Maddy's Floor, page 14
Then she unbuttoned the top of her blouse, slipped off her jacket and kicked off her heels. Trying to relax, Maddy focused on her breathing and dropped into a deep meditative state. Having done this many times before, the routine was easy and comfortable. She sped through the process and expanded her consciousness out toward her patients. Moving easily, Maddy registered the energy levels on a grand scale. This was all about the big picture: looking for rents and tears in the fabric of the micro-ecosystem she was building. Like a giant pulsing bubble of warm, loving energy that worked to heal everyone on her floor – including the staff. Some of her nurses preferred nightshift because they experienced Maddy's work at its peak. Gerona had once suffered from terrible migraines, but no longer. Nancy used to suffer from ovarian cysts. They disappeared over a year ago.
Moving from the stairwell forward, she shifted the waves of energy, moving and adjusting as required to make a seamless blending of energy for the benefit of everyone there. It was slow work, and by the time Maddy made her way through the patient checks, she found herself tiring. Her forward movement stilled as she regrouped and assessed her progress.
Energy vibrated. How it vibrated said a lot about the type of energy, the health or strength of the energy and its purpose. It vibrated differently in an inanimate object, like the energy in a table, for example, versus the energy zipping around in a child.
It was the child, Felicia, she wanted to focus on.
Maddy planned to focus on the big picture for this trip, yet something about Felicia's aura disturbed her. Red swarmed her chest and lungs, not a pinkish red, but an angry blood red. Maddy frowned, drifting closer.
Felicia slept soundly.
Her body shimmered, active in sleep like that of everyone else. The red sat in the middle of her chest. It was pulsating, with mixed emotions, anger, love, pain – fear. Maddy pulled back slightly to look from a different angle. Yes, the energy was contained in Felicia's chest.
Just then, the bathroom door around the corner from Felicia's bed opened. It was Alexis, Felicia's mother, dressed all in black as if she already mourned the loss of her daughter. Only in her late thirties, her face had a reddish blush and her eyes were swollen. Her shoulders stooped in defeat though she put on a brave smile. Her emotions swarmed over Maddy. Maddy pulled back in an effort to distance herself from the pain, as the other woman's need and sorrow rushed at her.
Maddy struggled to detach from the mother's needy energy long enough to stay and complete her reading – except the woman's emotions were too strong. Maddy took one last look at Felicia. Now red energy filled the short distance between the mother and the daughter.
Disturbed, Maddy snapped back into her body and came out of the meditation. She grabbed her head with both hands as her temples resonated from the pounding energy shift that had created a massive headache. She rocked in place for several minutes until the pain eased. Gasping for breath, Maddy stretched out and groaned.
Alexis was hurting her daughter more than helping her. And she'd be horrified if she knew.
Somehow, Maddy had to help Alexis, before she killed her daughter – with fear and love.
Maddy walked quickly in the direction of Felicia's bed. This issue had to be dealt with now.
Felicia's mother sat in the same position as Maddy had seen her last, tears pouring down her face. Entering the small cheery area, Maddy quietly pulled up another visitor's chair and sat beside the grieving woman.
The other woman gasped and spun around. "Oh my, I'm sorry. I never heard you."
Maddy placed one hand on the woman's arm. "You looked to be having a tough time right now. I hated to disturb you."
Alexis gave her a watery smile. "The feelings come and go. On the not so good days, they just live inside and leak all day."
"That's normal. Honor the feelings and honor the situation you're in. Let the tears pour when they need to and take time to do something nice for yourself." Maddy patted the painfully thin woman's hand. "You can't help her if you aren't doing so well yourself."
"I know that." She sniffled her tears back. "Honestly, I do. It's just so hard. She's all I have."
Sadness slipped into Maddy's heart. So much heartache for one person.
Felicia had a real opportunity here. Maddy had a good idea how she could help the child, except it was too early to tell the mother. It would be unethical to even mention a possibility of an improvement at this stage. Besides, the mother had to deal with the energy problems she was creating with her neediness. Loving energy was necessary, but it was destructive when delivered with the mother's negative emotions: anger, fear and sense of betrayal. In this case, it became suffocating like the red energy Maddy had seen earlier.
Speaking slowly, gently feeling her way, Maddy made a couple suggestions. "One of the things that is the hardest to deal with is the lack of control, the helplessness. That feeling of being powerless to the whims of fate, which in this case seem less than benevolent."
"Isn't that the truth? I wish there was something I could do to help."
The perfect opening Maddy had been hoping for. "There is. It's called spirit talking."
Alexis turned to her, frowning, hope flickering in her eyes. "What's that? Will it help her?"
