I am back home. My trip was amazing and difficult. So glad I went and even gladder of all that we accomplished. That would be for another time, this is about what I learned while visiting. I am sure it will help others in the same circumstances, so I am sharing.
Hospitals, as we all know, are not the friendliest of places. They can be intimidating, scary, cold, detached in some ways. There are a lot of rules to follow. There are even rules made up along the way when someone is there for an extended period.
For everyone that has experience this, rules can help us and drive us crazy. We just need to decide what we take from them, how we can obey them and how we can tweak them a bit. Its only human nature, especially if we have someone dear to us in the hospital.
I spent almost all my waking hours for a week at the hospital with my friend. It was in more ways than one a bonding experience as I have seldom experienced. That is why, I feel I most share these observations.
First are visiting hours. How many people should be allowed in one room? How to control the level of noise? can visitors bring treats and share them? We came to visit, shared treats, laughs and tears. More than once, we were told to keep it quiet, but were not told to leave. At one point visits were restricted, but not completely forbidden.
Second, when doctors and nurses come in to see the patient…. who should be there? who has the right to know what is said and what is being done? Certain times are definitely private, there are moments the patient must be alone with the doctors and ask questions. Other times personal needs need to be attended to and privacy is most important. Still, at the end of the day, some patients will like a trusted friend or family member present when confronting the doctor with questions the answers of which they are no sure they want to hear.
Third, privacy is so important and relates to the above. It is controversial, I know, but not every patient needs complete isolation especially if visitors can bring much needed distraction, joy and that bond between friends and family that can be so helpful.
Fourth, how much is the patient told? Is it necessary to inform the patient of everything? would that affect the patient’s outlook or help in making decisions? Some patients want to ask the questions and stop when they feel they already know too much. Others just feel better knowing everything and making plans accordingly. Either way, the patient should decide, nobody else…not even the family or the doctor.
I know these rules are strictly enforced here in the States, but I found they are not so in other countries. I found the relaxation of the rules very helpful in this case. I cannot say if this would benefit everyone. So I guess I am open about them.
At the moment, all I have to say is that being flexible can mean so much to the patient….and isn’t that the ultimate goal? To have the patient relaxed, at peace, surrounded by people that truly love them? I am sure there will be many opinions about this, but all I am expressing is what I learned in my case. It made the whole experience with my friend so human, so wonderful.
She is now out of the hospital and even thought the diagnosis hasn’t changed, her body seems to have a will of its own. For that, we are more than grateful!!!
- Photo Credits: 1- Nice Monkey – ID135548
- 2- Michal Wrozek – ID1488524
In this time and age, I would be hard pressed to name a family member or friend that doesn’t have a Facebook account. My husband doesn’t count. Technology is not his thing and sharing personal information and opinions is not his thing either. Other than him, I cannot mention anyone else off the top of my head!!!
When about 11 years ago, my daughter convinced me to give this new Social Media outlet a try, I would have sworn it was not going to last. Well, that is how much I know. I also refused to even consider investing in it. So much for my powers of observation. Not only is Facebook thriving, it is so influential that it will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Which proves again, what do I know???
I will be remiss not to point out that most of the time I enjoy what comes and goes and passes for information, the personal opinions, the photos of family and friends that live far and wide. The pages that post uplifting messages that somehow fit a mood, a feeling, a moment. It can be fun and informative.
Unfortunately, as the mood in the world has turn to hate and division and more and more people feel free to express those feelings, Facebook has turned into a minefield. You need to be very careful what you say and pay attention to the smallest of details when expressing an opinion, talking about your feelings on a subject or just wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Thanksgiving or Happy Easter. What pictures you want to share, what you would anyone thinks about a page you like, the quote you posted or the people you admire.
Never mind the kind of news sites you prefer, the people you are voting for or anything about a controversial public figure. Everything is black and white and you must be very careful. How exhausting!!! It seems we not only have the government censoring what we can and cannot see, write or express….now everyone you have friended on Facebook feels they should do it too.
I am not even going to mention civil discourse (a very much dead concept at the moment), or differences of opinion, I am talking about plain bullying and plain intimidation if you as much as express the notion that things can and do have two or three sides to them. “Mine, yours and the truth in the middle” is what I believe. Apparently I belong to a growing group that has learned the hard way to keep their opinions to themselves. How very sad…..it seems the only freedom of expression we are allowed is the one our critics spouse. Both sides of any issue are guilty of this.
So, back to the lessons I have learned on Facebook. At the beginning, I joked about the four wonderful concepts that this Social Media community has taught me were: Ignore, Remove, Delete and Unsubscribe. We were provided with such choices and with cute little signs for : Like, Love, Surprise, Sadness, Anger. Seemed simple enough, not really anymore, things are now very angry, very insulting, sometimes even dangerous.
If we only want to see and want to hear what we believe, we are not improving communication among our friends and family, or the community in general. If only our opinion is true, if we only hear what we want to hear, if we only engage with people who agree with us, we are bullying everyone else into falling in line or just pack up and leave. A very sad state of affairs, especially when it is not doing any good to society as a whole.
I write a blog about things I have learned and things I am still learning, Facebook provides a wonderful platform for this. My hope is that out there someone agrees with me and will share my posts. Never my intention to impose or to think I know better. I am not holding my breath, but will continue to do what I think is right. It gives me pleasure.
Life is short. Everyday there are new challenges we must face, new sorrows to deal with, but also new happiness to share, new experiences we want to talk about. I want to feel comfortable with my friends and family, so I can do just that. Having a Facebook account has taught me many things, the ones I mentioned here are not the best ones. Fortunately, I hold hope that the good things about this site will eventually win the day.
P.S. You have to have some rain to enjoy the rainbow: photo by my niece Ana Gregoria