Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Scanner


I wrote this to express my anger at poor practice but the process has really made me think about whether being kind is just a bit of icing on the cake or whether its actually a core skill. I found myself defending the person, saying maybe they had a bad day, it was busy, you know how it goes. But the truth is this attitude stood out as it was so different from the care and compassion I expereince with the breast team. There is such fear around in those experiences, that kindness and soothing are as important as knowing how the machine works. The lady following me had sat with me at lunch and she cried almost constantly; her fear so present about what was ahead of her. Yes the scan was a small part of her journey but any bump in the road with leave you bruised and fearful for the next stage.
So please anyone reading this, my plea is just be kind, it's not just nice....it's part of our healing.


The Scanner 

Put your things there
Climb up onto the platform
The machine looks on
Coldly
And so do you
A smile might help
I think as I sit down
I swing my legs over
I hear my heart beat quicken 
 I steady my breathing

Can I have a cushion under my knees?
You oblige and secure my hands
For comfort you tell me
The machine comes closer
It won't touch you just
Keep still for 15 minutes
You say as cold as the steel
You turn and leave the room
Alone- me and the scanner 
Left to do its soulless job

I keep my eyes closed as it comes near
I stay still
I breath, I calm my thoughts
It scans me -mercilessly thorough
It does its job
You come back
You move the machine
 I stay still- I ask anxious questions
Another 12 minutes you say
I breath, I calm my thoughts

You return to release the machine
And I step down, head spinning
Steady you say
But now you see I'm angry
I have scanned your every move too
I have scanned for a smile of comfort
I have scanned for a sign of warmth
A sign to steady my fear
Just like your machine I'm programmed 
But I look for humanity

Sadly in you - like the machine- I saw none

2 comments:

  1. Dear Audrey, Thinking of you, sending gentle thoughts of love and lots of warm hugs. I have been out of the loop and was so very sorry to learn that you are once again facing cancer. And it's simply not fair that you have had to experience such a lack of simple kindness, empathy, and humanity. Much Love, Karen xxoo

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