Privacy; a right to be thankful for even on Valentine's Day

This is not day 4 of my solitary confinement at BJMB hospital in beautiful St. Louis, Missouri. As I sit here looking out my 4th floor window at the intersection of two major Interstate Highways, while listening to the hoards of visitors everyone else has in their rooms; I have much to be thankful for.

Well over a year ago I had a very minor scalp infection that was diagnosed as MRSA, which is a very dangerous antibiotic resistant bacterium. Mine healed up long ago, but I never received the "official" clearance that I was fine. Thus, when I checked in Wednesday, I was immediately put in isolation which meant one of the few coveted private rooms when I came up to the 4th floor. Thank God for MRSA.

Since my first stay in a hospital in 1988, I suppose I have spent close to 100 nights in hospitals ever since. The years 1997-2000 accounted for about 85 of those nights. I have seen up close and personal everything from Critical Care ICU to rooms with 4 patients in the room. The vast majority of rooms were the standard two patient rooms.

I find it very interesting that hospitals are spending billions of dollars building new wings made up of private rooms, including the one I am at. Why? Because the people are sick and tired of having to share a room with who knows who while sick or recovering from surgery. Privacy is a big deal in America these days.

Back in 1998 after my dad had suffered a major stroke, my mom and I had to find a nursing home for him to go to since she could not care for him at home. We found what was supposed to be the oldest but best home in the city and got him in with little problem. Unfortunately the only room available was a double. Even more unfortunate was that my dad's roommate was a mean old guy who pretty much had lost his mind.

My dad regressed with each day there. He quickly lost the will to live. Even though his speech was severely hampered, he communicated in no uncertain terms that his roommate was mainly responsible for his mood change. One day the guy had the audacity to go after my mom with an umbrella, intent on beating her up. Since he was a wealthy influential resident the facility did nothing about the situation except blame my dad for giving up.

By the end of the month, my dad had to be force fed because he would not eat. He had totally refused therapy and repeatedly expressed his desire to just die. I frantically searched for another facility to take him and give him a second chance on Medicare rehab. At the last minute I did find a brand new place with ONLY private rooms. The day after helping move him there I had my major heart attack, but at least he was in a place he loved and responded accordingly.

In the four months he was there, he made incredible progress in recovering from his stroke. He was a changed man and almost got well enough to resume a somewhat normal life. Unfortunately he fell and broke his hip and passed away a few days later. But, at least he had four glorious months all due to a facility which honestly cared about him, had therapists who loved him and worked with him as an individual and not a case number and most of all; living in a new, clean, bright and cheerful facility in a huge private room.

See, privacy is not just a perk for the well off, it should be viewed as a right to every individual. The whole idea of throwing sick and deranged people together in the same room to cut expensed or raise profits is sick in itself. I will never forget enduring roommates who had 10-15 visitors at a time who would laugh, yell, scream and otherwise act like they were at a family reunion. One time I complained and I thought a visitor was going to kill me for being asked to leave.

We all need our privacy at certain times. We all need the joy of fellowship with others at other times. Guarding one's privacy is not a evil thing, but rather a necessary one to safeguard one's sanity. We all need our private times with God, our family, our spouse and ourselves. One of the saddest things is when a family comes to visit a gravely ill family member or friend and has no privacy to grieve due to a roommate who insists on having ten visitors all day and night or jokes on the phone with buddies all night.

I pray that those of you able to "celebrate" Valentine's Day will find the private time with your significant other so that this day is special to you. Thank God Mrs. B2Y and I do not celebrate this day for it would be a little difficult to enjoy it due to my confinement. But, we are a little strange in that regard, but that is just fine with us.

We live very private lives, by choice, and thank God for that privacy which comes in living in the country and away from the constant demands of relatives and friends. We love our family and we love our friends, but we love each other more. Have a wonderful February 14th in whatever you chose to do. Thanks for your continued prayers for me and my stubborn blood that doesn't like getting thinned.

Raynard Shellow @iraqivetsgtret ·

thank you my brother for always giving me another way of looking at the things we take for granted and in my spiritual maturity. me and mrs vet are praying for your recovery. be blessed

Alison Stewart @kiwibird ·

:) Your stubborn blood has to submit to the authority of God. Cool eh?:wink:

K Reynolds @kreynolds ·

If it wasn't the wrong part of the country, I would think that some of those roomates of yours were members of my family Although we're scattered across the country, we have a tendency to swarm. My hubby is like PK. When he is ill, I pop my head in occasionally just to make sure he is still alive. On the other hand, I'm the opposite. Fortunately, he doesn't like to leave me at all when I'm ill (unless it's a sniffle) as evidenced by him taking three days off on my "chemo weeks" and working half days the rest of the time from February 29-July 9. He says he doesn't trust leaving me to my own devices. Who know what I might do :wink:

Seriously, it is a gift from God to be able have privacy when you need it as well as fellowship when you need it.

May all of you and Mrs B2Y's days all be blessed!

K :princess:

Shirley Hooper @mumbly ·

B2Y,I fully understand what you are saying about privacy. When my late husband was in the Public Hospital, in a 4 bed cubicle, I was so wanting some private times with him, and to be able to converse privately, with him. He had suffered a massive heart attack, while in hospital, and after 2 1/2 weeks, God called him home. This was back in 1984, and he was only 55 yrs old. Medical science has moved on since then, and maybe he would have survived in todays world. Some of it is a blurr to me today, as so much was going on, and my 2 youngest daughters were only 14 and 9 yrs old at the time, so he may have been in a private room for some of that time, but I can't remember. All I can remember is this 4 bed cubicle and wishing he was in a private room.

So very pleased you are getting on well, Praise God. Best wishes to you and your wife. Christian love........mumbly.

Kirk M @blessings2you ·

Thank you for the kind responses and especially to you Mumbly as I know the incredible pain you must have felt needing to be alone with your spouse at the most critical time in life. As the OT says, there is a time and season for everything under heaven, including private times and not so private ones.

Do not include honorifics.

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