Being ill or sick; and requiring the assistance of others is a hard pill to swallow if you’re like myself and very much independent. Depending on the magnitude of your illness, it can ultimately require you to rely significantly on other people in order to be nursed back to health.
This past June, I had to have a major surgery called a myomectomy in order to remove a series of fibroids from my womb. For those who are unaware of what a myomectomy is, the best way I can describe it is…it’s like having a c-section minus the baby. And I’ve never had a baby; but purely based on the surgical cut alone; I’m certain the two surgical procedures are akin. Fibroids tend to be more common in African American women; and it possible that is due to several factors such as genetics, vitamin D deficiency, red meat intake, etc. I chose to have a myomectomy as that was the only option that preserves my womb, “if” or “when” I decide to carry a child.
This weeks blog focuses on what responsive communicative actions from others were helpful or unhelpful during my time of need. Health care communication ethics protects and promotes care, human caring of one another, in a professional context and in all contexts where decisions affect the quality of life and, all too often, life itself. The importance of responsiveness points to a particular view of caring, one that calls forth our engagement with the human condition, requiring something of us – care (Arnett, Fritz, and Bell, 2009, p.198)
The surgery was so extensive that it required me to be out of work for 6 wks in order to fully recover. During that time, my Mother came up to assist me with daily household tasks along with ensuring that I was not physically over extending myself. What I found was that certain actions she displayed tended to be more helpful to me as I recovered. One of them being her sense of attentiveness to my needs. Major surgeries are not only physically demanding, but often times they are mentally draining as well. To climb back to health from a moment of inconvenience or a deep abyss as a patient or a caregiver requires more than physical strength alone (p.199). My mothers compassion to tending to both my physical and emotional needs during that time allowed me to heal beyond a physical sense.
What I’ve noticed is that often times people can become insensitive towards the health of others. They often place inconsiderate or unrealistic expectations on them; which does more harm than good. Proper healing is necessary for the soul; as it gives both the mind and body a chance to recoup simultaneously from what could be deemed as a tragic experience. People must be reminded to be sensitive of the needs of other people. Care is a necessity of the human condition. Even in daily discourse , we hear acts of not caring described as “inhuman”. To be human is to care; the labor of care is a necessity of our identity. Health care communication ethics reminds us of a necessity – the labor of care (p.199).
Dialogic ethics as discussed in Chapter 11, requires that we continue to evaluate ourselves with regard to our relationships with others. We must continue to self examine our needs without failing to be cognitively aware and embrace the needs of others around us. The communicator who is responsive, understands the labor of care, and is tenacious when optimism fails, taking up, instead, a gritty sense of hope that stands firm in a final freedom. There is no technique driven answer, but there is hope when caring finds response in health care communication ethics (p. 206)
We must all remember that care is a necessary good because as surely as we care for others, one day someone will have to return the same favor to us also…
Hospital Stays 🙂
Arnett, R.C., Bell, L.M., Fritz, J., (2009) Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications