To block or not to block?
Before my surgery this past Thursday I was left a voicemail message by an older woman who knows my mother. It was left on my cell phone the day before my mother had surgery and a couple days before mine.
This person left me a message which said “We are back [from our trip ] and we heard about your mother and we heard about you…..guess you won’t be the center of attention on Thursday after all will you?”
(Yes, that was the actual message and yes I have kept it. )
So this person was then one of three phone calls I received while I was actually IN Pennsylvania Hospital for my surgery. I was able to disentangle myself from that call even in a quasi post-surgical stupor and just say “thank you for calling but I’m not up to speaking.” (As in the truth)
Their call to the hospital sort of rattled me. I didn’t want it to, because I kept trying to look at the positive side of it that this person was just concerned, but it seemed intrusive.
However, since I have returned home this person has called my cell and then my home number. I haven’t answered the phone. Now it has sort of made me angry, because I’m actually supposed to be resting and their timing is such that every time they call I am trying to rest.
(Everyone who knows me knows that inactivity is not something I do well. And when I had my breast cancer surgery, I did not rest enough. I did not want to make that mistake again with this. I am hoping this will be my last surgical procedure of any kind for many, many years to come.)
Yesterday when this person couldn’t get me they then called a couple of my mother’s friends who have spoken with me. (They did not get them on the phone, either.)
Truly, I do not want to be rude to this person. I feel sorry for them, and I don’t think they realize they are being intrusive. It is simply that in part they assume a level of familiarity that really doesn’t exist. They aren’t my contemporary, they aren’t my girlfriend.
Unfortunately their calling at this point is almost stalkeriffic creepy.
If I had my druthers I would block their number but it would cause more issues.
And I hate to say it sort of reminds me of the woman that used to live across the street from us growing up who did something very similar when I was in the hospital when I was a teenager with cysts and fibroids for the first time.
Back then this woman kept calling around and wasn’t as pleasant about it. But then she went too far and said to my mother that she was a volunteer down at the hospital (she pushed a book cart from room to room or something) and “knew people” and would “find out”.
Needless to say thanks to my fabulous doctor at the time, she was in short order no longer a volunteer at the hospital. I bet she never told that story to her brownbag lunch gossip club. (Yes she had a gossip lunch club. Her house was on a hill too, and she kept big binoculars on her kitchen windowsill so she could see what was going on in the neighborhood.)
I guess I just don’t get some people and their obsession with hospitals and operations and health tales. I guess on one hand they just live for whatever gossip they can carry about, but on the other hand I still feel really sorry for them.
The bottom line is I’m pretty open about what happens to me, after all I do have this breast cancer blog. But even as open as I am, I still like my privacy. I still like my downtime where I can rest and recover.
I wasn’t going to share this, but then I thought about it and figured I can’t be the only one that is ever had something odd like this happen to them when they have been in the hospital.
Now that I have written this post and worked it through my head, I think I’m going to go back to something I wrote about when I was being treated for breast cancer and that is the simple fact that I don’t have to entertain anyone. I can speak with whomever I want, when I want.
And the rest? I will tune out.
I am really glad my surgery is over, and today I can really feel that a lot of the anesthesia has left my body. My pain is still present, but it is starting to lesson which means I must be healing fine.
Glad you are starting to feel better. Sorry you’re being mentally stalked, that is creepy behavior. HIPAA law didn’t exist back in the old days but it does now. But some people just don’t seem to get it, that there are certain things that are just inappropriate to ask about, or discuss. If you wanted to talk with them about it, you would. Otherwise they need to bug off!! We need a Miss Manners for health care!
Hi, we don’t know each other, I came across your blog when I had a breast cancer scare. Fortunately, that was all it was. However, I have a severe life threatening illness and have suffered so much over the past three years (right after a financially devastating divorce).
The phone call you received from your mothers’ friend was beyond rude. I thought I had heard and seen everything as far as insensitivity to my illness, but this wacky lady takes the cake.
We learn a lot through our journeys of health issues, about ourselves and others.
I am glad to hear you are feeling a bit better and I wish you and your mother the best.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. Thank you for your kind wishes.
I have to add that this experience is an opportunity to realize who really cares and although strangers have had some boundary issues I have trouble dealing with I have also encountered in many situations the kindness of strangers.
I moved to Los Angeles right before I got sick and do not know anyone here. Originally from the Philadelphia area followed by just over a decade in the majestic Colorado mountains.
You have been through so much, I hope that each day brings you closer to sweet, robust health.
Look forward to hearing more about your journey.