Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Medical stuff

I'm not in the frame of mind right now for a coherent essay-style post; bear with me.

I usually go home and cry for a while after certain medical procedures. It's just how I cope with knowing that this is something that is part of my life; that something my body did to itself, for reasons medicine does not understand, means that I need unpleasant and invasive procedures, regularly, just to keep certain bodily functions proceeding as they should. It's unfair, so every few months I let myself have a couple hours to feel sorry for myself (positive living with chronic illness propaganda be damned!).

Today it wasn't just the sadness that some things about my body will never get better. Today I honestly feel like I've been assaulted. A man I didn't know touched my body in ways I'm not comfortable with, without my express consent. Four people were at my appointment: a male nurse, a female nurse, a male resident, and the female specialist. I'm used to the female nurse and the specialist, who are there every time I have this procedure. They know I like a heated blanket, and that I listen to specific choral pieces through the procedure because it helps me keep my breathing on track. They also know I'm a sexual assault survivor and they are sensitive to that. The two men there threw me off guard. I didn't anticipate unfamiliar people in the room in the first place, and still get nervous about this particular thing.

They asked if the male resident was ok, and I said no, and he politely left. I had said I wasn't ok with male practitioners involved in this element of my care. I assumed that was clear enough in referring also to the male nurse. Evidently, it wasn't. But I don't advocate well for myself when I'm in a medical gown and hospital socks. I figured he'd leave at any moment. But he didn't, and suddenly this man I don't know was cleaning my body to prep for the procedure, and I just didn't have the strength to say no. So I put on my choir playlist and tried to pretend it wasn't happening.

But now the pain in my body and how tense all my muscles are because I couldn't relax and the feeling of unwelcome hands makes me feel raped all over again.

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