They Died With Their Scrubs On

 I go to the hospital monthly, to have a shot to keep my hearing up, in a facility called, The Infusion Center.  Now I’m there for something minor, compared to the cast of chemo patients that never fail to humble me.

They’ve now made each room a semi-private, so today, as I’m leaving, a middle-aged black man was brought in for his very first chemotherapy treatment.

I smile, say hello, noticing right away the man’s petrified.  Mind you, he has three young women all in scrubs fussing over him, but not one, looks him in the eye.  They’re chatting about lunch, where to go…pizza…sushi…Chinese again?

I feel my mother over my shoulder.  See her in the corner of my eye in that black dress she always wore on special occasions, with heels and dark hose, her gold Rhingold hoops swinging from her ears.

I sit in the chair next to the man whose blood pressure they’re  taking and say, “are you by yourself…did anyone come with you?”

“No,” he says, “I’m here alone.”

“Would you mind if I stayed while you had your shot?”

“Oh you can’t, said Katrina the nurse, her dreds sensing dread, “you’re not family, only family can do that.”

“Really…so, Bill is it (read his chart), how bout if you make me an honorary member so we can chat.”

“Really? You’ll stay?  Yeah I’d like it…I’m, well, I’m not feelin quite myself.”

I look at Katrina like a dog that’s about to bite.

“Okay,” she says, “but we’ll keep it quiet.”

“Right.”  No Ma, we’re not locking her in the utility closet.

So Bill and I talk, while he has his procedure with me doing everything imaginable to make him laugh. By the end, he’s a different guy.

Now you’re thinking, great story, but there’s more.

As I’m leaving, I hear someone say, “Excuse me, I’d like a word with you.”

There’s a fat, Waspy looking woman in a lab coat, her glasses perched on her nose, coming towards me.

“Who do you think you are, breaking rules? I heard what you did, and you had no right interfering with, I’ll call  him, Mr. Wilcox.”

Now all bets are off.

“WHO ARE YOU TO ADMONISH ME, OR ANYONE, FOR A SIMPLE ACT OF COMPASSION. THAT MAN WAS SO FRIGHTENED AND NO ONE  HAD THE COURTESY TO ADDRESS IT. WHO ARE YOU ANYWAY?”

“I’M THE ADMINISTRATOR, AND THOSE GIRLS WORK UNDER ME.”

“THEN THOSE GIRLS NEED A TUTORIAL IN HUMANITY. DO YOU GET IT?  AND HERE’S SOMETHING ELSE, WHO’S YOUR ADMINISTRATOR, WANT ME TO GO TALK TO THEM?”

She was like a dingy that just deflated.

“That’s not necessary.”

“Really, are you sure, because if you say one more word to me about that sweet man who just needed a little love, you’re gonna be sorry.”

This is a side of me I only take out for special occasions, like my mother’s dress.  So, when she turned and walked away, I wasn’t surprised.  Pollyanna turned into my mother, who even from the grave, you don’t want to mess with.

You can leave now Ma, I have this one covered .

SB

 

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Connecticut, Family, grace, Health, humanity, humor, New York City, words and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to They Died With Their Scrubs On

  1. Madison Lang says:

    Thankyou. THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU. So many times nurses end up with the raw end of the stick. The Delores Umbridge breathing every so sweetly down their neck, while they rush and rush and try to make sure the patients have their pills/their infusions/their medications, but they no longer have the time to give them their dignity.

    With each day the required amount of bs a nurse goes through is tripled, and each nurse, when once they’d have 10 patients may now have 30. It isn’t fair to the patient. Because, they are not customers. They are people, they are patients, and nurses and hospital folk do not see them on their best day, NAY we see them when they are scared, hurting, sick, dying…

    You offering up a bit of compassion helped that patient far more than their stupid ‘rules’ ever did. I hope when next I am in a similar situation I too take that stance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What you wrote moved me greatly and added to the piece. Rules. I don’t understand them if they lack the common touch. To know you have cancer must be just horrible not knowing if what is coursing through your veins will even help. It’s very troubling to say the least. Thank you for writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have a wealth of compassion, and you notice when hurting people need it. I am so proud to know you, even if it is only through blogging. You did the most loving thing to keep that man company, and you were courageous in dealing with the administrator twit. I hope she learned a good lesson and will think twice before accosting the next caring person she meets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard for me to respond to all this praise. So many people find my Pollyanna stories annoying de-following me after a not-so-nice comment, but I do encounter situations like this often in my travels. Won’t bore you with my history, but they’re reasons why I’m drawn to those in need. I thank you, as always for your ongoing kindness towards me.

      Like

      • Good deeds should be rewarded. The world desperately needs people like you. My opinion — if people un-follow you, they are unworthy. Surely, over time, supportive people will be your audience and appreciate your marvelous deeds.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My marvelous deeds…aye. In my lifetime more often than not, no one noticed my pain which I think is why I notice the pain of others. Just a theory.

        Like

  3. micklively says:

    Well done, Susannah. Scaring Bill witless is not a route to recovery. The placebo effect is well documented in medicine: people really can think themselves better. Throwing drugs at a body is not enough: the nurses and their dictatorial super need this tattooed across their black icy hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Medicine is now a business, a big fat cold hearted business. The days of Marcus Welby, MD are over, but clearly, there is a group of us remember a little compassion goes much further than a pill. Oh, and don’t get in our fucking way when we’re trying to dispense some to a human being in need!
    Well done friend! I hope Nurse Ratchet is pondering on your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. PS…if you saw this man trying so valiantly to be brave with his hands shaking, you would have gone nuts, and God help Katrina who’s dreds would have been all over the floor.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t believe you were scolded for offering compassion when no one else was available. I remember being prepped for surgery in a Catholic hospital. There was a nun whose only job was to comfort those waiting. She was marvelous as she flitted from patient to patient. It doesn’t take much but all that is so scary when you are the patient.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. skinnyuz2b says:

    You are a very compassionate and empathetic person, Susannah. And the family member rule is just plain stupid. I’m sure that it’s often a friend with the patient. The decision of who, if anyone, to have for a companion should absolutely be up to the patient.
    Thank you for standing up to nurse Cratchett.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When I go to the hospital, I may just go to New York!!!

    Like

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