`And How Do We Feel This Morning?'
Without question, going to the hospital is teamwork from the
time you arrive until you are wheeled out the front door.
Everyone is working together for the common good of the patient,
or at least a crack at his bank account. That is as it should be
in such mercenary endeavors.
Spending a few days in the hospital recently reinforced this in
my own mind. Although my time in the hospital was brief, I was
given the full treatment.
The hospital staff left no bed unturned in the holy quest of my
recuperation. No matter what time of night it was, each nurse
cooperated in awakening me and asking, "And how do we feel
Teamwork is good for a number of things in life. Peanut butter
and jelly, ham and eggs, and bologna and cheese are a few things
benefiting from cooperation. In each example, one element
compliments the other and the combination is greater than each
individual part. This is coordination at it finest.
There is a limitation to the so-called cooperation, especially
in the environment of the hospital. I don't want to complain,
but now that I am out, I feel a little freer expressing my
opinion, without fear of any needling from the hospital staff.
I will grant you, nurses are some of the most wonderful people
in the world. The job they do is simply marvelous. It is
absolutely true that patients could not get along without these
On the other hand, what would these nurses do without patients?
I don't want to brag here, but if it were not for patients like
me (if there are patients like me), nurses would not have a
single thing to do in the hospital. Essentially, they owe their
job to me. The level of their significance is in direct
proportion to the patients they serve.
Not one to belabor a point, (it's hard to do any labor in my
condition right now) I think it's about time someone stood up
for patient rights. Since I have nothing to do for the next week
except recuperate here at home, I am the perfect person to say
something about this crucial issue.
The major complaint I have is with the "we-disease" rampant in
hospitals across the nation. This "we-disease" syndrome has
gotten out of hand and despite all the research, no cure seems
looming in the hospital corridors.
Every morning, around 5 o'clock, my nurse came bouncing into my
room with the cheeriest of dispositions, completely disregarding
my condition at hand and boldly asked, "And how do we feel this
Even on my best day, 5 o'clock in the morning is not a good time
to ask me any question, especially how I'm feeling. If there
were any chance that I was feeling good, I certainly would not
be in the hospital.
The thing most disturbing to me is the sense on the part of the
nurse to personally identify with my pain. Hence, "And how do we
feel this morning?"
I object to this vehemently. It is my pain, not "our" pain. I
believe each nurse should go and get their own pain. I'm paying
a lot for this pain and I deserve all the credit. I do not
choose to share my pain with anyone, especially someone with a
bubbly orientation so early in the morning.
It's my ailment and I have the right to not only enjoy it but
also tell everyone about it. One reason it's so hard to tell
people about my ailment is everybody wants to tell me about
their own ailments instead.
My hospital room that I'm paying for should be the one place I
can indulge my ailment. I should not have to compete with nurses
concerning my prevailing ailment. From a casual perusal of
medical journals while waiting in the doctor's office, there are
more than enough ailments to go around.
This is my ailment and I share it with no person, especially
healthy nurses wielding needles and pain pills.
If I hear that phrase, "And how do we feel this morning?" one
more time I'm going to throw some business to my favorite
A related phrase brought just as much frustration. My good nurse
came in one morning and quipped, "And are we having our
breakfast this morning?"
Looking at the breakfast tray before me, with barely enough for
me, I simply glared at her. If she had any designs of slicing in
on my breakfast, blood would flow. I gripped my plastic knife
This whole thing came to a head my last morning in the hospital.
My evanescent nurse burst into my room and asked, "And are we
ready for our bath this morning?" This was the straw that sipped
the last drop of patience from my languishing body.
Nothing is more personal to me then "my" bath. I will share my
tub with nobody except my rubber ducky.
Getting rest in the hospital is a challenge for the weariest
soul. Just when you think you have snuggled down for a snooze,
someone asks how you are.
The best rest comes from Jesus Christ who invites everyone to
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for
I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your
souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew
His inquiry is always welcome and comes at the right time, like