Category Archives: MEDICAL – GENDER

MEN ARE WEAK

Yes, he left me. Because he can’t handle it. Men are weak. Yes, this is my third pregnancy. Both of our other babies died in the womb. They died inside of me. They were old enough to live, close to delivery, but they died anyway. My whole body got itchy and then they died. Both of our babies.

When my husband found out I was pregnant again, instead of helping me, he just moved out. He left. He got really drunk, he took his clothes, and he left. He couldn’t even talk about it. He just left. He never could talk about it. He is weak. He is puny. I disdain him for his weakness.

I tried to tell him. When we lost the first child. And the second one. I tried to tell him, we are still parents. We are not the only ones with dead children. Why can’t you love these dead people? Don’t you love your grandparents? Don’t you love your father, may he rest in peace?

This is how it was for me. I got pregnant. I had my babies with me. I loved them the whole time they were living with me, inside of me, and then when I lost them, I just kept loving them. So what? It’s only natural. I love a lot of people who are dead. Don’t you?

Of course, I want living children. Of course. That is why I am willing to keep trying. They are going to keep a watch on my baby for this whole pregnancy. They are going to do a lot of tests and keep checking. If anything changes, they will just take the baby out. This one can live, they told me.

I am a mother. I am strong. I keep trying. I keep loving. But men are weak. They are egotistical. They only want to love if they get something from it. I told my husband, you cannot love the dead babies because you are too selfish. You only love those who are useful to you. You cannot love without return. Forget about your own pain! Think of what our babies lost – their whole lives! All they can possibly need from us now is our love.

Sometimes I wonder, did the babies die because he could not love them? They didn’t feel welcome, maybe. I just don’t know. But I am going to keep loving my lost babies. And I am talking a lot to this baby. Forget your father, I tell the baby. You have a mother. That is enough. Stay with me.

PROSTATE

As a person who prefers to have doctors who share my genitalia (not literally of course) I have sometimes felt apologetic and awkward when assigned to accompany men getting prostate and urology care.  I have worried at times that they may feel “weird” about me not having the same equipment.  Especially as I work with a population who tends to have deep-seated body shame.

Depending on the patient preference, I sometimes compensate for this by chatting with them in the waiting room (never about their health care of course) letting them know we have curtains in all the rooms and the interpreter will of course stand behind it, and just generally making them as comfortable as possible.

Last week, a urology appointment was delayed for some time – we were on hold for pending lab results, so I could not leave.  So we just chattered on affably about nothing in particular.  I watched this nervous man relax into comfort and even genuine amusement as we talked and joked.  Even though we were waiting moment by moment for the lab results, he felt seen, heard, and may I humbly suggest entertained in the meanwhile.

By the time I was finally interpreting for him with staff, he was relaxed and open enough to truly hear about the invasive procedure he was going to have.  This was a breakthrough for him.  He went on to ask relevant questions to further his understanding.  When the nurse asked if he had any more questions, he told her he had understood everything wonderfully, and he was really happy with his care – including the interpreter.

Another nice reminder that waiting room chatting, when done appropriately, can be a healing for the patient.  The strict style of “never saying a word” that isn’t originated in the mouth of another staff person has its place, especially in the courtroom, but can add to the cold and unfeeling atmosphere in a huge hospital.  As long as we are squeaky clean on the content of our talk, never moving into any advising or opinions regarding their care, I do believe there is a limited and cautious place for it.

As a staff interpreter, I consider myself a member of a care team, and earning the patient’s trust and adding to their comfort, while maintaining professionalism, is part of my job.  As interpreters, it is a line we must walk with infinite care and awareness, always putting the patient first and keeping our professional guidelines in sight. But I remember the smile on the cancer patient’s face, as he felt increasingly safe about getting his care at our hospital.  His face was lit up with hope and trust.

MEN’S CLINIC

I’d like to shoot that doctor, really. If he is a real doctor. I really don’t know. My husband, he is close to 60, and I am a little younger, and for some reason he has gotten obsessed with getting old. I told him, why are you worried? Everyone gets old. You are in your natural aging process.

But he cannot accept it and he started acting really weird.  I mean, asking me for it morning and night.  And I mean every morning and yes, every single night.  It has gotten ridiculous.  I told him, I am not a teenager any more.  I have to work.  I get up at 4:00 a.m. to go clean houses – I don’t feel like, you know, before work, and then having to wear a pad all day because I don’t feel clean.

