LETTER from R. SCOTT DUNCAN
To the Editor:
Who would have thought that you could find this magic red button at Bassett.
The pain was excruciating. After two months I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to the emergency room. We arrived at 10 p.m. By 4 they took me up to my room.
Whoops, no bed. Waited a little longer, finally some rest and pain killers.
They put an object that looked like a remote next to me, it had a big red button and was attached to a long cord. I was told just to push it if I needed something. I felt self-conscious and reticent about using it. I am stubbornly independent.
The next day I became a little bit braver. And it grew from there. In the middle of the night after fighting back and forth in my own mind about feeling cold, I finally pushed the button and said that I was cold.
The door swung open and the light spilled into the darkness. A nurse walked in and pulled back my covers. She laid two warmed blankets on me. Ahhh.
You could push the button and get a cuppa tea. You could push the button and get a meal. By the third day I was getting into this.
But I still held back some, knowing that I was not the only button pusher in this place. I need to go for a little walk, push the button. I need to go to the bathroom, push the button.
On the third day I realized I was getting all too comfortable with this. It was time to try and get out of here. I wasn’t pushy and they suggested one more day. I was not going to argue.
This is one of the problems with the healing process. People become used to being waited on. They become used to the attention, compassion and concern from the nurses and doctors.
Some patients can’t get that in their life so they turned to the medical profession and look for as many procedures as they can find in order to keep the caring people around them. To feel wanted.
It gives you insight into our society and what is lacking in America. Humanism. Compassion. There are some people who would rather be sick then to go back out into their cold world.
So on the fourth day they wheeled me out to the front door. I did drag it out till after lunch! One more push of the button! It was a bit sad, there were a few people that I really enjoyed seeing and talking to every day, as they were going about their rounds, and checking up on me from time to time, around the clock. Thanks guys.