When in the hospital you will have so many different people walking through your door wanting to poke and prod and just look at your various crevices and orifices. For the most part, this is legit, though sometimes you have to wonder. For example, if one person took my blood pressure 2 minutes ago, and they’re still in the room, why can’t you just use their numbers and leave the patient alone? I’m sure they’re told to do it anyway, so they can check off their checklist that they did indeed check the patient’s blood pressure, but there has to be a better way.
That’s not extreme, but you can forget about privacy… or modesty. Maybe that’s the real loss here, your modesty. I mean, you try to maintain some sense of dignity, but there comes a point where you feel like you want to throw your clothes off and yell, “Ok, here! Look at me!” Not that you seriously consider that, of course, but the thought does enter your mind.
Example: On my last full day the nurse’s aid comes in and asks if I’d like a “bath”. A “wipe bath” with sanitary baby wipes, it’s easier with less clean-up than sponges. Anyway, She seems surprised that I had had none since the morning before my surgery at home. I was never asked. <shrug>
I’m sensing maybe I should, and I was feeling a bit ripe, so we go for it. Missy and Vicki were visiting at the time. They left at my request, I still had that much say in who sees what. The nurse’s aid is a 22 year old who normally doesn’t work this floor, normally she’s in a rehab wing. This was the second day (not in a row) that she was my aid, and we had built up something of a casual rapport.
So, Missy and Vicki leave. The aid pulls the curtain closed in case someone else walks in. It’s just us. She starts on the legs with the sanitary wipes and works up to the neck, then back down the other side. Then, *sigh*, the “fun” part. She needs to do the more intimate regions. We both are a bit hesitant, I am actually her first “sanitary wipe bath”. I’m here to help.
We both figuratively heave a sigh of resignation, and the sheet and gown are whipped off leaving me in all my glory. I’m embarrassed, but not as bad as I normally would have been were I not gradually eased into a lack of modesty the preceding week. She does the outer regions, and the only part left is… you know. She hesitates, I sense she is really uncomfortable, but breathes another sigh of resignation and dives in. I am now clean all over.
We finish up, I cover myself, and all is good. We’re both relieved it’s over. She might be scarred for life, not sure. Our banter was not quite the same for most of the rest of the day, it had an awkwardness that we were both dealing with, though we both lightened up later on.
To top it off, when Missy and Vicki come back, the aid is still there having just finished, and Vicki says somewhat loudly, “Did she get your ‘junk’?”
Oh, the aid blushed. If she wasn’t scarred by the procedure, she had to have been now. I, on the other hand, was speechless. I didn’t know whether to say something serious or sarcastically funny. I said nothing, just sat there. There are very few people that can make me speechless, but my sister is good at it, and succeeds more than most.
Many women,especially women who have given birth multiple times, tell me that you just give up trying to stay modest at some point. I can kind of understand that now. You develop an attitude of, “Here, just get it done.”