Monday, July 2, 2012

Dressing the Part

So today was hospital day for John’s big tests. And I was reminded of my guidelines for caregivers in hospitals. It’s dangerously close to Glamour Magazine’s Do’s and Don’ts—but I swear there is science in this advice:

You must dress up. Caregivers listen to me on this. You are thinking “comfort” but your more important goal is “power”. Yes, you have to sit around in these clothes all day but you want to be seen and you want to be heard. And yes, you—like a teenager being told how to dress for an interview—may say “But that shouldn’t matter”. And you're right. It shouldn’t. But here’s reality: It does. And in Cancer Land the stakes are high. The impression you want to make is: See Me, Hear Me…(do you hear the music from Tommy?) and Take my requests very seriously.

No sweats for you. No baggy in the bum jeans. No hair-in-ponytail-with-no-makeup look for you. For the patient? Yes. Comfy time. And no valuables, no watch or wallet. But for the caregiver: you wear your good watch, nice earrings, stylish scarf and make up. It is a kind of job interview after all.

So that was my strategy today. Belly full of nerves and an arm full of bangles. Also I always go with the valet parking. It is not more expensive. They stamp that ticket so it’s free and much nicer, especially when leaving the hospital with a drooswy man.

And John was drowsy! The anesthesia was heavy and his reaction was quite funny. In the recovery room he was lovey-dovey, and curious about every detail of every little thing. Because I have never seen him take a drug or even a glass of wine it took me a few minutes to realize what I was seeing. But when he held up his little plastic cup of cranberry juice and slowly turned it around and around saying, “Isn’t that a beautiful color?” and “That’s soooo pretty” that I realized that he was stoned. Here is the straightest man in the world talking like Cheech & Chong.

That was fun.


Dawn said...

Love it. And praying for the right results for John and for you. ~Dawn~

Diane said...

Thanks Dawn..I love that you get this!