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Being Polite To The Dying
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Elsa
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 8:26 am
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I do love the South. Last night, I told Jilly how the back surgeon’s nurse called me to tell me she’d set up my full body bone scan.

“…he wants to see if you have arthritis anywhere…”

She means, cancer.  But you don’t mention stuff like this.

“Okay, thank you!”

To be clear, I am almost positive I don’t have cancer. It’s just funny how these things are handled.

I am sure if I prodded, there would be a response but if you can avoid the c-word…

Fast forward 18 hours; I thought about it.

It probably is a good idea. She doesn’t know me. She does know I am facing something daunting. Why say, “cancer”?

Do you live somewhere with cultural quirks like this? I’m sure if I were in Denver, they’d have told me they had to rule out cancer.

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Buendia
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 10:45 am
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Interesting! I can’t think of anything atm where I am. I think I’d be better at doing this, than being on the receiving end. I do my best to be gentle with the people I work with, even if I have to be firm. 

But I tend to assume that people mean what they say (what they spell out), so I’d have probably taken her at face value, or if I was confused, I would have asked a super direct question–what about xyz??? lol. 

It shows a lot of grace to recognize the subtlety of her meaning, to trust that interaction. I’ve been practicing that, in general, and having small successes, which is good. Not needing to H-E-A-R something plainly to trust my impression, at least to a degree. 

Hmm. If I think about similar situations I’ve been in (doctors, or what not), I don’t think a lot of care was taken in the way that you describe. The doctor I liked the best had a gentle approach. It’s an intimidating position to be in.  

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LizM
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Saturday, April 11, 2020 - 7:46 pm
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There are times I really miss the South.  Good luck with your scan.

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