In October of 2010, I attended a paranormal mystery event at a national writer’s conference in San Francisco. One of the authors, when introduced, protested her presence among the other panelists there stating that the animal communication theme in her series was in no way a reflection of the paranormal, but rather a mundane experience she shared with her pets on an ongoing basis. As a cat parent, I could identify…which got me to pondering how often that which is term “paranormal” shows up in our everyday lives—and is accepted at face value or given another name.
The prefix para- , derived from the Greek, is generally defined as at or to one side of, side by side or beyond. I am disinclined toward the latter since it implies a state that’s difficult to access or perceive. My encounters with the so-called “paranormal” have been hard to mistake for anything else and have accompanied me, in lockstep, in my career(s) as a nurse and as a psychic.
I worked in acute care for thirteen years and, in my first few months precepting on a medical, surgical and oncology floor, came to appreciate the intuition of the veteran nurses on the unit and their seemingly uncanny ability to predict when a patient was about to “go bad”. Nine times out of ten and without a definitive set of physical indicators, if one if them sensed an impeding health crisis with a given patient, it would occur, during the shift, in the form of an exacerbation of symptoms, sepis, shock, or a full-blown code. I quickly learned that if any of my “betters” pulled me aside and suggested I keep an eye on my patient in Room 202, I’d best take that advice seriously—and keep the crash-cart handy. And, by the time I was officially on my own, I had began to develop that sixth sense as well.
That “knowing” would insert itself into my patient care decisions again and again, but one that stands out for me was the time I was recovering an elderly man from a routine colonoscopy. He had met all the criteria for discharge: positive bowel sounds, ability to ambulate without help, keeping down fluids, no complaints of pain, vital signs within normal limits. Plus, he had a daughter who had planned to stay overnight with him, so there was no real issue with letting him go home. Yet, everytime I thought about his belly, palpated it, or auscultated it, I got a “gut” feeling something was wrong. I spoke with his gastro-enterologist about admitting him for an overnight stay, but he refused, as there was no verifiable reason to keep him, so I kept the patient around for another hour and continued to monitor him. As he began to get dressed to go home, he admitted to feeling a little light-headed: not usual for someone his age, given the bowel prep, but enough to get him admitted. I called his doctor, again, and he grudgingly gave me the order for a twenty-three hour observation.
In my thirty years working as a psychic, I’ve experienced more clear-cut synchronicities than the length of this blog would allow for, but I will share a recent one that surprised even me. A few months ago, a man I’d never met appeared in a dream and identifyed himself as the husband of one of my clients, who, for the sake of anonymity, I will call Mary. He said he was feeling depressed, helpless, and “…less of a man…” because of an economic downturn he and his family had suffered. He confessed he felt so overwhelmed by his wife’s expectations and his inability to provide, in the way he’d done in years previous, that he’d begun to experience chest pain: something he’d failed to disclose to Mary or their children.The next day when I came onto the unit, his gastroenterologist was there: looking bleary-eyed and a bit sheepish. He informed me he’d gotten called out, in the middle of the night, to examine our patient, who was complaining of increasingly severe abdominal pain. With his vitals signs indicating internal hemorrhage, he was rushed to the OR, where he underwent surgical repair for a perforated bowel. Fortunately, the patient recovered completely: a gift, I like to think, from the nurses who taught me the value of honoring my intuition.
In the next instant, the dreamscape changed and I saw him lying on a guerney, hooked up to an oxygen mask and telemetry, being wheeled down a hospital corridor. Then a deep voice announced, “The next time you see his wife you need to tell her she must stop pressuring him over their financial situation or he is going to have a cardiac arrest…or something worse.” I woke feeling like an elephant had been sitting on my chest.
The following day, while on break at a local metaphysical fair, I was replaying the dream in my head and asking myself, what, if anything, I should do about it. The fair’s director knocked on the door and told me I had someone waiting for a reading. I got up to greet the next person and—you guessed it—there stood Mary. I hadn’t seen her in well over six months and had to work to hide my surprise. I decided against telling her about the dream, but, during the course of her reading, mentioned I had some concerns for her husband’s health. She confessed that he’d been struggling with chronic health issues over the past two years and had recently become withdrawn. When I asked if she’d been pressuring him about money, she burst into tears and admitted that she had and, in her frustration with their situation, had been doing so almost continually since their finances had gone south. I let her know that I saw him experiencing some level of chest pain and suggested she have him check in with his doctor—and shelf the money matters for a while. She left the fair promising to make him aware how much he meant to her as a husband and a father. And I was left shaking my head at the timing of the dream and her visit.
Due to my choice of professions, a fair amount of my life has been lived on what I call Paranormal Standard Time. And I know I’m not the only author whose experiences with the unexplained have created fodder for their writing. Leave a comment about your brush with the extraordinary and win a copy of The Eight of Pentacles, the first in the Eileen McGrath Tarot Series.
Thanks to the Dames for letting me blog today. I am a nurse, writer, and psychic who has been in love with the Tarot, and all things metaphysical, since I picked up my first Rider-Waite deck at the age of eighteen. In addition, I teach classes on a variety of subjects including Candle Magic for Muggles and The Womanly Art of Tea Leaf Reading. The Eight Of Pentacles, a paranormal cozy, is available at Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/3n329gv or at: www.eloisehill.net