Trapped in a hospital bed with fundamentalist care givers

Lovely people tended my every need, from providing the saline drip that kept me hydrated to cleaning up after me when projectile vomiting erupted without any warning; I rate the eruptions right up there with Mount Pinatubo. One poor technician conducting the CT exam received a direct hit on his trousers and shoes. We were grateful it had occurred before I got on the table.

Anyone who said, "I'll pray for you," I asked them why they thought it would help. Each responded according to their understanding. I told them I am an atheist; I appreciated their concern, and if prayer worked for them, they were welcome to do so. I consider prayer as a personal thing. My prayers translate into 

1) naming a problem, 

2) defining a goal, 

3) searching for options, 

4) developing an action plan, 

5) working plan A, 

6) doing formative evaluation, 

7) changing to plan B if plan A wasn't working, 

8) continuing to think and work until the problem was solved, as demonstrated by a 

9) summative evaluation.

Quietly, when patients were asleep, members of the night staff came in to ask me questions about atheism. We had nice conversations in whispers. Those conversations kept me alive. I wanted to die. They gave me a reason to want to live.

One man, a visitor of my roommate, told us he was "sanctified!" I asked him how he knew. That started a debate. He left, frustrated.

Some never knowingly met an atheist. I presented cognitive dissonance. A seed can grow when cast into the wind.

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Brava, Joan!  You kick ass and take tickets!  Most excellent!

Even during your bout with ill health, you were keeping them on their toes. Why am I not surprised??

Oh, yes, the "sanctified" man. Almost certainly he would have been some form of Pentecostal. In his religion he is "set aside for some godly purpose." The only way he would know that he was "sanctified" in my view is that they actually have a doctrine of "sanctification" and someone told him after prayer that he was now "sanctified."

Joan, you did a good job while being there sick. This frustrated man will now wonder if he is really "sanctified" or not. This is a planted seed that may grow and someday he might be a freethinker.

You're a whole lot braver than I am Joan.  A thing we already knew. : )

I don't think I would have said anything to my caregivers, being afraid that I might offend one enough that he or she would not give me proper care, or even harm me.

It sounds like none of your caregivers were that offended.


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