Once you're in the hospital, please act appropriately
for the hospital environment, and ask your visitors to do
the same. (One of my patients, admitted for an emergency
appendectomy, decided that as long as his backside was
hanging out of his hospital gown there was no point in
wearing it at all, and had to be chased down the corridor
by nurses trying to wrap a sheet around his naked body.)
Your 83-year-old roommate does not need a dissertation
on your love life, and your orderly probably does not
want you to flirt with him. You are there to get better;
relax and spend your time healing.
While it's a good idea to participate in your own
health care, there's such a thing as being overinvolved.
Nurses and therapists are professionals and are working
under your doctor's orders; don't question everything they
do. You can and should understand what they are doing
to you, and asking polite questions is very appropriate:
"What is this green pill?" "Why am I having an enema for
wrist surgery?" It's also nice to treat them with courtesy,
like the hard-working humans they are.
If you are treated rudely or unprofessionally by
anyone in the hospital, it is proper to ask to see the
nursing supervisor. Doing so can help protect others
sexual minority or not from the same treatment. Most
hospitals give you a patient's rights sheet on admission.
If you go to the emergency room. Once again, be
straightforward. If you're in pain or scared, it can be hard
to maintain a calm demeanor, but it's important to do
so. Be as calm and collected as you can, and do your best
to explain the problem as factually as possible. Do not