"It's easy, and it will help both of you. You do it while she's resting. She can be asleep or not; it doesn't matter. What matters is the tone of voice you use. It must be positive. Not teary, not negative – and definitely not needy. What you're going to do is talk to her. You're talking to the Felicia you have always known and loved. You want to tell her how much her presence in your life means to you. Be sure to tell her you love her. Not in a grasping way, like 'don't leave me,' but in a positive way, with gratitude. 'Felicia, you're a wonderful blessing in my life.'"
Maddy studied Alexis's face. "Do you understand what I mean?"
"I think so. Will she hear me?" Alexis wiped her eyes and straightened in her seat.
"Absolutely. That's the joy of this. You're speaking to her spirit, not to her body or mind. It's like the coma patients who know that someone is there loving them, coaxing them back into awareness."
Alexis gazed down at her daughter in a new way. "Oh, I've heard of things like that."
"The biggest things to watch for are your tone of voice and making sure your intentions come from the heart. Don't just say the words – make sure you mean them. Be there in your heart for her." Peering closer, Maddy tried to see if Alexis understood the subtle difference.
Optimism shining in Alexis's eyes told Maddy she got it. "Right. So it's like, don't lie to her. If I'm going to do this, be honest."
"If you can't be honest, don't do it. You'll cause more hurt than healing. I'm sure there is a lot of the loving mother inside of you waiting for a chance to do something useful here. Felicia needs to have a reason to live and to know that she's loved. So give her something to fight for."
Alexis stared down at her daughter, such naked love on her face, Maddy's heart ached for her. To lose a child had to be the hardest loss.
Maddy smiled, adding one more caution. "Remember to think about helping her. Not what you're going to do if her condition worsens or the multitude of other 'what ifs.' This isn't about you – it's about her. Remember that and you'll be fine." Maddy stood, happy with the session. Alexis had a direction and it was one that would benefit everyone.
Alexis got to her feet and threw her arms around Maddy in a quick hug. "You have no idea how you've helped me tonight. I really appreciate it."
Maddy returned the hug and stepped back. "No problem. Now might be a good time to try it out. I'll be down with my other patients. Call if you need me."
"Thank you," Alexis called to her retreating back.
He hadn't meant to listen in. He'd had no choice. Their voices carried in the silence. The echo from the largely unfinished empty room bounced conversations of the closest patients his way, like the conversation with John earlier. Maddy ha
Adam Lenning hated the thought of that poor child dying beside him. It was yet another unique factor to Maddy's floor, mixing men and women and children in the same space. He'd had trouble with it when he found out. Now he understood. All the patients gelled into one big family. That understanding put everything in perspective. The strategy was quite smart, really.
Dr. Maddy was an enigma. He'd done her an injustice. Something he'd have to set right before his time came. He didn't know how yet. Maybe in a few weeks he'd work his way up to it. Apologies didn't come easy to him. They never had. It was hard to admit he'd been wrong – and in a big way. The more he saw of her active role here, the more he realized that Dr. Maddy had a gift. He didn't know much about the energy aspect of what she did, and because of his earlier criticism, chances were he wouldn't be included in the conversation for a while. They didn't trust him here. He didn't blame them.
One odd thing, though. As he learned more about her, understood her more and what she was trying to do, his sexual attraction had calmed. The fantasy relationship in his mind had changed to a more realistic goal, one of acceptance and friendship rather than romance.
Adam tucked himself deeper into his blankets. He'd yet to warm up from that lousy night and the obvious frailty of his body didn't help his mood. He knew he was dying. He didn't want to go quietly. He wanted to fight, kick and scream – rail at life's injustices. And he didn't have the energy to even start. His lips curled and damn him, he'd become a maudlin ass. How unforgivable.
"Dr. Lenning? How are you feeling today?"
Shit. Dr. Maddy.
Rolling over, he half-sat so he could see her. "Hello." He attempted a smile, unable to stop himself from drinking in the sight of her.
"The nurse said you didn't appear to be feeling well today."
The damn nurse hadn't said any such thing. Adam knew doctor speak as well as anyone. Better, in fact, because he had practiced it for over forty years. Being on the patient side, listening to it didn't feel very good, either. Still it was easier coming from her.
"I'm fine. A little tired maybe."
He followed Maddy's probing gaze as she checked him over. It was all he could do not to move restlessly under her perusal.
"You're still cold. I understand you didn't eat your breakfast this morning and only picked at your dinner last night."
Adam closed his eyes. Shit, he should be the one talking to the patients. Not her.
Her soft voice was his undoing. Tears formed in the corners of his eyes. Christ, in a minute he was going to be bawling. Please, not in front of her. Never in front of her.
