I’m not someone who’s ever felt comfortable in her own skin.
These insecurities have affected me differently at different times in my life. Some of their manifestations have been very damaging; others have been relatively innocuous. A running thread, though, has been my resistance both to the idea of showing my body more than necessary and to pretty much any physical contact with more or less anyone. (I make exceptions to my anti-hug stance, but generally speaking, I don’t enjoy—read, I actively dread—pressing my body against someone else’s. Why’s that a social norm? Am I the weird one here?)
So imagine how horrified I was when I began having to rely on others to help me fulfill my basic needs. Imagine the mortification that bubbled inside as I lounged around in the ICU unable to move or speak while near-strangers washed almost every part of my naked body. If you can, feel free to wipe that traumatizing mental image from your brain.
TMI, but I’m trying to make a point.
Flash forward to today!
I’ve improved an incredible amount since my Time of Complete Immobility, but I still can’t wash or groom myself, nor can I casually get up and, you know, pee, etc. Now, however, getting a sponge bath and having my very-much-bum-adjacent wound dressing changed are just things that happen and that I usually don’t think twice about.
It recently occurred to me that I’ve gone from one extreme (an honourary member of Tobias Fünke’s Never Nudes) to the other (a full-time member of my own club, the Frequently Nude While with Medical Professionals—registration closed, in case you were wondering).
Near the top of my list of things I learned this past year is the importance of being adaptable, and adapt I have! A little, anyway. I’m fine with PSWs scrubbing me down, but I still don’t voluntarily hug or like physical touch, and that, I’ve decided, is OK.