And now he is doing really strange things like telling me to suck on his nipples, and say things to him.  I don’t know where this is coming from.  I don’t know what he wants.  Why can’t he just age gracefully?  I have enough problems without serving him like a farm animal.

Come to find out he went to a men’s clinic.  And he said he was tired and had no energy, and they are giving him shots of testosterone!  That’s why he’s acting like a donkey.  Well, two can play at that game!  I am going to ask this lady doctor for a note – and guess what it’s going to say?  Two months of pelvic rest.  Nothing up in there.  Full rest.  No nothing.  I’m going to get it in writing.

My husband is about to get a dose of his own medicine.  Medically necessary, haha!  He’ll see how bitter that pill is to swallow.  Maybe he’ll have to stop the shots and he can come back to his senses.  His doctor is not the only doctor in town.  If he’s even a real doctor, which I doubt, because why would anybody in their right mind give an old man testosterone?   I think it’s a sin and a crying shame.

MY BOTTOM

It happens every time.  I have had so many renters.  I don’t know why they cannot understand.  I am a grandmother.  I am here to save money.  My children are grown and live with my horrible daughters-in-law.  They cannot take me in.  It is ironic.  I bought them here by sweat and tears, one by one, working as a cleaning lady.   And now when I figured I would be living with one of their families, playing with their children, living the life, here I am trying to save enough to move back home.  So I can finally rest.  I can never afford to retire here.  And believe me, I am tired and worn.  That’s how I got sick.

Here is how it goes.  I have a two-bedroom apartment.  I shared it with my girlfriend who was also a cleaning lady until she got deported.  That was almost a year ago.  My kids say they cannot help with the rent over and over.  They have their own families, and like I say, my daughters-in-law.  Ha!  Well, so I asked around for a decent person to share my place and pay me rent.  But all the women are living with relatives, if they have decent relatives who will take care of them.  So there are all these single men out there who cannot afford their own place, because they are here to work and send money home.

Good match, right?  Well, no.  Because I don’t care if they are 20 or 30 or 40.  They move in all respectful and hanging their heads.  They stay in their rooms and take short showers.  They ask if they can pay extra to have any kind of decent meals, or have me iron their shirt for their Saturday night dance or their Sunday church.  A few weeks go by.  And then, you can hear me now and believe me later, but it is true: they come home drunk and grab my bottom.  They do!  One even tried to kiss me and his hands were coming close to where they don’t belong when I slapped him and ran.

And Madame, please believe me.  As you see me dressed now I am dressed at home.  I am not wearing little nighties like the gals in the soap operas.  I am not running around half-naked.  But there I will be, washing up the dishes at the sink, and Roommate No. 7 will come home drunk and stumbling, and as he goes to the fridge to put in the six-pack he brought home, he will grab me.  It happens every time.  They want more.  They know the rules, but they want more.

I have lived long enough to know you don’t argue with a drunk man.  That never ends well.  So I immediately go to my room and lock myself in.  The next day, there is a sheepish and embarrassed fellow, or a guy who pretends not to remember anything, but however he is, I am the same.  I sit him down at the table, and I have this same talk over and over.  It is so tiring!

“Sir,” I tell him.  “I am here to give you a roof over your head.  A place to shower.  A safe home.  Even some meals, and some laundry.  But I respect others so that I may be respected.  And I demand respect.  No part of my service is that kind of service.  I am not part of the service, and you need to find another place to live by the end of this month.”

They always have excuses and the biggest one is alcohol, but I don’t care.  The fact that men, when they drink alcohol become swine, is just a stronger argument for having them move out, since they won’t get sober.  Some move easily, some beg and plead and promise, and once I had to have one of my sons come over the “help” the guy move out and take away his key.  But I tell you as I have told them, “if you wanted a decent home, like I gave you, you should have remembered both drunk and sober, that I am no part of the service.”  And so I tell them.

I finally gave up on the single men and brought in a whole family, a young couple with a baby, and no one is grabbing my bottom, but the place is small.  And I caught them using the bathtub as a bathtub, which I had told them they are not allowed to do.  It takes too much hot water.  One high hot water bill can eat up all that I can save in a month from my wages.  And I worry about her cranking the heat up while I am at work. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, right?

A decent, sober man would be the best roommate of all, but where am I going to find him?  So now I am giving up on my idea of getting any money being a landlady, and I am looking for a room in a house, hopefully with a decent family.  And I can tell you that I will be extremely careful about choosing.  Because whether these men know it or not, my bottom is my bottom and I won’t have it pawed.