"I'm just having a tough day," he muttered under his breath. "Nothing to worry about."
"Maybe nothing to worry about but definitely something to talk about. Does your off day have to do with your pain level or your life level?"
His eyes open wider. "Life level? That's a new one for me."
"I use it to mean the stage of life you find yourself in. It wasn't too long ago you were in my shoes, handling a full roster of patients on your own. Now you find yourself on the other side. I can't imagine that being an easy shift to make."
He frowned, not expecting her warm, empathetic understanding. He didn't think he'd be so compassionate if their positions were reversed. "Maybe. I don't know. Can't say I like where I find myself today."
"Understandable. Still, for you, there are some treatment options. I'm sure you know them as well as I do. Plus, you have Dr. Cunningham on your side. That has to count for something."
"Not much. I've hardly seen him."
She laughed, her rich voice adding warmth and sparkle to the room. "He's not here tonight. He spends a lot of time in the hospital, as you know."
Not good. Dr. Maddy worked too hard. "He should be here, and you should be going home. You've been here since early this morning."
She stepped closer, smiling broadly. "And that's not unusual, either."
He smiled. True enough. Then he remembered what he'd planned to ask her. "Was someone in here recently?"
"In where?" She frowned at him. "We have visitors on the floor now, if that's what you mean."
"No. It felt like someone was looking in on me."
"Maybe someone did. They might have been lost or confused as to what bed their loved one was in."
"No. It was weirder than that. I thought I felt something similar a few nights ago. Tonight the sensation was much milder."
"Sensation?" she asked cautiously. He watched as she scanned his little corner of the world. He knew everything was in its place. He'd already checked.
"Before it was like a cold darkness washed over me. I know it sounds fanciful and undoctor-like, but I can't describe it any other way." He gave a helpless shrug. "It was different tonight – warmer, happier. It almost had a peacefulness to it."
She tilted her head, studying him. "Interesting. You felt this yet didn't see anything?"
"Right. Stupid, huh?" At least she didn't laugh.
"Not necessarily. I'll check with the nurses and see if anyone noticed anything out of the ordinary. Who knows, maybe a stranger wandered in here by accident."
He had to be content with that. He wanted to ask more. He had a million questions. There were things going on here, undercurrents he didn't understand, and he wanted to. Sure that revealed a bit of hypocrisy on his part. However, he dared anyone to do things differently if the tables were turned.
He had no proof that Dr. Maddy would be able to help him. He did know that he felt better here on this floor than he had anywhere else. He didn't understand it, and that aspect no longer mattered. He wanted to be included in whatever was going on here.
Now if only he had the courage to ask her for that favor.
Maddy left Adam's bedside, deep in thought. Was it possible he might have noticed her energy work from earlier? It wouldn't have been the first time a patient had felt her working, but she hadn't expected that level of sensitivity from him.
Maddy sighed in disgust at the judgmental thought. She wouldn't be able to help Adam if she didn't get rid of her own dislike for the man. If he shifted, warmed his energy – she glanced back at him – which he might be doing now, then the positive energy would move to encompass him on its own. That, in turn, would help to dissipate the remaining negativity he might be hanging onto.
Frowning, Maddy realized that having an old enemy in her bosom, so to speak, would have a profound effect on him. He might end up as a nice person.
And what about her? How would his presence here affect her? Maddy prided herself on being 'forward thinking' and 'in tune' with her own person. She didn't like to see herself as the one in the wrong. She needed to progress herself – in short, she needed to forgive him.
Yuck. Her stomach squeezed tight. He represented fear to her. Not so long ago, he had put her life's passion, her job, her beliefs and her reputation on the line. He'd raised her deepest, innermost fears, exposed them, forced her to see them. Maddy ran her fingers through her dark hair. She had a lot of work to do in that area of herself and not a whole lot of willingness to go there. Typical. Thankfully, energy work could be done in private.
For the sake of everyone on her floor, she needed to clear her own issues – regardless of how little she liked the idea.
The next morning, Maddy yawned as she sat down at her office desk, staring at her espresso machine across from her. At this point, caffeine would need to be injected to do any good. She'd hardly slept.
Maddy glanced over to see one of the day nurses standing in her doorway. "What's the matter?"
"It's the new patient. He's unbelievable." Her cheeks bloomed with bright red flags of color.
New patient? "You mean John McNeil?"
"Yes. That guy's a madman."
Crap. Difficult patients were the norm for
"I'll go and speak with him."
Maddy marched toward John's bedside. She passed Felicia's mom, head bent over her daughter's hand, a soft smile on her face, and then by Adam's curled up body. Good, he slept.
Long before she made it to John's area, she heard John's voice, yelling at some hapless person.
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