A Poem - What's Modesty?

Katharyn Brady By Katharyn Brady, 30th Aug 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/448430wi/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

During my 2nd unexpected experience with chemotherapy, I focus on the change to my early modesty training in this poem.

My early modesty training.

Around the age of 1 years old, I received cultural training in modesty about going to the bathroom. At first I received help, as it was new. However, once I was trained and of school age, I was no longer expected to accept help as it shouldn't be required. I was especially not to receive it from a complete stranger, EVER! Going to the bathroom was supposed to be one of the most private matters in my life.

As a woman, I was taught that a man would put me on a pedestal. He didn't want to know that I urinated, defecated or passed gas, just like him. As ridiculous as this may sound, it was the rule. As far as I know, this rule still hasn't changed.

I never imagined that I would be compromised, living in a 24/7 physical rehabilitation center, away from my family. I never imagined that I would be cared for by men who are professionally trained (Certified Nursing Assistants). They would have to pull down my panties, pants and then position me over my personal, bedside commode. They would leave me in private to complete my task of going to the bathroom. I would use my call light to signal to them when I was ready for them to help me again. Returning to aid me, they would pull my panties and pants up and help me back to bed.

This poem is about reframing the early modesty training I had as a young girl to include when it is appropriate to have others help me with this most private matter.

Reframing my early modesty training to include what is appropriate.

Ringing the call bell waiting for my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Jose. What's modesty?

Sock fallen to the floor. Foot touching who knows what? Who the hell cares? Come on people, now. What's modesty?

Oh, my Lord, I'm going to wet myself for sure. What's modesty?

Visions of peeing dance in my head. Freedom from this pain. I hear my nurse's voice. What's modesty?

"Help, help", I squeak out. I don't want to make a scene. I don't want to be a burden. It's not her job. She says may I help you? What's modesty?

She sees my need and calls Jose for me. What's modesty?

Safely grabbing the hospital bed guard rail, practicing all that I've been taught not to fall. Hoping, I don't wet myself. Eyeing my prized commode. I'm almost there. What's modesty?

So blessed to have such a great CNA. Such trust as he cares for me. My every need considered and taken care of. Things I would have never thought possible. What's modesty?

Panties and pants gently removed. Cold compress one night netting 1,000 ML of pee for me. The next day, 2,000 ML, twice, thanks to Jose's suggestion of cranberry juice. Yes, ice really helped. Now when I sit, I get why peeing is called whizzing. What's modesty?

Jose prepares to leave his shift for the night and introduces me to who will be my next care giver, another male CNA. He assures me that this person is as kind and gentle as he is. He is right. I feel that the sins of the men who have violated me in the past have finally been healed through this experience of reframing modesty. There's still a line between what's appropriate and what's not. You will know, too. Don't give that up. What's modesty?


Cultural Change, Cultural Mores, Cultural Taboos, Modesty

Meet the author

author avatar Katharyn Brady
I have survived cancer multiple times. It took 8 surgeries, 33 sessions of radiation and chemo therapy. My focus is on being healthy in mind, body and spirit and helping others do the same.

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author avatar Shamarie
31st Aug 2015 (#)

Awesome work, Katharyn! I enjoyed this a lot!

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
31st Aug 2015 (#)

Thank you. How did it make you feel, Shamarie?

Are you open to talking outside of wikinut?; If not, I'm not offended. I'd like to know more about you and your writing. Again not offended and understand.

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