This week, I accompanied a wound care nurse as she worked with one of her patients at a local hospital. The patient, Janet, was scheduled to have several dressings and drainage tube changed and had already been through this painful procedure several times during her stay at the hospital. Imagine the fear, stress and anxiety as the patient watched the clock, knowing that at 2:00 pm, she would endure 15-20 minutes of excruciating pain yet again.
Earlier, the wound care nurse asked if I could help her. She would keep the curtain pulled around the patient’s bed for privacy and asked me to stand at the foot of the bed outside the curtain.
When I arrived, the nurse had received permission from the patient for me to join them. The nurse was still explaining how therapeutic music would help her patient relax as I began playing a soft, almost dream-like prelude to “Somewhere, Over the Rainbow”.
Immediately, I heard the patient register her approval. Between sighs of “How lovely” and “This is so much better with music”, I could hear occasional cries of pain, followed by effusive appreciation for and enjoyment of the music.
As the wound care nurse was finishing, the patient said, “Out of all the times you have changed these dressings, this was by far the easiest and best session. That music was the best medicine ever!”
I never got the chance to meet this patient. I didn’t get her name and I may never know who she is. But I know that for a brief season, Live Therapeutic Music was able to comfort her enough to help relieve her suffering. I am grateful for the privilege of being part of her healing.
*Names have been changed to protect identities and comply with HIPAA Guidelines