In early March, I quite suddenly could not move freely, and after a while, I could not move at all. One morning it took about a half hour just to slide out of bed. I contacted a Christian Science practitioner, who agreed with me that I should avail myself of Christian Science nursing care at Arden Wood.
Somehow I was able to get into our car, and my wife drove me to Arden Wood. Two nurses helped me into a wheelchair and moved me up to a second floor room, at which point I was helped into a very welcome Lazy Boy-type chair.
From the very first moment, I could feel the pure love expressed by the nurses as they helped me dress and bathe. It was not long before I was significantly improved and able to maneuver down the hall with a walker! I spent four days surrounded by this loving care, and was so improved that I could easily get going on my own, and felt able to return home.
I do not know or wish to know what to call the condition, except to say that it was a phase of nothingness. I credit the love—“the vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, 113:5)—demonstrated during my stay with my quick recovery. The word of God is “quick, and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12), and we are able to prove it, thanks to Christian Science and the loving practitioners, and the folks like those at Arden Wood who are there to help us.
An elderly woman fell forcefully, face-first onto a driveway. Witnesses were quite concerned and called Arden Wood immediately. She was brought in on a Sunday afternoon. Her face, including a deep opening on her lip, was cleansed and bandaged. She was settled into her room, and nourishment was modified so she could easily eat. A family member expressed concern before coming to visit the next day, anticipating that she would be badly swollen and bruised. Upon leaving Arden Wood, he confessed that his concern was misplaced as it was obvious that Christian Science healing was going on! This woman has experienced other quick healings at Arden Wood. Her family refers to Arden Wood as the “loving, prayerful, healing place!” She went home a few days later, no longer needing a bandage and able to eat regular food. In fact, there was very little evidence of the incident having ever occurred.
When our daughter had a painful, messy blister across her toe, we decided to seek out a Christian Science nurse. Not only were we looking for healing, but we also wanted to assure our daughter’s soccer coach that we were taking concrete steps to address the wound.
We decided to bring our daughter to Arden Wood’s outpatient wing. We called ahead, so they were ready and waiting for us. We appreciated the healing atmosphere and the clear thought of our nurse. She wrapped the toe, and showed us how to do it ourselves at home. We left with a small supply of gauze and tape, and a great sense of reassurance.
Our daughter was able to return to playing soccer immediately, and a complete healing came very quickly after that. The outpatient service provided by Arden Wood is a wonderful provision, which enabled us to deal with the physical need quickly, efficiently, practically and metaphysically.
A man called the Visiting Christian Science Nurse Service (VCSNS) to say that he was in bed and unable to move on his own. The VCSNS and a male nurse (borrowed from Arden Wood’s nursing floor) drove an hour to his house on a Friday evening. The two nurses assisted him into a wheelchair and then into the car to bring him to Arden Wood. For several days, he appeared to be very weak and had difficulty retaining food; he received most care in bed. The nurses ministered to his nourishment needs by purchasing and preparing special items that he was able to eat.
Initially, he required 2-3 nurses to help him stand and take a few steps. Soon, he progressed to being able to walk on his own in his room with a walker or cane. Gradually, he was able to eat normally, and he regained his strength. Before going home, he was walking the length of the halls with a nurse and a roller walker. He expressed so much gratitude for the care and spiritual support that he received.
Now back at home, he has arranged for a friend to stay with him and provide meals and housekeeping support, which is proving to be a mutual blessing. The CSVNS made regular visits for a few weeks to assist with his shower. This man has since returned all of the borrowed nursing equipment and continues to express gratitude for his healing—as does his dog, who was very happy to have his master home again!
A man called from a hospital emergency room where his elderly mother had been taken after a fall at home. X-rays confirmed that both of her shoulders were broken. The mother came to Arden Wood for Christian Science nursing care. Slings were put on both arms for support. When she first arrived, she needed two Christian Science nurses to assist with all transfers and to walk. A Christian Science nurse fed her and assisted her with all personal care. Within a few weeks, however, she was removing the slings and starting to use her arms naturally. Often, she would sit for hours reading the Bible Lesson, studying and praying. She regained her peace, balance, strength, and dominion. Soon, she was walking up and down the halls and eating in the dining room without any assistance.
A non-Christian Science family member found a woman, who is a Christian Scientist, in distress, and called 911 for help. It was decided that she was having a heart attack; an ambulance took her to the hospital for immediate care, which included medication. The doctors determined that she needed a pacemaker, and began to make plans for surgery.
At this point, the daughter, also a Christian Scientist, called Arden Wood to ask how to deal with the situation. (At the time, the mother was under medication and too sleepy to think for herself.) Finally, the daughter was able to explain to her mother that, if she didn’t want medical care, she could come to Arden Wood and receive Christian Science treatment and care; but first, she needed to be off medication and working with a Christian Science practitioner.
A couple of days later, the mother was released from the hospital and brought to Arden Wood. She dove into her books and spent hours studying Christian Science. She also took walks in the hall and in the garden with a nurse. Within a week, we called her daughter to take her mother home as she was doing everything for herself.
In fact, the mother spent the next several weeks helping her daughter with a major gardening project for 2-4 hours every day—including pulling overgrown weeds, digging and planting. She showed no evidence of limitation—just flexibility, strength, stamina, and pure joy in doing this work.
The quality and thoroughness of the care I received while at Arden Wood were the very best and aided my healing immeasurably. All the love and the truth—the healing atmosphere—were right there.
