The Sound of Healing

During my recent eight-day stay at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, I liked to keep the curtain by my hospital room door partially closed. The first thing I would see were the person’s shoes walking into my room. I loved when I would see Noah’s shoes enter my room. I would yell, “Noah!” Then see his handsome face.

I had been in the hospital almost a week when I started my liquid/soft diet. One particular evening, my dinner consisted of puree soup, jello, mint tea and ice cream. Noah was sitting next to my bed as I slowly started to eat my dinner. The door to my room opened and we both looked down at the shoes entering the room. There was something else entering my room. It looked like the person was pushing a dolly. Noah and I looked at each other with puzzled expressions when all of a sudden a woman and a harp on wheels entered my room. I felt confused and excited. I wondered if someone ordered this and why there was a woman, with a warm smile on her face, and a harp now in my room.

Harp

The harpist, named Laura, said she was with ‘Music Partners in Healthcare’ which is a company that partners with the hospital to bring therapeutic music to your bedside. She asked if I would mind if she played some music while I ate my dinner. We happily welcomed her into my room. She wheeled the harp past my bed, sat down and began playing heavenly music. I was so thankful Noah was there to enjoy this special private performance with me.

As she began to play a second song, I was in disbelief as I realized it was ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ This is a very special song between me and my mom. As I looked at Noah, I reached for his hand as tears streamed down my cheeks. I felt as though my mom was right there embracing me. This was just the therapy that I needed. It felt like time stood still, my health was restored and I was not in the hospital. That it was just Noah and I holding hands and listening to the magical music coming from the angel’s fingers strumming the strings on the harp. It was an extraordinary moment in time that will be forever embedded in my memory and heart.

We had a nice conversation with Laura after she played several songs. She and her family are from Sacramento, California. Ironically, her daughter is in school and working part-time at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in the pediatrics unit. That is the same hospital and unit in which I stayed at for several months when I was 18 years old and very ill. What a small world. I reminisced how a therapy dog came into my room during my stay at Hershey Medical Center and how much I appreciated that and expressed my gratitude for her playing music for me and Noah.

“Music is the way our memories sing to us across time.” – Lance Morrow

Thanks to Laura, when I think of my recent hospital stay, I will have this special memory to reflect upon. Listening to the beautiful sound of the harp was healing to my soul. It is important to find outlets and distractions when we are enduring health challenges. Sometimes it is hard to not get consumed by all of the challenges that we are being faced with, but I encourage all of us to find ways to discover enjoyment in every day.

What is your outlet when dealing with PKD and or other health hurdles?

18 Comments

  1. Linda Grobman

    Hi, Valen. I love your blog–it is so inspirational. I was delighted to read your post today. I, too, am a Certified Music Practitioner (as is Laura)! I play live therapeutic music at the bedside on the flute. And I’m in the central PA area! I hope you are feeling better, and I’m glad you had the healing experience of music during your recent hospital stay.

    Reply
    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Linda,
      Makes me so happy to hear that you love my blog! 🙂 Aww, that is amazing! Thank you so much for being so inspirational to patients and providing them with healing during difficult days. I commend and thank you for playing therapeutic music. I can’t believe you are in Central PA! You are the second person that I met from writing this blog post that is from PA. The other person actually was born in the same hospital as me and lived in the same town of York, PA. If you are on facebook, please friend me ‘Valen Cover Keefer.’ I am still not feeling the best and they are working on trying to figure out what is going on, but I am home from the hospital, so that is great! Thank you for your well wishes, for following my blog and for this wonderful comment!

      Reply
  2. Danea Horn

    I love this post! Music is so healing. When I was in the NICU as an infant, my dad would play tapes of Mozart and other classical music. As I got older, he would bring his guitar to the hospital and sing to/with me. The memories I have of him playing at my bedside completely wipe out the medical stuff and have replaced it with something I will always cherish.

    Reply
    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Danea,
      Aww, this is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing this touching story! It fills my heart with joy to imagine your dad by your bedside playing music for you. I am thankful that you have these cherished memories to reflect upon. xoxo

      Reply
  3. Jennifer

    Valen, I am so happy to read that you had that moment during what I can imagine has been a very difficult process. So glad that you are back home and hope that you continue to get well. I have a corgi, and people have suggested that he be a therapy dog (he lives for pets from everyone he meets). I know that he dramatically lowers my stress level. When I am healthy and strong, pilates and running are my outlets. All other times, it is music and the beach. I am always in awe of your ability to inspire others in the midst of your own hurdles. Continue to get well- hugs.

    Reply
    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thank you for your beautiful well wishes! After having a therapy dog come and visit me when I was younger, I thought it would be amazing to have a therapy dog some day and do the same for others! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your outlets with us. Your continued support and friendship means a lot! Big hugs back!

      Reply
  4. Adam Cooper

    hello valen i was wondering if i could use this story for my website please thank you !

    Reply
    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Adam,
      Sure, I welcome you to use this story if you link it to my blog and list me as the author. Please let me know when it is posted and what website you post it on. Thanks for your support!

      Reply
  5. Jen Kohles

    My daughter was diagnosed 1 year ago with PKD. She is going to college to become a Music Therapist at CSU in Colorado. A very difficult program to get into (yes, I’m proud of her). This was very inspiring for us to read. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Jen,
      Wow! That is amazing that your daughter is going to school to be a Music Therapist. I congratulate and commend her on selecting this to study and wish her all the best at school and with her health. Thank you for sharing this with me. Take good care!

      Reply
  6. Amy Dixon

    We’re silly and we laugh a lot (and keep the staff entertained as well). Get well soon. Are you still in the hospital?

    Reply
    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Amy,
      I love that you have such a wonderful sense of humor. That is so important. I am fortunately out of the hospital and they continue to do tests to see what the root cause of all of this is.

      Reply
  7. Amy Dixon

    Oh, and I bring Randall’s dog to his room to visit if they’ve been separated for a while…

    Reply
    • Valen Keefer

      Amy,
      Aww, that is wonderful! I absolutely love dogs and loved having a therapy dog visit me when I was younger. The dog laid in my bed with me and it was so great!

      Reply
  8. Adam Cooper

    Thank you so much for letting me pubish this onto my website here is the temporary website but it will be changing in the near future and i will update you on the changes thank you again 🙂 !

    Reply
  9. Adam Cooper

    Thank you so much for letting me pubish this onto my website here is the temporary website but it will be changing in the near future and i will update you on the changes thank you again ! cfandpkd.webs.com

    Reply
    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Adam,
      Thank you for sharing my blog website with your readers. Take care!

      Reply
  10. Veronica Bartell

    Hi Valen! I sent you an email to pkdcure@pkdcure.org – is that the correct email to reach you? I work at the hospital you mentioned and would love to connect.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Advocacy

Awareness

Education

Research

Subscribe

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email

English Spanish