I’ve been wearing and rocking medical equipment since I was a young child. When you are chronically ill you become accustomed to procedures and all their medical equipment that comes along with it.
Each time I step into a medical facility I get this sense of familiarity. The welcoming staff as I walk in greeting me by name and checking me in, themselves. Big gowns that show everything if not tied right. The hair caps that feel like they don’t hold your hair back right and itch all around your forehead and neck. Wearing the sticky electrodes for your heart rate that leave scars and marks because of the irritation. The blood pressure cuffs that hurt and constrict until your arm is about to pop. Wearing multiple identification/medication and alert bands because of your conditions and risks. Being on a stiff ass bed with a huge thick pillow that provide no comfort at all and make your neck cramp up. The bars on either side of the beds that touch your skin and immediately startle you because of the coldness. The constant nurses in and out asking all of the exact. same. questions and you repeating your entire life’s story to each staff member in the facility each time you go in. The thin blankets that only stay warm for a second and your need to ask for double or triple layer just to keep your poor circulated toes warm. The IV cords that get tangled and keep you from moving in any way that’s comfortable. The need to pee a lot and unplugging, plugging back in just for a chance to relieve yourself. The staff conversing with you as they do their job because you’re there just as much as being at home and they also want to update you on their life or ask for an update on yours. The nosey people in the beds next to you because what else is there to do in there but to eavesdrop on others conditions.
Being in and out of medical facilities is all a part of being chronically ill. It becomes a part of your schedule, your routine, your life . It becomes so familiar that when you step foot into a facility you sort of feel like you’re in your second home.
At least that’s how it is for me.
Today I had yet another procedure done and while Im being triaged and pre-op’d the staff is asking me how I’ve been. How my kids are. They mention how they’ve been and their families are. We joke and laugh and truly get to know each other on another level than just patient and nurse/doctor. I mean, they are in charge of my life right? I see them so often why would I not want to get to know who is putting hands on me and trying to help me with my issues. Being chronically ill has taught me that not every home is a house. Sometimes the familiar and comfortable places we go to can become second homes too. It’s just crazy how familiar one can become with something just from being ill all the time.
I don’t know any other way of life. I don’t know what it’s like to not be in a medical facility all the time. I don’t know what it’s like to not be poked and prodded like a guinea pig. This life is all I know. Being chronically ill and this life is all I am familiar with.
The sense of familiarity makes everything that much more easier to deal with. At least for me it does.
Xoxo- The Chronically I’ll Queen