Betty was a physical therapy patient when I worked at a rehabilitation center in Scottsdale, Arizona. She came for therapy having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I was particularly eager to work with her because for years I had an inner calling to work with people who had that diagnosis (notice I am not saying “have MS” … because the diagnosis is NOT the condition!). And that was even before I knew what my actual calling was, and before I learned to deeply listen to my inner voice and higher self — my true self. Even then, I loved working with people who had neurological challenges. I found great joy seeing them as whole and healed, as someone beyond this or her diagnosis and illness.
I saw Betty twice a week for one month. When she came in for physical therapy, I could see she had challenges walking due to balance issues. Also, she fatigued easily and couldn’t work because of that. Somewhere around our fifth session, I was teaching her relaxation exercises using her breath. All of a sudden she said, “I have to stop you.”
I stopped, a bit puzzled.
She continued, “I have experienced the Father and the Son, but I have never experienced the Holy Ghost until now. I just felt the Holy Ghost.”
I was stunned. After all, this was a conventional medical environment where you did not bring religion into the treatment. Besides, I knew nothing about the Holy Ghost. That wasn’t part of my Jewish background. However, I felt deeply touched that someone had a Holy moment while I was facilitating her in relaxation breathing.
Then session eight, our final session, came. I reviewed the work that we had done over the past month and had Betty demonstrate her home therapy program. When I asked Betty if she had any questions, she said that there was only one problem.
“Before we began, I would wake up at 8:00 am, take a nap from 12:00 to 2:00 and be good to go until I went to bed at 9:00 pm. Now, I’m taking my nap at 5:00 or 6:00 pm and when I wake up its dark outside (It was January) and I forget if it’s day or night.” Her story brought tears to my eyes. These were tears of a miracle occurring in my presence. Her level of energy improved from needing a nap after four hours to needing a nap after eight hours. In my thoughts at that time, that was an impossible increase in energy, especially for someone who had a diagnosis of a medical condition where fatigue can be such a challenge.
Since this was my final visit with Betty, I suggested that she rest when she was a little fatigued rather than waiting until she was exhausted. I helped her reframe “fatigue” as a signal that she needed to take care of herself and rest. Fatigue could become the barometer for her self care rather than the barrier to living life. I asked her if I could keep in touch with her, as I had no idea what might happen. I frankly didn’t believe that the results would last so I called Betty every six months for five years. She told me that some days she would rest, and other days she would need to sleep. Overall, she found herself more functional and more engaged in her life. After five years, she was still experiencing greater happiness and able to participate more actively in life.