Saturday, October 03, 2009

Overheard in a Beauty Salon

Who knew that having more free time would be counter-productive to blogging? The hardest thing for me is being able to let enough time elapse between bloggable events and actually writing about them, so as not to violate privacy issues. This post, however, happened somewhere that my profession should very rarely come into play, a hair salon. I'm not the first to bemoan the loss of a hairdresser when moving, and, while I held out as long as I could, the root situation was becoming very serious. I got a recommendation from my good friend who lives here in Newville. She's usually brutally honest, and her hair always looks fabulous, so I trusted her opinion. The hairdresser, herself, was fine. Despite trying to sell me on some "organic, sulfate free" shampoo (to a Suave-type girl) at twelve bucks a bottle, she was professional and did a nice job. The fun started when she set me aside for my highlights to process.

As many stylists do, she had stagger-scheduled a client to come in during the time that my highlights were processing. The second client, SC, breezed in and perched in an adjacent seat, waiting for her turn in the chair. "You aren't *pregnant* any more!" exclaimed the stylist to SC. "Nope, delivered 8 weeks early!" SC countered brightly. Needless to say, my interest was piqued, and while I don't make it a habit to eavesdrop, we were the only 3 people in the shop, and they were not discussing things quietly. It wasn't SC's story that surprised me, it was her incredibly flippant tone. I discovered, through their conversation, that SC had developed pre-eclampsia during each of her pregnancies, and this pregnancy was no exception She was admitted to the hospital, where those "incompetent doctors" had the gall to check her blood work every 6 hours and put her on this "vile medication" just in case she had seizures. SC didn't understand while they just didn't "take the baby, already." Finally, she says, after 2 days, her platelets *finally* started to drop, and the decision was made to deliver. She was angry, actually angry, that the baby was delivered after midnight so she couldn't have the "cool birthday date" that she had wanted. Oh, and where was the baby might you ask? He was still in the NICU (no big deal) because he was still apneic, of course. She had just delivered the week prior, by C-section, was obviously in HELLP a very short time ago, and she had driven herself to her hair appointment because she "couldn't stand" the way she looked. She was *glad* she delivered early, because she had only gained 20 pounds, and she was also glad she had "tan lines" so the doctor could see where her bathing suit hit so as not to go above it.

As she went on and on, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I was just shocked and appalled at this woman, so nonchalant about her premature baby, apneic in the NICU, and so unconcerned about her own health, that she was out driving to the hair salon a week after a c-section and HELLP syndrome so she could *look better.* I was blown away at the priorities here. The rest of the hair appointment passed without incident, but I was left to ponder how very differently patients can view their medical situations from their physicians. I am sure that her physician agonized over the decision to deliver her son so early, yet SC had wanted it all done even earlier. I also found it amusing that I cannot escape my profession, even in a place where most go to relax. Have you ever been appalled by an overheard conversation? Maybe next time, I'll bring my i.Pod.