Stripped | #1

by Elouise


This morning small verses began popping into my mind. In fact, they haven’t stopped coming. So here’s #1 with brief comments about my hospital visit six days ago to get a pacemaker.

Stripped to my
Lowest common denominators
I lie naked

My worst nightmare, especially at this age: complete and utter vulnerability. Loss of control over my body—including what people see, touch, say or think about it.

My lowest common denominators? Gender, Age, Color, and anything else over which I have no control.

The so-called ‘hospital gown’ says it all, doesn’t it? Possibly the most humiliating scrap of cloth I’ve ever had to wear while keeping my sense of dignity intact.

And yet—I was greeted, attended to and served as though I were the Queen herself (which you already know I am!). I found myself on the receiving end of kindness, compassion, clarity, gentleness as much as possible, listening ears, encouraging words, smiles, empathy and total focus on what needed to be done.

In retrospect, I know what the nurses, attendants, doctors and other personnel saw in front of them: a weary, calm, mature woman who desperately needed and welcomed a new heartbeat.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 11 April 2016
Image from