When I was first commissioned as the Parish Nurse at the town Anglican Church in February 2012, I had only attended the church for approximately 18 months, during which time I had spent 2 months working in a nursing school in Africa. Consequently I did not know many of the parishioners. I started making routine visits to those who were in retirement homes, especially those who seemingly were unable to attend church. I heard about them through the church pastoral care team, prayer chain or from their concerned neighbours.
Madge (name changed) is a retired nurse in her early 90s and has some amazing stories to tell of nursing in London during the war years. On taking her history I discovered that her main medical problem was severe osteoarthritis in her hips, particularly her right hip. This had become progressively worse during the last 10 years until now she could hardly walk at all due to the intense pain. When I asked why she had not had it replaced she told me that her GP had always told her she was too old and the risks were too high.
I work at a private surgical hospital where we regularly care for people having hip and knee replacements well into their 90s. I discussed this with Madge and also discovered that she had health insurance. She was a little nervous about the
idea of surgery, especially after such negative programming from her GP. She asked if I would contact one of her daughters who had been a nurse and discuss it with her. Her daughter was very pleased that someone was 'talking sense' to her mum as she had previously tried to persuade her to change her GP or at least get another opinion. I then prayed with Madge and left her in a state of God's amazing peace.
I was able to arrange an appointment with one of our best orthopaedic surgeons and very soon Madge was admitted to our hospital. I visited her pre-op to take her through all that would happen and answer any questions she had. I offered to
take her to her pre-op assessment but her daughter had arranged to accompany her. She stated that she felt very well prepared and at peace. She made an amazing recovery and was up and walking the day after her surgery. She had
minimal pain requiring fewer analgesics than she had been taking pre-op! Naturally our prayer chain and her Church friends were praying for her.
While she was in hospital I was able to liaise with her daughters re her convalescence requirements. They also asked me for names of GPs as they were from out of town, and changed their Mum to a practice near her rest home where
most of the GPs are Christians. She adores her new Doctor!
I have kept in touch with Madge during her convalescence, and after a month she was walking pain free using only a walking stick, much to her surgeon's amazement. We did mention to him that it was the power of prayer and she didn't hesitate to inform my nursing colleagues either! She is now excited at the prospect of returning to church services and taking part in her Rest Home community activities again.