Rekindled and Restored

Prison Hospice…not two words that most folks would put together or invest much time or energy into however a cause worthy and in need of both.  Some of my most significant life change moments were as a result of accepting a job as the Louisiana Angola Prison Hospice Program and Inmate Volunteer Director. I pray to find the words to share and express how my life and heart were changed:

People are people and we will all make mistakes and bad choices but we do not have to become our bad choices;

I’ve learned kindness and compassion behind the walls, bars and locked doors that were meant to break men down and witnessed that most people can change given the right opportunity and set of circumstance;

In order to understand someone you need to find a way to relate to them, death is a unifying force and an event common to us all;

I’ve seen Prison bring out the best in an incarcerated man, the worst in a free person and everything in between;

I had my love of end of life care rekindled and my faith in potential restored, please take the time to check out this link to one of my favorite blogs: Pallimed. It is about underserved populations and end of life care, they are commenting on Edgar Barens a film maker whose work has focused on end of life care and corrections. Please take a moment and look at the post by Dr. Holly Yang at the Pallimed Blog.

Live with passion,

Melody

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About Lyme Lives EveryWhere

Angola Inmate Hospice volunteers taught me to trust God and the power of forgiveness. I have always been fascinated by how people 'discover' their gifts/callings. As a coping mechanism for a complicated home life; I liked to run outdoors regardless the weather. After University my running was curtailed due to mystery ailments that would flare up on-and-off for decades. Intuitively, I have been soaking in epsom salt baths ever since I became a runner. Perhaps that is what kept my immune system functioning for so long. In 2005, my mystery ailments returned. After a decade of suffering and symptom flare ups, I was told by health care practitioners to learn to live with what was ailing me. In 2013, my immune system shut down and resulted in a health crisis; ultimately saving my life. Tired of being sick and tired, by divine intervention I found an amazing advocate in Dr. Amanda Lea; an osteopathic physician in Zachary Louisiana. Two days before I found her, a friend put me on her church prayer list as I searched for answers. Dr. Lea was setting up a new practice and worked me in the day after the prayer chain started. She listened to my health history uninterrupted for 45 minutes. After my diagnosis, I went to see a Lyme experienced MD, the head of infectious disease at a large hospital in New Orleans. She opened the office door, walked in and proclaimed that "Lyme disease does not exist in Louisiana". That day my passion for Lyme awareness, education and advocacy was revealed to me.
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