Don't settle for imitations

Don’t settle for imitations

The other day I was visiting someone in the hospital and I experienced a rather rude encounter with a certain nurse. I have been told I, apparently am quite human and have on occasion, few I hope, been rather rude myself.  Point taken.  However, rudeness is one of my pet peeves and a real button pusher.  Rudeness usually gets a reaction from me, and one that might be just about as rude – or at least I have been known to rather matter of factly point out said moment of rudeness.  In other words, I get snarky.

When the nurse uttered her curt reprimand punctuated with “everybody knows that!” my defensive reaction was swift, but I caught myself almost quickly enough; remember I’m human.  Before I got into full snarky mentality I stopped myself and out of the corner of my eye I saw my “See Beautiful”  bracelet.  I said, “Wow, she must not be having a great day.  I wonder what would make her need to react like that.”  Or something to that effect.  Point is, I chose to change my perception of the moment and my reaction to it.  I relinquished my victim status.

That subtle shift changed the entire experience.  I still didn’t like that she was rude, but it was her baggage to own; so I let her own it, completely.  I walked in her shoes realizing that having a bad day just might have brought some rudeness out in me.  That didn’t make it right, but I understood it.  I also am fairly sure that the nurse and I would not think we were rude, but completely justified due to our circumstances, our reality as interpreted by us alone.

As the old adage goes

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you. Not because they are nice, but because you are nice.”

 The next day, a story I’d seen before on CNN   crossed my screen again; this time from The Man Kind Project .  I’d enjoyed it the first time, but this time I found even more meaning.  Joshua needed to undergo a medical procedure requiring sedation.  For comfort and companionship he brought along his stuffed wolf.  While waiting for the procedure Joshua noticed a tear in his wolf’s leg and wondered aloud if his wolf needed stitches.  They all decided his wolf could get stitches  at home and Joshua was fine with that. Pretty run of the mill story so far.  Fast forward to Dad walking into the recovery room.

Joshua and Wolf recovering

Joshua and Wolf recovering

As I walked into recovery I saw my sweet boy still asleep… on his tummy was that little wolf. It had been given a surgical mask and a leg cast. Upon further inspection I observed that he had approximately 5 or 6 surgical quality sutures.”  from CNN as quoted from Kevin Wade’s FB post.

Boom!  Bring on the tissues and let out the ahhhhs.  There are definitely people who care about making special moments and wonderful memories right in the middle of doing their everyday jobs.  I started to read the comments on The Man Kind Project post and I realized the real scope of kindness, caring and compassion.

LW wrote:

I was 7 when I broke my arm in 2 places. When I went into surgery my beloved “monkey” came with me. WELL he had a cast too when I woke up, apparently they had done an “xray” and discovered that monkey too in fact needed surgery……..I STILL remember it to this day AND the lovely staff at the hospital I will NEVER forget…………..goes to show something SO small is something SO big to a young one….”

ASL wrote:

I am an ER doctor and I frequently fix the animals, dolls, or stuffed lovies that kids bring with them. I’ve made pretend IV’s, pretend shots, casts, stitches, eye patches, whatever it takes. It’s comforting for all and a little extra care goes a long way. We are in healthcare to heal bodies AND spirits. I’m sure I speak for many others who work in hospitals and clinics. Stories like these happen often and I’m glad it was shared with others.”

KJU wrote:

Thank you Dr ASL for adding to this. I have worked in healthcare since 1986 and have encountered many physicians and nurses who think just like you! They are the ones I go to for myself and recommend loved ones to…..thank you”

Joshua’s story is really heart warming.  I’m so glad that his father’s friend decided to share it and it obviously has resonated with many many people.

Every experience is a learning one. I learned that Joshua’s story isn’t a really unique one, it’s more common that I would have thought.  And that is cause for celebration!  There are loving, kind, compassionate, caring, beautiful people all around us who do wonderful things every single day.  I learned that one rude encounter doesn’t have to ruin my day.  Neither is it a reflection on an entire group or establishment, or even on the person them-self in a greater context.  I learned that when I own my stuff, and let other’s own their stuff I smile more.  I’m rather fond of smiling.

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