Thursday, August 27, 2009

What kind of health plan is this?

I am having surgery next week. A part of me that was once instrumental in a high level of creation is now causing some serious pain and complex health problems. So it is time for me to let it go, set it free, yank it, whatever - and then hope the problems go with it.
I went to the hospital for some pre-op lab work, and that included an hour long grilling session where I had to answer inquiries about every aspect of my physical, mental and emotional health, past, present and future. They didn't seem too concerned about my spiritual health.
Each time I go to the hospital, regardless of the "procedure" I am having, it seems that all modesty, propriety, and privacy is left at the door, just as surely as if there was a coat check room for it. The adventure comes in seeing how the lack of privacy manifests itself. This time I thought I might get by with minimal invasion, knowing that next weeks surgery would more than make up for it. But no, it was not to be. The medical history interview took place in a room with three desks, and one lounge chair where the patient sits while having the lab work done. I was the only patient for a while. I sat by one of the desks and answered questions being asked by a nice enough matronly office worker. The phlebotomist (needle lady, vampire) came and had me sit in the lounge chair while she took blood. She was good, and I barely felt a prick. But there was a tall guy leaning over her shoulder watching everything, including my reaction. I don't know what he thought it would be since the interrogator continued to question me and my responses didn't pause. They left and I returned to the desk side chair. The questions got more personal. When I shook my head "No" to the question "Are you using recreational drugs or addicted to prescription painkillers?" I wondered, what would they do if someone said yes. Does anyone ever say yes?
Then another patient and questioner came in and started the process at another desk. Another tech came to do the EKG on me and I was glad that this time she pulled the curtain around the lounge chair. But the questions continued to be called out to me through the curtain, and I answered intimate health details back while the other patient conversation continued on and I tried to ignore it. I asked myself, "How does all this contribute to the healing process?"
I guess I can't wait around while others figure out what it takes for us all to be healthy, or how to make sure the insurance companies and the lawyers and the voters all agree. I get the option of choosing to be healthy in whatever way I can, no matter how much is going on around me. Not always easy, but there it is. So right now, even as I create visual artwork, I create healing, I create healing, I create healing.

2 comments:

Big Bahama Mama said...

It's not enough to be undergoing a major medical procedure, but you've got to do it with the rest of the staff and many other patients witnessing your journey. At least you do it with grace and style.

Jody England Hansen said...

Isn't there a verse in Proverbs....Always with grace, seasoned with salt. Maybe I will throw a little curry in this week.