The Hospital Isn't a Warzone, and I'm Not a Warrior

December 16, 2014 6:59 PM

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I was sitting in my hospital bed as the doctor and her throng of interns and residents came in to deliver the news: surgery, a PICC line, and no end to the hospital stay in sight. Disoriented from pain medicine and sleep deprivation, I wasn't sure how many days I had been in the hospital, and I was worn down and crushed, but not surprised. But the worst part of this news wasn't the news itself; it was the half dozen medical strangers fixed with a look of pity and my doctor's reassurance: "Sarah's a brave fighter; she will be just fine." I was in pain, physically and emotionally, but under the watchful eyes and my doctor's expectations, there was no way I was going to be dissolving into tears before they left the room.

Society loves the idea that a person with an illness is a heroic fighter in their own personal sickness war, and on the surface, this perception is not only a positive image of persons with illnesses or certain disabilities, but a massive compliment. This image is adopted by the masses: touted by pi...

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