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Thread: Is it anybody's business

  1. #21
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    My original question has morphed into the more global discussion of making friends, connecting with people, and human nature.

    I rarely get the question, "How were you injured?" or "Why are you in the chair?" from anyone else. My banker, my lawyer, my barber, my insurance broker, my next door neighbors, the pharmacist, the waiter at dinner, the guy who cleaned my carpets, my mechanic, the guy behind me in line, the minister at church.....none of these people have asked. But, nurses, receptionists at doctor's offices, medical technicians, and even some doctors frequently ask. Medical professionals don't seem to respect the boundaries in society. I don't think a medical professional would ask how much money I make a year, or who I voted for in the last election or what religion I am as a way to start a conversation, build a human connection, or prevent awkwardness. When they are setting up an IV, what do they ask and talk about with a person who doesn't have disability?

    I am not rude to these people, just not encouraging of their curiosity. I think a voice inside of me is saying, "Can we just get on with the usual small talk and the reason why I am lying on this uncomfortable bed freezing to death in this imaging department?"

    All the best,
    GJ

    medical people are going to ask about medical stuff
    bankers are going to ask about money stuff
    etc etc etc
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Medical professionals don't seem to respect the boundaries in society.
    I don't really think it is infringing on boundaries to ask someone how they were hurt or why they use a wheelchair. That is different from somebody asking something inappropriate like "how do you have sex." After all, you do have the choice not to answer when asked how you were hurt. If they persist in asking after you have made it clear you don't want to answer, then I would say it's an issue with boundaries.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by tooley View Post
    I noticed in another thread how the OP wants to compare how we were all injured, seemingly to make himself feel superior because the cause of his is so rare. Regardless of how it happened we're all gimps.
    I read that thread, but didn't respond. However, I did not have the same reaction to it as you did. Just an observation.

    All the best,
    GJ

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by brucec View Post
    medical people are going to ask about medical stuff
    bankers are going to ask about money stuff
    etc etc etc
    My banker doesn't casually ask for personal information about which his professional background may make him curious (how much money I make a year, where I spend my money, when I spend my money, and what I buy with it) unless I initiate the conversation and seek financial planning and advice or am applying for a loan.

    All the best,
    GJ
    Last edited by gjnl; 04-09-2012 at 06:30 PM.

  5. #25
    Senior Member canuck's Avatar
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    I used to get that question a lot in my early childhood which was in the 70's and yes the question always was asked by the geriatrics. It died out in Canada in the 80's but I remember it being asked in the 90's in the states and the even worse "can he talk" when my brother was carrying me out of our parents motorhome in the early 90's.

    I actually get more annoyed when people make a wrong diagnosis like the physio who asked me when I had my SCI, I mean hello when members of the general public can figure out I have Spina Bifida by just looking at me a physio should know right off the bat. I should have told her -8.5 months and see if she could have figured it out.
    Last edited by canuck; 04-11-2012 at 06:09 PM. Reason: typos of course

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by canuck View Post
    I actually get more annoyed when people make a wrong diagnosis like the physio who asked me when I had my SCI, I mean hello when members of the general public can figure out I have Spina Bifida by just looking at me a physio should know right off the bat. I should have told her -8.5 months and see if she could have figured it out.
    This reminds me of something I heard awhile ago.
    Question to person in a wheelchair (i.e., a way of asking how long you have been injured):
    How long have you been in the chair?
    Answer to the person who asked:
    Since about 9:00 AM this morning!

    All the best,
    GJ

  7. #27
    Senior Member SuprSi's Avatar
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    Depends on a lot of things, I generally don't mind talking about it but I can see where you are coming from.

    I was at the optician's having an eye test the other day, I was making polite conversation, and made a joke of the tank wheelchair, and she asked what happened to me. No probs at all with that, but then I started of the small talk so it's a bit different from someone just asking out of the blue. The only time I don't like talking about it is when someone's trying to give me sympathy, but I always try to come across upbeat (which i am 90% of the time) so it doesn't normally happen.

    Interesting reading other people's point of view. And I've also realized that I'm guilty of this, I see a fellow 4-wheeler and instantly feel curious, more so now than when I was an AB. What are your feelings regarding that? Obviously I never just ask, gotta start chatting first otherwise it would just be weird!
    T11 Asia A after near-fatal bike crash.. Just happy to still be here

    No, I didn't loose my mind... It got scared and ran away!!

  8. #28
    I don't mind when they ask because it usually ends up starting an interesting conversation.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Patton57 View Post
    I don't mind when they ask because it usually ends up starting an interesting conversation.
    It is T-minus 45 minutes to cataract surgery. NL has got to undress me and get me positioned on the hospital bed. The nurse begins all the pertinent pre-op questions about medications, lifestyle, allergies, prior surgeries, reaction to anesthesia, other medical conditions. Then she begins taking vitals. The anesthesiologist comes in and explains the type of anesthesia he will use and asks the same questions about allergies and reactions to prior anesthesia. There is now about 15 minutes before I am going to be taken to surgery. The nurse comes back in and as she begins to prep me for placing the IV, she asks, "So why are you in the chair?" I answer, "it was an accident." She persists, "well, I didn't think you were in a chair on purpose." At that moment, the surgeon and the anesthesiologist come in together. The doctor asks if I have any questions before surgery. We talk a bit about the surgery, while the anesthesiologist begins infusing his goods. I'm getting lightheaded, and we are off to the surgery.

    What kind of meaningful and interesting conversation could come of the nurse's idle attempts at chit chat while she was prepping for the IV. I would have rather had idle chit chat about the rain we had that day.

    This was outpatient surgery. Two hours after I came out of surgery, I was on my way home. But, not without the post op nurse asking as she accompanied me to our van (don't know how she contained herself so long except she was busy with 3 patients), "How did you get injured, car accident?" Answer: "No."

    All the best,
    GJ
    Last edited by gjnl; 04-10-2012 at 06:05 PM.

  10. #30
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    WHen I was in the hospital getting a g-tube one of the nurses casually asked about my condition and why I was in a chair. My first thought was that she could have read my medical records (which they had) and gotten everything she needed. I attempted to briefly explain my situation as best I could. After the surgery while I was recovering for a few days, I got a different bed. It was a special bed for pressure sores (clinictron (sp?)). A wound nurse came in and asked if I had any pressure sores that I knew of. When I said I was only aware of one on my foot but that it seemed to have healed she check it out and then asked if she could check me over. I agreed and she found the start of a pressure sore at my tailbone and a start of one on my right butt. She immediatley began to treat them, very probably preventing a bigger problem. The staff made sure that I was turned every couple of hours. They also gave me some pressure cuffs on my legs to prevent blood clots (although my legs kicked up a fuss when they tried to put them on). Of course none of this was directly related to the installation of my feeding tube. I concluded that the nurse's original "small talk" ended up serving a larger and more useful purpose.

    Now, if some medical person doesn't ask I kind of want to tell them just so that they know. For example, I particularily want them to know that I am allergic to opiates. Missing this minor detail could be deadly for me. I figure that the more they know the better it is for me.

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