It gave me a lot of hope about the possibility that somebody may change...
My story is really one about giving feedback.
So I’ve had to have many endoscopic procedures and always the nurse waits until there’s no one else in the room and then asks the question -- two questions, about whether you’ve ever been abused and whether you’re depressed.
And I had a terrible experience with one nurse who was sitting with her back to me, facing the computer and she said to me “Any abuse?” and I said “No.” and she said “Are you depressed?” And I could feel my stomach just curdling, and I said “No, but I just want to say to you if I was, I wouldn’t tell you, because I don’t feel like you care. You have your back to me and you’re just abruptly asking these questions.” And she said “Well I just want to tell you that people do respond.” And I said “Well that’s great, but I wouldn’t be one of them.” And I left there feeling really terrible, thinking is this really how we ask vulnerable people traumatic questions about their lives?
Many endoscopic procedures later I was back in the suite and nobody asked me the question, but the nurse started to drive me to the room where I was going to have the procedure and as we were in the hallway, she leaned gently over me and kind of whispered into my ear “I just have to ask, do you have any abuse in your family? And are you depressed?” And I was so overwhelmed with how beautifully she did it.
I said “Oh my god, nobody has ever done it like that. That is just so beautiful, thank you.” And as we were talking I said “I just want you to know I had this horrible experience once with this nurse, and I reiterated what had happened, and she got this strange look on her face.” And she said “That nurse was me.”
And I couldn’t believe it, I just looked at her I said “No.” I didn’t recognize her at all. I said “No, you couldn’t be the one who went from being the worst to being the best.” And she said “No it was me. I was multitasking and you called me on it, and you were right.” And I just kept thanking her and thanking her and just saying how amazing it was that she made these changes.
And it gave me a lot of hope about the possibility that even just giving feedback once, somebody may change.