This song will make the point of this post more clear. Have fun as you listen to this upbeat tune from the Beach Boys!
“Just like you would to your girl or guy. Be true to your school. Rah rah, shish boom bah!” And Gentle Readers I submit that this also applies to US TOO!
In a recent trip to the Emergency Room (yeah same story, different day) I was received by the male nurse who did my initial evaluation less than a month ago. I remembered the gooley, inappropriate look on his face as he handed me a hospital gown and asked me to change clothes then waited for me to do so right in front of him. He had the gown opened just below his eye level. His eyes were staring at my chest. The expression on his face was blank. And I didn’t buy it one bit.
I really don’t know how I had the presence of mind in the middle of non-stop convulsive episodes and a struggle to breathe to ask him for some privacy. He paused for a moment then looked up at me. “Of course,” he said or something similar and handed me the gown. He pulled the hospital curtain and continued typing on the portable computer just beyond what is also called the “privacy curtain.” My beloved husband, Steve, assisted me in changing my clothing thank you very much! My dignity in an extreme moment of vulnerability was spared. Thank you Lord.
I know that this nurse is a medical professional. He has probably seen thousands of naked bodies and women a lot better endowed than yours truly. In a time of crisis, the medical professional assists a patient in changing clothes as a part of the procedures. Yeah but they are not to do so while acting in an unprofessional manner. He was not going to help me in that moment unless I was dead! Period! The rest of that visit went more cordially and more appropriately. I changed clothing on my own after the assessments and treatments were completed about four hours later, thank you very much.
Flash forward to this past Tuesday night. Mr. un-Wonderful was working the p.m. shift again in the ER and begins his nursing evaluation. I cringe. This time it was a petite, blonde nurse co-worker who asked me to donn a hospital gown. The dude was within arm’s reach of the gurney upon which I am lying. I felt his eyes upon me. In that moment, shaking violently with convulsive episodes and struggling to breathe, I was glad that I had been trained as an occupational therapist and muttered as much. As such I know more ways to dress and undress than the average person with virtually any disability that you can imagine. I laid the gown over my clothing, covering my personhood, and struggled then succeeded to doff my own clothing and get into the approved garb. Steve might have helped some; I don’t know as my eyes were closed. The nurse wasn’t happy but I was. And in doing my own thingy, I remained true to myself.
The rest of the ER visit went as they usually do. After about 750 cc of fluids, IV Rocephin, and a shot of Morphine (my first ever!) I was feeling better. While the second bag of IV fluids diminished the severity of the episodes, the tremulous part of the episodes didn’t stop until after the Rocephin. And that improvement lasted for about a day with barely a tic attack here and there. Yeah God!
Now I am in the aftermath of trying to decide what to do. The prescription Keflex (same cephalosporin drug class as Rocephin) has begun irritating my stomach. While there were findings of a urinary tract infection in the ER, the urine culture was negative. There are still fewer and less intense episodes overall: the hell that plagues my life and keeps me clinging to the Cross of Christ for hours every day. My Doc says to stop the Keflex. I held the herbal Biocidin (anti-microbial) after the ER visit to avoid an interaction with the new prescription drug. What shall I do now? Hmmmmmmm.
I know what my gut is telling me to do: be true to myself. I will pray for the Lord to guide my very wise husband and me. I will strive to be respectful to those trying to care for me with as much courtesy as I can muster in any given situation while protecting my own privacy and integrity when it is all that I have. In due time we will figure all of this out and be much better for the journey the Lord has allowed for His purposes and our good. Of this I am still sure.
And if anyone tries to tear down my alma matter, Mott High School and the mighty Marauders, well then I will be “true to my school” as well. “Go team,” I will shout on high! Lord willing, we are going to win! JJ