It was a very rainy, windy day; in fact, it had been raining for quite a bit. I was going out to the grocery store, and I took a step and slid. My feet fell from under me, and the belief was that I hit my head and landed on my wrist. Some neighbors saw me, and the manager came out. The manager and the Homeowners’ Association requested that I go to the hospital for observation and x-rays, in accord with their insurance; so I did that. In the meantime, the manager called one of my neighbors, who is a member of my church; she came to the hospital and I was released. When I got home, some members of the church brought food, but I couldn’t keep my balance, so they immediately contacted Arden Wood. Then, they packed my bag and even drove me up there—I was there before I was aware of it!
Coming to Arden Wood was such a wonderful provision! I had the Bible Lesson audio on the TV and the hymns, which I took advantage of two or three times a day, and I had The Christian Science Journal (TCSJ). There was a testimony in it by a woman who was First Reader at her church. One Saturday night, she was finishing up in the kitchen; she had prepared everything for the service on Sunday, and she was suddenly hit with vertigo and couldn’t stand. She crawled to the phone and called a friend to see if she could substitute for her the next day. The friend said she would come right over, but she lived about two hours away and it was snowing. In the meantime, this woman had remembered the benediction she had selected from Jude: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24). Well, that testimony and that benediction just lifted me right up. (The testimony is in the January 2011 TCSJ.)
In the beginning, the nurses helped me dress and bathe. They were right there and provided everything I needed. I could just feel the metaphysical support, and we rejoiced together at my progress. I’m used to being extremely active, running around in high heels and everything. My friends tease me that I need to slow down. So, I was a little concerned that I was just sitting and sleeping and eating. I wasn’t getting much exercise, although I was using the walker two or three times a day. Then one day, a nurse came and started me walking up and down the stairs with a cane, which was a challenge; but the whole time, I thought, You know this accident never happened. I was used to being so active and that’s the way man is as a reflection of God—ambulatory and active. It took just a day or two on the stairs before I was walking normally. Finally, I was up and dressed in the morning before the nurses even arrived to help me!
I stayed at Arden Wood a little over two weeks, and when I left, I was definitely free—completely free. As a matter of fact, I was helping feed the other patients and really enjoying the whole atmosphere!
I am just so grateful for the whole experience. It is still with me. Claiming God’s provision now, right where I am, has been such an inspiration. I never thought I would be able to afford to stay at Arden Wood. It was mostly thanks to Medicare, but I kept realizing so strongly it was God’s provision totally, and that if this was the wonderful thing that God provided, this is just what I needed: to let go and let Him guide. I read in Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy by Irving Tomlinson that Mrs. Eddy said error comes to you for life, and you give it the only life it has. These three ideas—the Bible reference in Jude, the Science & Health reference to accidents, and Mrs. Eddy’s words about giving error life—provided me with such strength of Truth. It’s hard to communicate my deep gratitude.
I have told so many friends what a wonderful time we had at Arden Wood!
It all started when I saw the invitation in your newsletter to “Come stay with us” if you are going to the America’s Cup! We had tickets for a race and wanted our son to join us from Squaw Valley. Your ready response and extremely reasonable room rate were all we needed. Then, when we arrived, all the help we were given, even to putting our coolers in the fridge in the staff room, and then being shown to our beautiful suite of rooms—well, we couldn’t have been more grateful.
I had offered to give a little clarinet concert to say “thank you,” and then I saw your beautiful flyer advertising the concert, which the staff made up and posted all around. What a wonderful room I was given in which to perform. And I was so grateful for the enthusiastic response from the loving audience. It was a pleasure to perform!
My husband, son and I loved the dining room, the breakfast, the garden, and the Italian restaurant just outside the grounds. It was so easy to take the bus down to the waterfront to watch the race (which was a thrill in itself). Everything about staying at Arden Wood was gracious, peaceful, friendly and lovely. We’ll definitely come again!
For about three years now – since our dad became a resident in Arden Wood’s Sheltered Care program, and later when he moved to the Nursing floor – my sister and I have enjoyed overnight stays in lovely guest rooms while visiting Dad (and other residents) at Arden Wood.
In addition to the beautiful gardens, fine dining room and menu, friendly staff, and other areas for gathering or solitary reflection, the healing atmosphere is always wonderfully conducive to rest and study during our visits. On one occasion, my sister experienced a wonderful healing, staying for a week in a specially-appointed room on the Nursing floor—not far from Dad’s room.
What a privilege it is for us to visit such a fine Christian Science institution nearly every month in the exciting world-class city of San Francisco. Arden Wood has blessed not only our experience, but our family, our Christian Science branch church in Nevada, and other friends. It has truly fostered our growth spirit-ward.
As Mary Baker Eddy writes in A Paean of Praise:
The Christian Scientists at Mrs. Eddy’s home are the happiest group on earth. Their faces shine with the reflection of light and love; their footsteps are not weary; their thoughts are upward; their way is onward, and their light shines. The world is better for this happy group of Christian Scientists; Mrs. Eddy is happier because of them; God is gloried in His reflection of peace, love, joy. (First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany 355:21)
When I arrived, I could not walk at all on my own due to weakness and infection in my leg. I am now doing stairways and walking throughout the house with the aid of a cane or walker.
But the highlight of my stay at Arden Wood remains the dedication, spirituality and helpfulness of the entire staff. I entered with mixed feelings. Relatives and friends had passed away there, and some former staff members had expressed their frustration with working at Arden Wood years ago. When the practitioner I was working with suggested one of the things I should include in my treatment for myself was to work for Arden Wood, I did so. In the process, I realized that the staff there is actually made up of very happy people. All of them went out of their way to help me, both physically and metaphysically. This was a real overturning of my negative thoughts upon entering.
The nurses assisted me with walking the halls and stairs, and making sure I looked as good as possible. And all were up for good humor in their conversations with me. The love and support continue with the visiting nurse staff.
Many thanks to you and all your people.