In Memory of Sherri Landsman
Many years ago, I saw a movie that was more about a style of medical treatment than the treatment of a specific injury. When I recently saw clips of the movie, I was flooded by memories of my experience in the hospital and the experience of a friend who I last saw in the hospital more than 20 years ago.
In the first clip, Patch Adams, played by Robin Williams, helps patients in a hospital smile and laugh even though the patients had life-threatening medical conditions that required scary and sometimes painful treatment. The clip reminded me of my friend because she was able to smile even though her medical condition was difficult to treat and the solution, if one existed, was well beyond her control.
Years later, when I was at the hospital recovering from brain surgery, I realized how lonely a stay at the hospital could be and I wished I had spent more quality time with my friend when she was in the hospital. Unfortunately, my friend passed away in December of 1990. I no longer have the chance to say “I’m sorry for spending so little time with you at the hospital” or “thank you for teaching me how to enjoy life after brain injury.” You do not need an excuse; share your love, humor, enthusiasm and support with family, friends, and strangers. Please! You may not have a chance later.
If you have spent time in the hospital, do you feel that humor or seriousness is more appropriate in a hospital setting and why? If you have spent any time in the hospital, do you feel that humor or seriousness is a more effective treatment style and why? What can you do to help others enjoy life? In what way would helping others make your life more enjoyable? What was, or is, missing from your recovery? In what ways could others help you enjoy life? How do you thank the people who help you find happiness when sadness fills your body, mind, and soul? How do you find the people who need your help? How do you find the people whose help you need?
Thanks to Sherri’s family members who reviewed the content of this post as well as Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams, Robin Williams, Universal Pictures, YouTube and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the clips of Patch Adams in this post.