There was no mistaking her voice. My sister’s pretty clear when she doesn’t want to hear something.
And there’s plenty to hear about. The chefs are amazing. Last night I had the best turkey Tetrazzini and cherry crisp for dinner. Then, there is my roommate who cried for three nights straight because she didn’t want to be here (here being one of the best physical rehab hospitals in the country). I also could’ve gone on and on about how excited I was that two (did you get that?) of my doctors are active musicians.
I could talk about my physical and occupational therapists who are so familiar with CIDP that they gave me information I had never heard anywhere else.
Even more, I could talk about the equalizing effect that disability rehab has on all of our particular biases. Racism? Gone in the equality of learning how to walk again. Sexism? Ceases to exist when you’re trying to stand up straight or speak your words clearly without drooling. Homophobia? Everyone’s working hard here, and no one — at least no one I’ve seen — has the time or inclination to care about anyone else’s sex life. Christian, Muslim, Jew, Sikh, Hindu, etc.? All are learning to stand again.
“I’m learning to drive,” quipped the woman practicing in a power wheelchair.
“I’m learning to walk,” quipped the gentleman who passed her with a grin.
The focus here is: get the body working again. It takes total concentration, exercise, and effort. In my view, physical disability can be a great equalizer. All one’s energy is put into healing and rehabilitation.
So I could have talked about that. But I didn’t. Instead I told her about another equalizer. Everyone in every room is concerned about the same thing because we hear it every day from every nurse.
“Did you have a bowel movement?”
My sister was not amused. She has a sensitive stomach.
The truth is, being in bed a lot of the time is a constipating experience. How much time can you spend hating the person next to you because of his or her race, sex, or other beingness when your bowels are backed up to your diaphragm? Not much I can tell you. One’s work is immediate.
This place is beautiful. Sprawling acres landscaped to perfection. Simple and attractive rooms that are cheerful and clean. Nurses and nursing aides that are respectful, kind, and willing to help. And excellent chefs — did I mention the excellent chefs?
Too Much Information. Please, no words about my consumption of copious quantities of Miralax and prunes. It doesn’t matter that what goes in must come out.
What is important is that here, everything points to equality. The rest is TMI.