with this painful “wound” by doing nothing. He had buried it and stowed it away in his life’s attic to forget. His therapy for dealing with it was to make money, lots and lots of money.

The Spirit of Christmas past says to Scrooge:

“You can’t move on, you can’t get better, and you can’t overcome the past until you deal with this stuff.” (This is the beginning of Scrooge’s metamorphosis into a new man.)

Aren’t there many kinds of wounds…the physical kinds and the more deeply embedded emotional kinds…the ones that are the hardest to heal?

So until tomorrow…“When we feel we get real with ourselves. When we get real, we humble ourselves. When we humble ourselves, we’re open to being helped – by God – and by those around us. But we can’t be helped unless we welcome that help, which usually means acting on a feeling.” 

To heal…we must feel.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Anne…I hope you are feeling better…thank you again for everything yesterday…next Friday we will have that Christmas luncheon we had hoped to do yesterday. Get well soon!

My newest “Anne”  Christmas artwork for the tree…a beautiful snowflake!

Walsh, Mollie and the children all flew out to Phoenix, Arizona this past Wednesday to be in Mollie’s youngest sister Whitney’s wedding. Today is the BIG DAY! I know there is a lot of excitement in the air…and the children are having fun too. As seen below!

Madeleine, Rutledge, and Lachlan….cousins and brothers!



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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