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  • Writer's picturejodi

Free Country

After 20 hours of discomfort.

We made the drive.

To a place I do not like to go.

It's always awkward being a patient

when you worked for so many years

in a similar department.

It's hard being a patient

when you're so used to be a care provider.

Do you bite your tongue

when you know the IV

that was just inserted in your arm didn't have any flashback of blood,

so you know the saline about to injected into the vein

is actually going to go into the surrounding tissue instead?

Do you bite your tongue

when the guy across the hall

is belligerent to the nurses?

And talking smack about them and the health care system as a whole when they walk away?

Do you bite your tongue when he is being escorted out

and protesting "I didn't do anything?"

Do you bite your tongue when he says "this is a free country, I can do or say whatever I want!?"

Free country?

I don't know about free,

I pay a heck of a lot of taxes.

And even though I'm foggy and uncomfortable,

I know being in a "free country" doesn't give you the right to be a belligerent Ahole

and completely disrespectful.

This behaviour would not be tolerated in any other public establishment, so why is it tolerated here?

This establishment is not a boxing ring.

The professionals who work within these walls are not your competitors

nor your punching bag.

They didn't train for this.

They are not your rivals,

nor your enemy.

And you're not the patient and this isn't your worst day ever,

you even said so yourself...

so no excuses.

But why do I know any of this at all?

Well, because of the vulgar loud voice in which you're using for dramatic emphasis after you just woke up.

Apparently on the wrong side of the bed.

And I know you just woke up because I've been sitting here for well over 5 hours while you slumbered.

And I'll remain here for many more.

I say all of this as a patient who frankly doesn't feel that I should be subjected to your embarrassing display of misdirected hostility.

But this aggressive side of humanity isn't all that I witnessed.

I witnessed some positive things too.

I witnessed a team of short staffed,

empathetic humans

doing the best they can,

with the resources that they have,

in this "free country".

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