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FAQ49: What is "Demeaning" or "Humiliating"?
by Paul Galioni

"Demeaning" and "Humiliating" and such are only in the perception of the patient. While to be guarded against, like covering someone up in ER after you have cut their clothes off, sometimes there is nothing to be done and the patient just has to adapt for a bit -- as in a colonoscopy.

As we grow we all have to change our perceptions -- as patients, professionals, and, most especially, as people.

Remember how stupid and "Humiliating" it was to use your Electrolarynx in public for the first few times? -- and now you don't think twice? -- novel experiences are often perceived as 'Humiliating' by an individual, however, that view is seldom seen by others in the same light. A person trailing an O2 cylinder and wearing a cannula may have felt odd at first -- but after a bit they adapt.

That is what makes us human -- we have learned to adapt. And that includes emotionally and spiritually as well even through we more generally think of more common cultural ways (building, clothing, tables, chairs, etc.).

It is all how YOU look at things. Jewel Hoffman once made the remark that people see you as you see your Self. (I don't know if she would have separated and capitalized the 's' in 'self', but I do it with good reason.) When you become comfortable with 'you' -- so will other people -- tubes or no tubes. Most people are exceptionally accepting and forgiving if we give them a chance.

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