Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Telling it like it is

When I was in the hospital last year, most of the doctors and the nurses talked to me like you would expect them to: with complete compassion.  The week I spent there was filled with people dancing around my biggest issue: that I weighed over 500 pounds and was eating myself to death.

I once had an emergency room physician dare to tell me I may have "a conditioning issue."

But one doctor, actually I think she's a Registered Nurse, Physician's Assistant or Nurse Practitioner, told me like it is.  Her name is Cynthia MacDonald and she worked for the critical care lung doctor that was taking care of me. 

I was sleeping during the day in my hospital room, she came in, ripped open the curtains and asked me what I was doing.  She told me I was too young to be in the hospital. She asked me a question that still reverberates in my head to this day:

"Do you really want to spend the rest of your life in the health care system?" 

I had never been spoken to like that in my entire adult life, but it was just what I needed.  She was like a drill sergeant:

"Do you eat breakfast? All heavy people I know don't eat breakfast!"

"What do you drink? Do you drink water? Diet soda doesn't do anything for you!"

"Frozen dinners are loaded with salt! That's why your blood pressure is so high!"

"Stop sleeping the day away and go to bed at night!"

Rather than being upset at being confronted, I loved it.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  She was right.  

More people should tell it like it is. 

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