Touched


– A note from Dr. Mueller –
Given my profession, you may be expecting a commentary on physical touch and the laying on of hands. You may be expecting me to tell you how I facilitated some miraculous healing in this lady. That’s not the case. In fact, Bess Pfeffer has one of the most anomalous spines I’ve ever encountered prompting me to often doubt the benefit my varied efforts could make in her life. All I knew to do was to do the best I knew at the time. Each time she came in, her presence humbled me. She asked countless questions about health including subjects she watched on Dr. Oz or read in health-related newsletters. She made me laugh and challenged me to explore ideas at every encounter.

Eventually, her age precluded her visits. Now, my sister is one of her caretakers in her home about five hundred yards from my new office in St. Matthews.

On a recent visit, to mark her 101st birthday, my sister Jan, snapped this photo. Again, Bess made me laugh and she challenged me to explore ideas. She told me she went to sleep every night expecting not to wake up, then being disappointed that she had. She was ready to move on. She was looking forward to having a dream and never having to worry about getting dressed, eating breakfast, using the restroom, or trying to string together sentences with words she struggled to recall. Her voice surged as she told me how immeasurably grateful she was for her two loving sons and how wonderfully kind her daughter-in-laws and grandchildren were to her. Bess told me she had led a “clean” life and wanted people to be kind to one another. And, even at 101, she was emotionally tormented by the basketball scandal at U of L!

Before we parted, she thanked me profusely for the visit and told me she looked forward to the next. Bess was always looking forward! She labored to articulate her final sentiments of thanks and appreciation for the “relationship” we forged over the past 25 years. She finally mustered the words to wish me health and wellness and that I might live to be 100 also!

As I drove away, I wondered if that night might be the night she dreamed the eternal dream? Then I realized, she might tell you that my touch enriched and prolonged her life. While I can’t say one way or the other, I can say for certain she touched me in a way that certainly has enriched and will prolong mine!
Thank you, Bess!

-Dr. Mueller

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