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MERI Center Blog

May 6, 2020

This week Judy revisited a grounding exercise for our resilience tip of the week:

 

May 6, 2020
SMS Meeting Poems
Mystery

Today's poem, read by David Bullard, PhD
Singularity (after Stephen Hawking) by Marie Howe

May 2, 2020
Personal Reflections
photography by Hitomi Silver

Au revoir April

By Gayle Kojimoto
May 1, 2020

 

For a minute, the corona cloud splits open
The sun shines through
I see a familiar face
A friend in the fog
Whose voice is beauty wrapped in love

 
By Susan J. Cohen,
Food for Thought participant

 
In San Francisco, more special events, such as the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, were cancelled, professional sports are still on hold, and schools are now providing distance learning.  Shelter in Place (SIP) orders have been extended and now we must wear masks while shopping, waiting in lines, riding public transportation, or unable to physically distance ourselves. 
 
Some days it’s hard to tune out the uncertainty, chaos, fear, and sadness, to not focus on the losses we’re experiencing.  The loss of touch, the loss of normalcy, the loss of life.  Days blend together and it’s hard to distinguish one from another.  It’s hard to find motivation and to see the light.  I’m calling it Coronavirus Fatigue and I’m sure others are feeling it too.  Dr. Mike Rabow, our director, sent me a post for our blog, co-written by Dr. David Bullard, entitled “Invisible Losses: Secondary Trauma, Survivor’s Guilt and Moving Through the COVID-19 Crisis” and it...

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April 29, 2020
Resilience Tips

ID 179683143 © Agsandrew | Dreamstime.com

Invisible Losses:
Secondary Trauma, Survivor Guilt and Moving Through the COVID-19 Crisis

Michael W. Rabow, MD & David Bullard, PhD
San Francisco, CA

Updated: April 29, 2020 3:45 pm

The world is suffering deep losses in the COVID-19 pandemic.   Already, millions are infected,  hundreds of thousands killed, a global economic disaster and all the suffering that accompanies it.  And even if you yourself are not infected with this virus, even if you haven’t lost your business or your job, even if no one in your family is sick or has died, we all are affected.

For almost everyone, there is anxiety, fear, and, at least some of the time, a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.  In charts and tables, in town halls and zoom meetings, in videos and photographs, our news and social media document real losses in painful and visible detail.  And, for almost everyone, there also are invisible losses. 

This is the “Both/And” virus.  It is true both that many have already died, and that the majority will not.  It is true both that some have lost everything, and that some will only know the greatest suffering second-hand.  Many of us are being hurt by what is happening in our world, and also by what has not happened.  Indeed, there is pain and loss even in what we escape.

We are professional caregivers, usually drawn to this calling...

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April 27, 2020

Our colleagues at GeriPal gathered together some of the UCSF geriatrics and palliative care providers to make a video, sending thanks, support, gratitude, & love to the healthcare workers at Mount Sinai.  Guests included Division of Palliative Medicine Chief, Dr. Steve Pantilat, Dr. Rebecca Sudore, and the UCSF Symptom Management Service & UCSF Care from Home's Dr. Natalie Young.  In addition to the words of support & gratitude, the GeriPal team also sang "Don't Stop Believing."  Touching & humorous, this was a great way to start my day.

April 23, 2020
Resilience Tips

Judy's Resilience Tip fo the week:  The Power of Good Memories

 

April 22, 2020
SMS Meeting Poems

Today, I read "Today, When I Could Do Nothing" by Jane Hirshfield at the UCSF Symptom Management Service Meeting:

 

April 15, 2020
Resilience Tips

Judy Long's Resilience Tip from April 15, 2020: Metta Phrases


Metta for Caregivers
(from Joan Halifax, Being with Dying teachers’ manual)

The emphasis in these practices is on balance—the balance between opening one’s heart endlessly, and accepting the limits of what one can do. The balance between compassion and equanimity. Compassion is the trembling or the quivering of the heart in response to suffering. Equanimity is a spacious stillness that can accept things as they are. The balance of compassion and equanimity allow us to care, and yet not get overwhelmed and unable to cope because of that caring.

The phrases we use reflect this balance. Choose some phrases that are personally meaningful to you. You can alter them in any way, or use one that you have created out of your unique personal significance.

To begin the practice, take as comfortable a position as possible, sitting or lying down. Take a few deep soft breaths to let your body settle. Bring your attention to your breath, and begin to silently say your chosen phrases in rhythm with the breath…you can also experiment with just having your...

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April 15, 2020
SMS Meeting Poems

Today, Dr. Paul Lindenfeld read the English translation of Hanohano Hanalei, The Glory of Hanalei, at the UCSF Symptom Management Service Meeting.  

Hanohano Hanalei/The Glory of Hanalei

Hanohano Hanalei i ka ua nui,          The glory of Hanalei is its heavy rain,

E pakika kahi limu o Manu'akepa.    Slippery seaweed of Manu'akepa.

I laila ho'i au i 'ike iho ai                    There I felt

I ka hana hu'i konikoni i ka 'ili.          Tingling cool sensation of the skin.

Aloha kahi one o pua rose                Greetings, O sand and rose flowers

I ka ho'opē 'ia e ka hunakai.             Drenched by sea spray.

'Akahi ho'i au a 'ike i ka nani.           Never have I seen such splendor.

Hanohano Hanalei i ka ua nui.          The glory of Hanalei is its heavy rain.

Kilakila kahi wai nā Molokama          Majestic streams of Molokama

I ke kau 'ia mai ho'i e ka 'ohu.          Mist-covered.

He 'ohu ho'i 'oe nō ka 'āina              You...

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