People who work in service oriented jobs, which work directly with human beings who have beating hearts and sensitive feelings, for some reason, sometimes turn into machines and forget who they are working with. I have seen this and experienced this so much in my all-encompassing health adventures throughout my life and I still continually get baffled by it. Perhaps because I expect sensitivity and compassion like my grandfather and my father modeled in their dental offices as they comforted every single frightened patient who hated being there, which I expect as the norm for any human.
Here I go again:
Sitting very chilly in a short hospital gown “with the opening in the front” and nothing underneath, I was sitting in a hall to receive a second weird health “procedure.” (Mind you I have had so many I have named them and I had just finished the underwater doughnut hole). Because of Covid I have all my clothes and my purse in a plastic bag on my lap. Down the hall, by the breast cancer survivor photos on the walls, an older woman walks in with a seasoned nurse, with one of those big badges attached to her scrubs, and a nurse in training. I am watching as they tell the elderly woman what they had told me earlier, to get undressed above the waist and put the gown on. But she was clearly rattled by being there and they didn’t notice.
It’s that “didn’t notice” part that keeps popping up. I literally almost got up and went over to the older woman and acknowledged her questions, and maybe put my hand on her arm to help her feel less afraid and that she was okay. (Maybe not that touch part because of Covid). And by the way where was the person who was supposed to tell me what was next and help me while in the hall in a vulnerable spot? I have actually gone over and chatted with people waiting for MRI’s and procedures as we both wait in silence with our unease, because no one working there seems to notice the fear and angst of simply being a patient, in waiting mode.
When my second procedure was complete, (Which I named the noose-measurement) with no explanation what was going to happen or what to expect, I was lying in the dark room, on the paper trying to calm my pounding heart, while the attendant was typing away on a big computer screen with wires and buttons, when she said abruptly seeming to just notice I was still there, “Get up, your done.” Which made me jump, as if I should have known and how stupid of me to lie there as if I was taking a short snooze out of enjoyment. She didn’t say anything else to me, where to go, if I change, and the halls out of her room were empty. I found the dressing room in the maze of halls, changed, and walked out of the office without anyone saying anything.
Knock-knock who’s there? Empathy and compassion are not that difficult. A small gesture of kindness in the medical experience goes a LOOOOOOOOONG way. C’mon people. LOOK! Look with your heart not your machine eyes.
Last week getting my first Covid shot was the complete opposite. Where I got it everyone seemed to know the anxiety. My hope in humanity soared as I felt comforted, celebrated for my decision and even was said good-bye to. I know humans are capable of tremendous kindness. I have also been a recipient of this. But too many times it is the machine.
After that Easter Sunday and Jesus was resurrected he said something very profound which proved he knew about human hearts. “…And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;… I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (St. John 14:18 King James Version)
Everyone needs a comforter and Jesus knew it and set that up for us. We need to help out with that and look…