Modern medicine is wonderful. They can take your blood and discover many things happening in your body. They can also put you on a conveyor belt, send you into a spinning donut of a thing and in less than 5 minutes have a complete picture of your interior landscape. They can shoot dyes into your veins and have a clearer picture of how your system is working.
So why can’t they design a better hospital gown? Besides the obvious, that they are drafty and ugly, they are also not practical in a practical sort of way. I know they are convenient and the nurses can slip you in and out of them quickly and easily but it is another story if you are dressing yourself. As soon as you step into it, it begins to slip from one shoulder and then the next until you are standing there sans gown. Once you manage to keep it on the next challenge is to find those blankety blank ties and tie them with an IV in one arm and the other arm heavily taped from blood draws.
My room at the hospital was private with its own bath and shower. I took advantage of the opportunity for a shower before bedtime but had enormous difficulties dressing myself. Once I was squeaky clean I settled into bed for a restless night. At one point I woke and couldn’t move. It wasn’t a medical problem but a wardrobe malfunction. My IV line was caught on the bed and my gown and its ties were twisted underneath me to the point I couldn’t escape. There I was floundering and flapping like a beached whale. I finally managed to find the nurse’s call button and groaned, “Help, I’m trapped.”
And speaking of IV lines, the next time I will make sure that it is not started in the crook of my arm. If you think dressing with two bandaged arms was difficult have you ever tried to feed yourself a liquid diet with two arms that don’t bend? Another gown change coming up!
- Down with the Gown: Researchers crowdfund redesign of hospital gown (medcitynews.com)