“Michael Newnham 07/08/58”
That’s my name and date of birth and that’s what I had to repeat a thousand times while I was in the hospital.
That’s how they verify that they are giving the right meds to the right people at the right time….or the right food, or the right anything, anytime.
They come in and check your vitals…identify yourself first.
“Michael Newnham 07/08/58”.
Same person comes in ten minutes later with a pain killler…identify yourself first.
“Name and date of birth, please?”
“Same as it was ten minutes ago”.
“and that was…?”
During a given night I would be checked over seven or eight times, get two or three medications from two or three different people and each and every time I would have to repeat the mantra…
“Michael Newnham, 07/08/58.
Sometimes I grumped it, sometimes I gasped it, sometimes I mumbled it, sometimes I spat it, but I always had to say it.
Now…I believe it was a gift.
It wasn’t just a form of identification for them, it was a declaration of personhood to them.
No matter what I needed, no matter how often I needed it, no matter how ungracious or unlovely I was in requesting it…I was a person , not a number, a person, not a space, a person, not a bracelet.
A person….with a name and beginning and no end yet.
Fearfully and wonderfully made by my Father and unveiled to the world on a specific date in history…and I’m still here and He’s still on the throne.
Yes…yes, I am and yes, He is.
I declare it.
I’m Michael Newnham, 07/08/58.
Who are you?