The Magic Word ~ By Nathanielle Sean Crawford

Life in a hospital sucks. For all their rigmarole about caring for your dignity and health, it ceased to amaze me after three days of not being allowed outside for air, and having a constant stream of bright light, loud noise, and violations of my privacy.

The nurse stopped by like clockwork to take my vitals. As always, she felt the need to pull the curtain all the way back around my bed, so that I was no forced to see the blank, depressing walls with the white board that displayed all of my medical information to the family of my roommate, and anyone else who might be in here during the course of a typical day.

“I’ll be back a little later to check your IV.”

“Fine. Now pull the curtain back the way I had it.”

A woman in her late fifties, the nurse gave me a stern glare that might have frightened school children, but had little effect on me. She put her hands on her hips and shook her head slowly.

“I don’t think I heard the word ‘please’.”

I sat up and returned her glare tit-for-tat. My mother’s a nurse. I give them their due respect, but this was where the buck stopped as I said, in my most menacing tone, “If you don’t pull the curtain back, now, I’m going to ‘please’ myself regardless of who can see me. And I’ll say your name afterwards.”

She sobered quickly and pulled the curtain back the way I had it. I never had problems with her again.

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