Rarely do I ever have a young patient. Where I work, the patients are usually my parents' age or a lot older. However, a couple weeks ago I had a patient who was not much older than myself. As a matter of fact we probably listened to the same music, watched the same shows, followed the fashion trends growing up.
The first day I took care of him, it was like taking care of any patient. You know, formal - I called him mister. The second day, we became friends. Laughing, joking, watching the basketball game together (I like to build a rapport with my patients...especially when I know I'll be caring for them for at least a couple days). While I was starting his IV, one of our psych patients started to scream. He rolls his eyes. I laughed.
"Am I on the psych ward?!" He asks...half serious, half joking.
"It feels like it doesn't it...I promise its not a psych floor."
"Well, I mean we take care of psych patients from time to time, plus a lot of older patients with dementia end up on this floor, so they confused and at out sometimes."
"Yesterday some lady was talking about bacon. Like at 2 in the morning!"
"Oh you mean Edna (not her real name, of course)? She can be a hand full, but I think she got discharged"
"OMG, so its another one....ya'll do have me on the psych ward. Man, your husband probably hears some crazy stories from you."
I smile, "I'm not married."
"You're kidding right?" I nod my head. "WOW, well dang girl, you walk around like you're under management or something."
"Why does everyone say that?!" I'm now officially blushing from semi-embarrassment
"Its the way you carry yourself, like you have a man on your side or something."
The conversation carried further. I still don't know why every man I encounter in person assumes I'm married just by the way I "carry" myself. I think I'm pretty friendly...at least with men that are not Muslim in an attempt to show them that Muslim women are not stiff prudes as we are often portrayed as. I smile, I joke, I laugh and am also not afraid to have a decent conversation with men. So why is it that men always think I'm married?