Colonoscopy Time

I am writing because I wanted to express my concern about the medical centers across the country that perform common procedures like colonoscopies on a daily basis. While I understand that Covid has changed a lot about how one interacts with patients, I was very disappointed to be treated in the way I was prior to my colonoscopy this week.

Three years ago when I had a colonoscopy at this Center things were quite different. It was the human touch and connection that made me feel safe and secure having the procedure done. By that I mean the anesthesiologist, who was an older man, took the time to talk to me right before he put me to sleep by  introducing himself a second time  and making a small joke. This made me feel relaxed and safe and as if he cared about me.

Yesterday the anesthesiologist did come in and introduce herself to me in the waiting area however immediately prior to being put to sleep I was wheeled into the procedure room where no one spoke to me. My doctor didn’t speak to me, and the anesthesiologist did not speak to me. Frankly, I was looking for the anesthesiologist and I’m not even sure that she was there. Perhaps it is the practice now for the head anesthesiologist to meet the patient, take down information, and then pass this down this information to another anesthesiologist who will actually do the job. I hope not!

The feeling I had was that I was on an assembly line and merely a body on a gurney. It would have made a difference, for example, if someone had asked me how I was doing, patted my hand, and basically reassured me right before I went to sleep. Instead, when I said that the needle in my hand was hurting somebody seem to adjust it, but they didn’t say one word. I guess they felt like it didn’t matter because I would be asleep in two minutes which was true. However, perhaps they do not realize that those moments before being put to sleep are incredibly important ones and make a patient feel safe or unsafe. I felt unsafe and so that is my memory of the procedure and the treatment I received.

I understand the reasoning behind the lack of personal connection because of the fear of Covid but I think it is not right that patients don’t receive compassionate care. It’s very important for doctors not to forget that though they do 20 of these procedures a day or more, each  patient is an individual deserving of compassionate attention and reassurance.

The leader sets the tone in any business. Therefore, I have taken the time to write this letter in the hopes that doctors and others who are in this position will change their style in terms of patient interaction. All it takes is a pat on the hand and a gentle statement saying that everything will be all right.  Every employee who interacts with a patient should have the same compassionate approach and should take the time to make sure they are feeling comfortable. This happened at times during my procedure, but the most important time is right before one is put to sleep when anxiety is at its highest level.

Thank you for reading this and I hope that some changes are made because I think it will make a big difference in how comfortable people feel having colonoscopies performed.

Academy Awards

This year I find the Academy awards to be so moving that I am constantly in tears. As a matter of fact, I can’t believe I have the capacity to cry for so many hours. There’s so many things that people have said that have been so hopeful to me that I can’t believe and feel like there may be a good tomorrow. Thank God. God bless all of them.

Aquatic Entertainer

My Life as an Aquatic Entertainer.  

 

In another life I was an aquatic entertainer because I needed to practice my breathing. I suffered from anxiety and worried nightly about remembering to breathe. I could barely sleep.Sometimes this fear kept me up for hours. Aquatic entertainers are required to hold their breath for a minutes at a time.That’s “minutes”. I wore a costume of filigree, seaweed, and Jantzen , a rubber plastic cap of petals variegated in color like a new variety of lettuce leafs. I descended into a tank at Hollywood Gardens In Winter Tree, Florida at 10am, 1PM and 5PM. I was the best in show. I sipped more air from the dangling hoses than other girls and was penalized for it. Holding the dangling hose like a lucky strike, taking my sips, men died for me. I was still the best. Then I dried off, removed my costume, and fraternized with the drinkers. All part of the job. I liked the drinkers. Encouraging them to have more was good for them. They felt happy and slapped each other on the back. They always asked me to give them a special wave from the tank so I always told them I had and how could they have missed it? Aquatic dancers have certain health problems which are an accepted part of the job. We tend to grow back fins which are tricky to remove and sometimes can only eat underwater: much cleaner but not as tasty as normal eating.

I liked my job but in the end I had to quit. It was too hard on my hair. I never had time to socialize or get a life. The worst part was constantly smelling of chlorine. The best part of being underwater was not having to talk.

 

 

 

 

Anger Management

Last night my friends and I went to a very low-key restaurant in Stinson Beach to have an early supper. We were hoping to eat at outdoor tables but they were all filled so we went inside and eventually chose a table right next to a window we could open up. We opened both windows next to us because we are older and we are concerned about the virus and most people in the restaurant sat next to open windows. I was a bit concerned because the couple next to us had a very young child there with them who couldn’t possibly have been vaccinated.I guess some people are willing to take risks.

