(TMI Focus, Vol. XXXII Nos. 3&4, Summer/Fall 2010)
Discovering an Unexpected Resource
by Liz Reid and David Patrick
In 2007, Ronald “Russ” and Jill Russell, TMI professional and Board of Advisors members, lent the SURGICAL SUPPORT SERIES® album to David Patrick, who was preparing for surgery to amputate one of his legs below the knee. In early 2008, David and his sister Liz Reid reported to Russ and Jill that the outcome of the surgery had exceeded their most optimistic hopes. When Liz resided in Cyprus, she attended EXCURSION® workshops trained by TMI OUTREACH® facilitator Linda Leblanc. She returned to England in 2006.
Here is the SURGICAL SUPPORT SERIES set that you so kindly lent David along with his feedback below:
The week before the operation, I started to listen to the CDs. At first I listened to just the Pre-Op CD. Every time I had a spare few minutes I would listen to it and sleep after.
I had asked the surgeon prior to the operation on my left leg if it would be okay to have the CDs played to me during the operation and in the correct sequence. He had no problem with that, said he with a wry grin. He had also said prior to the op that he expected me to remain in hospital for at least fifteen days after. In fact, I was out in nine days with no dressings on the wound. All had completely healed. I have to admit that I was very skeptical prior to the operation, but since then I have realized the worth of the CDs. In the past I have healed very badly. When a few years ago I had a bad hand injury––with very bad lacerations and losing a finger––it took nearly three months to heal. From having the below-knee amputation to having my first casting for my prosthesis was three weeks!
Not only during the operation and recovery but since then, I have used the technique for pain relief and sleep with great success. Since my full recovery, I have been asked by the physiotherapist if I would like to counsel other prospective amputees, to pass on my experiences and to help with their fears. In these meetings, I have passed on the worth of the Hemi-Sync® CDs.
I will also at my next meeting with the podiatrists pass the good word to them, as I can see great worth by their use. It has to be worthwhile if it gets the patients out of hospital more quickly with a reduction of the use of drugs. I had also found that after the op I had very few painkillers.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for letting me borrow these CDs. They have opened my eyes to something that I had never even heard of. Thank you once again.
I am also adding these observations of my sister from her letter to Russ and Jill:
“Even though I know and understand the power of Hemi-Sync, I was amazed at the speed of David’s recovery, given that he is generally a very poor healer due to complications arising out of his diabetes (neuropathy and Charcot’s disease in particular). But even more amazing was the mental and psychological recovery.
“Of course he went through the various stages of grief, but these came and went very quickly. Increasingly––as he became used to the prosthesis––he became more positive and forward looking. He has always been an active man, walking miles with his dogs and regularly participating in Autograss racing, so you would expect that such a change would really bring him down. Added to this potential for depression is the knowledge that he has the same disease in his “good” foot, so has to be especially careful in order not to lose that one, so his mobility is really restricted.
“He never lost his sense of humor and in fact always used it to good effect when dealing with people who were embarrassed and didn’t know what to say to him. Now, one year on, he has been asked by the medical team to counsel prospective amputees and has passed on the message of Hemi-Sync to them. He has also become involved in a support group at the Limb Centre and is pushing for them to create a drop-in centre for amputees and would-be amputees.
“In a sense he has had to reinvent himself. So instead of roaming the countryside and taking photographs, he has taken up painting and travels to jazz concerts. He has made friends of other amputees and their families—in fact, he’s put his experience to very positive use.
“At the time of writing this it is only a year since David’s operation, and I think that what he has achieved in this time and the spirit with which he tackled the challenges is remarkable. We all put this down to his use of the SURGICAL SUPPORT CDs.
“I hope this gives you an idea of his journey over the past year, and thanks from me, too, for your generosity.”
In the time that has lapsed since I wrote to Jill and Russ, David has gone from strength to strength. He only uses his stick when absolutely necessary, and goes to the gym five times a week. He is obviously still dogged by problems resulting from the diabetes, but he generally remains optimistic. He has recently started to learn jazz piano (as a complete beginner and despite a missing finger!) and has taken up playing the harmonica again. He plays every month in a “jam session” with musicians of all levels—a lifelong dream. David has truly managed to reinvent himself.
Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 2010 The Monroe Institute