The comfortable patient

Two days ago someone said something to me that, well, left me a bit shocked and peeved. This person is a medical professional…a nurse to be exact. As we rolled through the litany of questions asked at all appointments, she commented on how comfortable I was being a patient. I asked what that meant and she replied that because I know “all the answers” I obviously love being a patient.


So I’ve been thinking about how many other medical professionals feel this way about me. I mean, I keep an overnight bag packed because I never know when I’ll be admitted. It contains all my favorites including foods that I know won’t make me sicker. And pajama pants because, well, I’m not a fan of hospital gowns. And extra chargers for my electronics. Does this make me “comfortable” being a patient?

I don’t think so. It’s just after 6 years of this, I know what will help and what won’t. I know what treatments work and which ones won’t. I’ve reached the point where I can read shorthand notes in my chart. It’s only because of the twists and turns I’ve lived through.

But, is this why I am received with skepticism when I do go to the hospital? Is this why doctors think I’m just a drug seeker? Do my nurses really feel I’m just after attention? It sure would explain many of their behaviors.

So, to the medical professionals….no, I’m not “comfortable” receiving medical care. My knowledge isn’t a matter of me trying to “out think” you. It’s just that I live with this every single day. I’ve been through enough to be able to know how to get through one more time. Just because I’m not “sickly” enough for you doesn’t mean I’m not sick.

And pajama pants are way more comfortable than flashing everyone.

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