Page 7 - Scene Magazine February 2022 47-02
P. 7

 The Way I’ve Scene I
   fortable chair, my choice of an array
of beverages, and some really yummy caramel corn. We chatted, laughed, and relaxed together. When I headed for home, I was wished safe travels and asked to text when I arrived safely. It seems that COVID has redefined visi- tor for us. If you have tried to accom- pany someone else to a medical office lately, you know what I mean.
The hub recently landed a one-week stay in the hospital. His does not have a contagious type of illness, so we waited sort of nervously in the petri dish that is the enormously busy ER waiting room for four or five hours un- til they were able to move him to a bed for further assessment. When the tired looking woman came to take him to his room, she informed me that because he had a fever, he was not allowed to have visitors, and I could go wait in the car.. it was 19 degrees. Visitors? Seriously... I had been sitting next to him for half
a day already, and suddenly, I was a
The last I time I considered myself a visitor, I was
at the home of
our friends, Kurt and Wanda. I was greeted warmly, offered a com-
Stop Calling Me a Visitor
visitor? He is unable to drive himself, so let’s start there. It was I woke who up next to the man that morning and
I who drove him to the hospital. With one touch of my hand on his forehead, it was I who instantly knew that he
had a fever and needed care. In E.R.,
it was I who purchased him a drink to take his meds on time. From a germ standpoint, it is safe to say that my exposures were the same as his when we walked in the door. After a few hours in an E.R. bed, it was determined that he was being admitted, and I had been cleared as an eligible visitor. Of course, these visiting restrictions are commonplace in every medical office
– not just the hospital. One day, he had forgotten to take some necessary meds that he needed during an appointment, and I was sent all the way back home to retrieve what he needed and deliver it to him personally. Evidently, the visi- tor rules are rather fluid, so I have yet to figure them out completely. During his time of illness, I have accommodat- ed the unfortunate realities of his side effects, managed his meds, and made sure his needs for successful nutrition intake are met. It will always be my honor to help him. Through it all, he has never once considered me to be his visitor.
It is no secret that the health care system in our country is stressed to
the max for a lot of serious reasons. Workers are tired and pulling shifts that are long on hours and short on staff a good share of the time, and they do so at the known risk of illness exposure every day. Aside from administering meds, I still performed many of those same duties during his hospital stay to help lift their load, and he and I were nice to each person who came into the room. They seemed grateful. When I visit Kurt and Wanda’s house, I never feel inclined to tidy up the dishes or give anyone a shower, and no one ever expects me to help them get to the bath- room. I think I just want our health care systems to change the language and maybe even some practices, to appro- priately include the right players. We are not all visitors. We are care partners. Together, we have the potential to im- prove the experience and outcomes for both the patient and medical staff alike.
Medical office personnel? I sure wish you would stop calling me a visitor, but if you can’t, that’s cool. I’m just going to need a comfy chair, a glass of chardonnay, a snack out in that parking lot... and of course your cell number, so I can text you when I get home safely.

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