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September 2012
The pear
Sep 30, 2012 6:17 PM

What is care?

What is caring?

What is the “care” in healthcare”?

What is the worth of a pear?

It’s Sunday September 30th, and in 6 days it will be one year since I found myself in the emergency room for the second time, afflicted with appendicitis (which I fondly refer to as “Appendicitis II”).  Now, I am enjoying a day of knitting, yoga and quiet, and a pear.

This time I was in a cozy ER room within earshot and a good view of the nurses’ station. I had been at a play earlier that evening, ignoring the familiar pain, hoping it was just the play and the result of rushing through dinner.

The ER physician told me that the pain couldn’t be “that bad” because I refused the morphine. I told her that I practice yoga and am able my voice trails off as she leaves the room.  She was replaced by 2 young male nurses. The trainee was instructed on the insertion of my IV (saline), at which he was unsuccessful many times. Though I am generally an assertive person, I was watching and weighing the consequences of voicing my concerns about the growing number of punctures on my arm versus how they may be interpreted. I decided to ask the instructor to carry out the task and thankfully, was not met with any repercussions.

She returned to the room at some point to inform me that I would not be able to have an ultrasound to confirm / determine what “I thought” the cause was since the department was closed until the next morning. There was no evidence of my appendicitis I chart to be found or referenced. Another told me that he could order a mobile ultrasound, which never came. She entered again at some point in time and reminded me that my situation “wasn’t that bad”. However, this being Appendicitis II, I was better versed in the danger and unpredictability of “what I thought it was”.

I lay there.

I overheard from the nurses’ station:

So, I’m stuck with this old man and he asked me to cut his pear? As if that’s part of my job – I mean really, CUT HIS PEAR? I’m not here to cut his pear. I just couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe he asked me to cut his pear. I don’t do that. I mean, would you do it? It was just ridiculous.

I imagined the elderly gentleman.

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