Have any of you reading this ever been a patient in a hospital or any health care facility before? I’m sure most of you have at some point in your life or have visited a loved one in such a setting. Well here’s my love letter to express to you that you matter.
Dear patient or family member,
I just wanted to take this time to first of all thank you for allowing us to care for you and trusting us with your life. I know it can be difficult to allow total strangers to make decisions for you. I know you feel such fear and anxiety from unknown sources, but rest assured knowing that you matter. I know doctors and nurses can be rude and demeaning at times. I know you feel like no one cares about what you’re going through and that no ones understands. Be that as it may, you still matter. Your reality may not be our reality. Your suffering may not be our suffering. We may never fully understand the magnitude of your emotional distress. What may seem so insignificant to us may be on a scale of mountainous proportions from your viewpoint. However, you truly do matter. I’m sorry that you’re hurting. I’m sorry that you’re suffering. I wish I could make the pain go away. I realize no amount of narcotics or anesthetics can completely block out what you’re dealing with and feeling inside. You’re on the brink of giving up and feeling hopeless, and we’re walking around casually without a care in the world. On the other hand, some of us are grumbling and complaining because we didn’t get a lunch break or a day off from work that we requested a month ago, and unfortunately you witness this behavior first hand. I’m sorry for the terminal diagnosis you were just informed about with no one to hold your hand to comfort you. I can only imagine how you’re feeling after being told that precious life that you’ve been carrying for the last few months is no more. I’m sorry for the insensitivity. I’m sorry for the negligence. I’m sorry for the lack of good bedside manner and not being treated like a decent human being. You deserve better. You deserve answers. You deserve nothing but the best because YOU MATTER.
I know why you’re lashing out now. I don’t think it’s because you’re a bad person at all. You’re just tired. You’re tired of being brushed off as some drug addict or “frequent flyer” who only wants to get high. You’re tired of being treated as some second class citizen. You’re tired of being overlooked and under appreciated. You’re tired of not being loved and cared for enough. You don’t know what you need, but you know you need something. You need something to change. You need practices and protocols to be challenged and revamped to benefit you and not the powers that be. The almighty dollar has some how become the bottom line and meanwhile your life has become only significant to the Almighty God. However, just know you are not alone. There are still some good health care workers who care about you and want to help and encourage you to get better and live a full and sustainable life. You are not crazy. You are just lost. Once again, thank you for trusting us, and I’m sorry if we let you down. One thing I want to make crystal clear is that YOU MATTER.
Crystal Momon, RN
My mission is to spread awareness of mental illness in our community. No one wants to talk about it, but we’re all dealing with it in some way or another. Take care of yourself as well as others.