Aug. 10th, 2011

a letter

Aug. 10th, 2011 09:42 pm
mizzmarvel: (The Lady of Shalott - entwashian)
Dear Nurse,

I don't remember much about you, but you were in training, obviously. I was 11 or 12, and you didn't seem all that much older than my big brother. You had trouble finding my pulse, and your supervisor had to help you. But the reason I'll never forget you is this -- something I said, the way I was acting, I don't know, made you murmur to yourself, "She's depressed."

I don't know if you were the first person to realize that, but you were certainly the first one to say it out loud. Hearing it made my pulse race -- not with shock, because I already knew you were right -- but with hope. I had been in and out of doctor's offices for months due to intense stomachaches. They were caused by anxiety, stress, fear, and hopelessness, but I didn't know how to articulate that, so I reported the symptom without noting the cause. But now someone had figured it out. Now someone was going to save me.

When I left that appointment, though, all I'd gotten was the same inconclusive results and a scheduled follow-up. Why didn't you do anything more to help me? Speak up again, push a little harder with your supervisor to find out more about my situation, mention it to the doctor? A little prodding, and I would have told you everything -- that my mom did drugs, our house was filthy and filled with mounds of dirty clothes (it'd be years before I learned what hoarding was), I woke up crying every night, and I lived with a monster. So, yes, I was indeed deeply, deeply depressed, and anything that could have resulted from your speaking up, whether it was a referral to a therapist or a talk with social services, would have meant everything to me.

You were so close to becoming my hero that in letting me down, you were far worse than the others. The other doctors, teachers at my school, whoever might have been blind to the problem, but you just didn't make the effort to help. But years later, I've realized you did help me learn a valuable lesson -- there's no one in this world I can depend on to save me but myself.



mizzmarvel: (Default)
Could that someone be Mack the Knife?

January 2012


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