Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's one or twenty tattoos, he's still my son.

I keep replaying two work moments over and over in my head.

1. I was caring for an elderly woman who had a wound that needed daily dressing changes.  The dressing changes were a little complex and she told me that her daughter was doing them.  "That's nice," I thought.  Later, I walked in and there was a younger woman in there wearing a tube top and daisy dukes.  Her hair was ratted up about 6 inches and she had multiple facial piercings.  I immediately thought that if this was her daughter, there was no way she was stable (or capable) enough to do these dressing changes and that I was going to have to set up home health to come and do it.  In talking with them, I came to see that she was actually very involved in her mother's care and performed the dressing change with a practiced and caring hand.

2.  I got report that I was going to get a new patient from the OR.  He was a 20 year old male with his jaw wired shut after getting it broken in a fight.  He came up by himself and he was what I imagine your typical gangster from South Tucson would look like- old English tattoos, tattoos of naked women, tattoos of guns, miscellaneous scars, etc.  He was polite to me and said thank you when I showed him how to suction his mouth and how to order smoothies from the cafeteria.  Pretty soon his visitors started showing up.  For the next few hours, there was a steady stream of hermanos, tias, sobrinitos, primos, y dos abuelas. The unit clerk asked me if he was really sick and that's why everyone was coming to see him, and I said no, he'd be going home tomorrow.

Prior to getting this job, I was inclined to think that having strong family ties was a good way to make sure that my kids didn't end up wearing tube tops and getting facial piercings, or getting tattoos of naked women on their back (oh I forgot he also had multiple tattoos of kisses on his face). I guess not.  And if they do, it doesn't mean that I should love them any less.


9 comments:

Vivian said...

good post

Bridget Palmer said...

I was just thinking about you today. I'm glad you posted this. Good thoughts.

Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allison said...

I'm confused... did Anne write that? I'm also confused as to what Amanda's post has to do with religion? Did she mention Mormonism somewhere in this post? I thought it was actually a nice post. I thought she was talking about natural biases (That everyone has) and how she is seeing beyond them. Speaking of religion... what's so wrong with wanting to raise children with a set of beliefs and morals? What's wrong with teaching children to be honest? to listen to their parents? to be good citizens? You may not agree with the particulars of the religion, but it's a pretty good way to live.
The Mormon church does not teach prejudice, in fact, it discourages it. It's a worldwide church and its monies go to support education, disaster relief and poverty relief throughout the world, to all people, regardless of their religion or ethnicity.

Allison said...

Also... is that what YOU want? You want your children to come home with multiple facial piercings and tattoos covering their body? It's not just the piercings and the tattoos, it's what they represent- and it has nothing to do with religion. A person who looks like that typically has a hard time getting a job, typically has a hard time fitting in with society as a whole.
Speaking as a parent, we just want what's best for our kids. We want them to be happy, successful, educated, etc. The piercings/tattoo route is just a difficult road to choose and as a mature adult we see that and don't wish it on our kids.

Amy said...

I thought your post was so good. I do think that every now and again we do need a reminder not to judge a book by it's cover.

Love you Amanda!

Shelley Stuff said...

Really, Anne, a stupid religion? The same religion that encourages us to love our neighbor as ourselves? That wants us to look on the inner man as Christ did, instead of on the outer man as the world does? We all have our brushes with preconceived notions. We try our best to overcome them while making sound judgments. It's not always easy. Even for those who think all religious people are stupid. I truly hope you did NOT say this or even think it. Because if you did, then you can imagine how your family feels just about now.

Amanda said...

Who's Floyd? I'm with Allison, how did this turn into a discussion on the relative merits of Mormonism? Did I say something offensive? He really did have a tattoo of a naked woman on his back, it was huge.

Amanda said...

Ok, everybody calm down. Anne didn't write that, she doesnt know who did.

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