The most interesting thing to me that happened during the evening was a large group of men probably in their 30s arrived wearing biker clothes and sat quite close to us. They were not masked entering the restaurant and they seem to have no hesitancy in walking close to everyone else’s tables. They sat down and started ordering drinks and became louder and louder.

I never object to people having a good time because I think life is short and particularly now people need to get out and have fun. What I do object to is when that fun interferes with my fun.

At one point a man from the table got up and walked over to us standing too closely without a mask and asked if it was all right with us if he closed our window. We explained that we were keeping it open because we were worried about the virus. That should’ve been enough of an explanation to him.

He went back to the table and I could hear him explaining to his friends that we were worried about the virus and one of the young men yelled out to us two of us just tested positive today. And they all laughed.

What was rather hard to believe to my friends and me was that this group of young men were so disrespectful to us.

We were simply sitting there enjoying our dinner not interfering with them in anyway. They, on the other hand, interfered with our safety and attempted to force us to close the window and then made fun of us and frightened us with their statements.

They also frightened the family with the one child.

The group got louder and louder which made it almost impossible for the rest of the people that were nearby to have any kind of conversation and finally left.

My friends and I were talking about why there are quite a few people in this generation of 30 somethings that are disrespectful and unmannered? Did their parents allow them to be the boss in the household? Were they never taught respect for older people? Were they never taught respect for anyone?

 

This virus creates an interesting dynamic among our generations. I would say that throughout these past two years I have seen people my own age be very cautious and careful and respectful of others but the younger generation seems to feel that they’re invincible and they are not careful about themselves nor about others.

The tragedy to me is that many of them are now getting very sick and have been hospitalized. I think that many are vaccinated but their behavior puts others at risk. I’m wondering if this is something new or this disrespect has been present in other generations as well.

I’m certain that I behaved recklessly from time to time in my 20s but once I had children that behavior stopped so maybe it’s having children that teaches you respect and responsibility.

There was something else present in this group of young men. It was a kind of rage. There was a super feeling of anger towards us because we were daring to make them uncomfortable. Even though all the other people in the restaurant preferred having the windows open they wanted them closed.

 

It’s a known fact that anger and rage are based on fear so that takes me to the place of why are they fearful? I guess the answer to that is obvious. Our generation has failed to protect them from having to live on a planet where we have viruses, climate change, pollution, and dramatic  weather incidents, and whether or not they think about this in a logical progression it must occur to them this world isn’t safe.

They are correct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imprinting

I am working on an imprinting machine and it’s kind of like Konrad Lorenz did with his ducks. Only this time everyone that wants to feel better about themselves can go through my machine and be imprinted with a more powerful, confident personality. It’s slightly painful but you forget that immediately because you take steps out of this machine into what is now sunshine and everything about you is more powerful: your arms your legs your heart your brain the way you look the way you feel the way you move. People pay a lot of money to go through my machine but I don’t take it. Actually that’s a lie. I am like Robin Hood. I take the money from the very rich people but I don’t give them as much boosting as I give to the people who have no money but are just very fragile and need it. The boost. The key measurement is compassion. No compassion, no boost. I don’t think I’m God I’m just very smart and the machine has been extraordinarily successful. In my old age I’ve decided that I am only going to allow women to use it. I just think it’s a better bet in the long run. Frankly, testosterone gets in the way some of the time in allowing people to be compassionate, humble, and kind. Life is too short. I want to be prudent in using my machine.

My House

Flash 2 My House

 

 

 

I live alone people think but in fact my house has so many inhabitants I have to be careful when moving through it. There are many men lurking about in my closets and bedroom all of whom seem angry and hungry. The kitchen contains some young ones with damp, slightly curled hair who cook gravy. I happen to hate gravy unless it’s on turkey which is tasteless without it. So many things are. I walk slowly through the detritus of my life so as not to stumble over hillocks of bodies and chirping young friends who think I am hopeful so I am. To them. I need young friends. The doors are unlocked and the flowers wander in and out flagrantly fragrancing the hours and the hallways making memories melt into the cracks and settlings of bones and earthquake reinforcement. People ask don’t I want an elevator but why would I when I can wander in an elevated state up and down and sideways into the dining room where the chairs are always filled with brilliance and I can sit with the thoughts of so many nights, so much laughter, the best wine, and no gravy.