Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Questions and Control

Are you cold? Do you want a blanket? Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat? Are you thirsty? Do you want some water? Are you comfortable? Do you have any pain? These are just some of the many questions that I get asked by my nurses on a day-to-day basis.

Sometimes I feel like they don't trust that I'll say if I feel or need something, but I know that they're just doing their job; trying to make me happy and as comfortable as possible. It does get annoying though to constantly be asked questions all day. It also makes me feel like I'm not in control. Almost like I'm giving something up by answering yes or no instead of asking myself.

Maybe that sounds strange but one of the reasons is because I rely so heavily on others to do things for me, that I try to hold on to every bit of control possible. By directing my cares, telling people what I want done, when I want it and how to do it makes me feel some sort of peace in knowing that I am the one running the ship. That people aren't just doing stuff to me or for me without me asking first.

I know all of these feelings are completely normal, especially for someone who's lost so much. I try to make sure that I'm not being offensive when telling someone that I'll let them know when I need something. They are just doing what they are here to do, and that is work for me.



Matthew Smith said...

Hi Jenni,

A while back I read on another blog (by a para, I think) that the author got annoyed when he was in shops and everyone kept asking if he needed help, assuming that a disabled person must need help with something or other. I thought to say, "well, perhaps people just want to help", and that I've often said that to people in wheelchairs in shops (on one occasion it was a guy in a manual chair in a bookshop who seemed to be too short to see or reach over the book table, but he said he didn't). But then I realised how irritating it was when shop staff ask me if I need help, without me indicating any such thing. There was one time I was in a restaurant and I couldn't lift my head from my newspaper without having one of the staff in my face asking if I need anything.

Not quite the same experience, I know. But perhaps you could sit them down and made these things clear to them: that you know that they're only doing their jobs but that you find the constant questioning oppressive, that you're a grown woman who can tell them your needs and that you're disabled, not sick. Perhaps you could say that you don't mind them asking about you every so often but that they needn't constantly ask you about little things.

Anonymous said...

hey jenni,

i actually have the same feelings as you at times


Kimberley said...

I think you need to sit down with your nurses etc. and tell them how you feel. Let them know that if you want something you are quite capable of asking for it. Let them know that while you do appreciate that they are trying to make you comfortable, happy etc. you would feel a lot better if they didn't treat you like you were a child and waited until you asked.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,
Upstairs reading your blog. I'm sure this post does not apply to your Mother! I don't always ask. If I'm cold, I'll get you a blanket or turn up the heat. If you look uncomfortabe, I'll move you. If you have not eaten for a while and I'm getting hungry, I'll fix you a snack. If I think you might be in pain, I'll rub your shoulders. Mothers can just tell these things! Your are amazing Jenni! Thanks for putting up with me. Love you! Mom

Gwen said...

I hate it when people are always asking if I'm okay and need help. It does get annoying and as you said if you need it you will ask for it....Now my grandma that's a different story, she asks all the time calls and asks how I'm doing but she's earned that right! lol