Weather Forecast


RJ Dupre column: Putting up with hospital protocol

Two years ago, I was admitted into a hospital, in another state, because of chest pains. I arrived there with my friends and was directed to my room.

I had brought my pajamas. There was no way I was going to wear their funny gowns. Wearing those garments does not convey to our human dignity.

Then a stern looking nurse came in as I was laying in my bed, waiting to be hooked up to an IV and machines.She proceeded to ask me basic questions, like my birthdate; address; allergies...then it got tedious. Every disease possible was stated, to which I answered I had none of those. She kept looking at me as if there was something wrong with me. I apologized for being such a healthy and boring patient with no such listed ailments. As she was going down the list, the questions got more personal and bizarre.

I was asked if I had false teeth, which provoked an outburst of laughter from my friends and I. She did not seem to appreciate our reaction, but continued her inquiry.

"Do you live alone?"

"Do you cook for yourself?"

"Have you ever been abused?"

That was it! I looked at her and said>

"That's enough, I am done answering your irrelevant questions."

By that time I was mad.

I have never understood why medical facilities in this country spend so much time asking you things which are totally irrelevant to the emergency at hand. Here you are, hurting, scared, wondering if you are going under the knife or worse ans they spend half an hour probing into your personal world. Frankly, you would have time to die ten times over before they got to the real problem.

My friends and I took the whole experience with humor and some sarcasm. It is sometimes the only way to handle irritating and ridiculous encounters. Finally "Nurse Gretchen" left and other personnel were free to take care of me in a proper manner. Thank God everything turned out well. My French heart is in perfect condition to this day.

I went back to living alone at home without fear, still have my real teeth to chew on the food I am able to cook myself, without anybody abusing me in the process.

Most importantly, I was surrounded by my loving friends in my difficult time and for that I am grateful.