The Frightened Patient and the Cries for Hope

divider

We are living through extraordinarily hard times! A pandemic of unimaginable proportions! A period of fear and despair! As I write this article, we have already recorded more than 6 million Americans infected with COVID-19. The death of 200,000 is a nightmare as a horrifying toll strikes down 1,000 or more Americans each day. Depressing? More than! With so many in hospitals, ICU’s, and nursing homes! Without a loved one alongside to share the loving closeness so demanding under isolation restrictions! It is heartbreaking.

Beyond COVID patients, there are those we know and love who have suffered a heart attack, and they live through the same terror as they lie fearfully in a hospital bed. And what about those stroke victims who are confined to an isolated hospital room? Then there are victims who suffered tragic injuries as a result of car or truck accidents, or serious falls, or medical malpractice at the hands of a doctor or hospital.

Besides the direct and tragic consequences of COVID-19, there are those COVID patients who are also tangential victims of hospital negligence. The tragedies continue as some patients give up, lose hope, and fall into a dark abyss.

At my advanced age, I think about the despair that can overwhelm the patient who is alone in a hospital room, be it because of COVID-19, cancer, a serious illness, a significant injury, or the victim of a terrible accident.

I am sensitive to the devastation and plight of those within the groups mentioned. And there is nothing that I can do to lessen the fears and solitude of those unfortunate victims, other than to write a few lines of an aphorism (which is akin to a proverb) based upon truth and ancient philosophy. In that regard, I have done just that in composing 50 aphorisms, with the sincere desire that one or more can be applied to a patient living in isolation. I have the further wish that pessimism and fear can be replaced with optimism and hope.

What follows are 50 of my aphorisms, some of which I trust can be uplifting during this most difficult period.

  1. “To be immersed in good thoughts makes a difficult day more bearable.”
  2. “Self-confidence fuels self-worth.”
  3. “Happy memories challenge the strains of sadness.”
  4. “While exercise, nutrition, and rest are what the doctor orders, common sense will always prevail.”
  5. “Embrace today. It’s too precious to be wasted.”
  6. “Gather the rosebuds while you may.”
  7. “The joy of life is to live it to the fullest.”
  8. “Catching your ring on the carousel of life is real success.”
  9. “We own today. We’ll shout and dispel any doubt in this world our place here today.”
  10. “The true essence of joy can be defined only by the celebrant.”
  11. “The divide between the past and future rests in the measure of one’s soul.”
  12. “A wasted hour is lost forever.”
  13. “The cynic scorns. The optimist praises.”
  14. “While isolation is a road to despair, human contact is a journey to hope.”
  15. “One without conscience is a robot without soul.”
  16. “’Home’ is a four-letter word, so is ‘stay’ and ‘safe.’”
  17. “Humanity’s award goes to the avatar of compassion.”
  18. “Happiness is a coin toss. It requires the right call.”
  19. “Creativity lays dormant in a vacuum. It must be a free spirit to advance its artistry.”
  20. “Whether power is good or evil rests with the one who uses it.”
  21. “Reality and fantasy oftentimes are inseparable.”
  22. “The rapid pace of time mandates full enjoyment of the day.”
  23. “The smiles of joy reflect a heart that’s full.”
  24. “Survival is the goal. Retreat is defeat.”
  25. “Bluntness hurts. Caring sooths.”
  26. “A night not to forget brings on a day meant to remember.”
  27. “Fantasy succumbs to reality when in conflict, just as weakness yields to strengths when challenged.”
  28. “The flirt invites adventure. The timid pines alone.”
  29. “Leaders merit approbation. Despots beget opprobrium.”
  30. “Indifference breeds contempt. Thoughtfulness evokes adulation.”
  31. “A smile brightens the room. A frown darkens it.”
  32. “The artist paints canvas. The thinker paints dreams.”
  33. “The essence of high character is measured in part by the performance of good deeds.”
  34. “Food feeds the body. Goodness nourishes the soul.”
  35. “When stress bangs on your door, take deep measured breaths and hang out a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.”
  36. “The evil stains of tyranny beckon the calls for freedom.”
  37. “A calm response to a voice filled with anger displays not a sign of weakness but one of strength.”
  38. “When truth is challenged by bias sound reason should prevail.”
  39. “Dystopia is the antagonist of utopia just as malevolence is the enemy of benevolence.”
  40. “Exaggeration ripens to a lie when its sole intent is designed to deceive.”
  41. “A boast reflects a sign of insecurity while candor signals self-confidence.”
  42. “To act against false rumors is to rise as a filter for truth.”
  43. “The ruler is a tool of measurement. The soul is the measurement of life.”
  44. “A deserved legacy is the eternal residue of a life well-spent.”
  45. “Shedding one’s prized avocation opens the door to boredom.”
  46. “To ignore false criticism is often the sign of good judgement and not of a lack of sagacity.”
  47. “The pessimist looks to the sky and sees it half-cloudy. “The optimist looks to the sky and sees it half-sunny.”
  48. “Greed is a component of one’s character while charity defines one’s soul.”
  49. “Malice remains comatose until awakened by an evil bugler.”
  50. “Goodness is defined by the recipient and not by the one who claims it.”

Leonard L. Finz, age 96, is a decorated WWII veteran (1st Lt., Field Artillery, Philippines), a former New York State Supreme Court Justice, Peer-Reviewed as “One of America’s Preeminent Lawyers”, and the Founder of Finz & Finz, P.C