Before I started my course of radiotherapy treatment I asked the Oncology Nurse Specialist if I would be able to take my smart phone & headphones in with me to listen to music while I was on the machine. She explained that I couldn’t do this, (somehow thought it wouldn’t be possible, but the key here is always ask because if you don’t, you won’t know). The rooms with the radiotherapy machines do however have a dock for iphones (but not androids); however, she told me that I could bring in a CD.
Himself got on the case & made me one with a couple of relaxation sound tracks which I would find helpful: seascape noises & a spectacular thunderstorm. One of the things which I don’t do often enough, is spend time relaxing and; pardon me if this sounds a bit hippy-dippy, out-there, alternative therapy for you, going to my happy place.
I don’t know why, because of the course of my time on the good green earth as a nurse I have often helped other people to find theirs! I believe that the name usually applied to this is “creative visualisation”: although I had been doing it for a long time before I realised that’s what it was.
By listening to the recording while I have my treatment, I am able with the help of the CD to transport myself either to a Cape Cod beach around sunset where Himself & I spent a magical Midsummer’s sunset or high up in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa at Mont au Sources hotel where I witnessed the most incredible dry lightning storm which started in the amphitheatre & then broke out to become a fully fledged crashing, flashing, rain-drenched fireworks display courtesy of Mother Nature, God – whoever you prefer to credit to.
Everyone has a different happy place & it may or not be a place of natural beauty, with other people, a happy life event; but whatever it is getting there may be done independently, by using something which triggers the memory & allows us to find it, or by someone helping us to get there.
I was speaking to my sister this evening,
We’d been talking about the ability to put yourself into a happy place when you have something nasty or unpalatable to go through & exchanging our happy places. I expressed a wish that all health professionals could be taught to help patients & relatives to accomplish this invaluable sense of calm & relief. She was surprised that it isn’t – however, I think for some it is an instinctual thing, but as far as I am aware it isn’t part of any curriculum in the health professions, but it would be wonderful if it could be.
It’s a pity because I think it might be enormously helpful & even perhaps reduce the need for some medications. Maybe it will happen some day?
I was thinking of a good example to help explain what I mean & actually, the most fitting one today is probably this.
Today is the anniversary of our Mother’s birthday – she would have been 90. We all miss her, but know it was her time & are grateful that she didn’t have to witness the heartaches & challenges which her family have faced following her death.
I was not present when she died; after finally managing to get her made comfortable, calm & peaceful, my sister took over the night vigil while I went home to grab a couple of hours sleep.
She sat with her, holding her hands & talked to her about all the things those hands had done in their life, learning to feel things, dressing herself as a small child, picking flowers…right through her story of her time – as well as ours.
It’s impossible to say definitely that she heard, although my sister is convinced she did & that it gave mum a sense of calm & peace. It certainly did us.
You don’t need to be going through a trauma or illness to wait to find your happy place. If you have never tried, then please give it a go because it really can work wonders…