We are the non-compliant ones. Do you know what compliant means? It means docile, willing, obedient, manageable and submissive to an excessive degree. Ted may be a doctor. I may be a patient. In this we are one, out and proud. We are non-compliant. We question authority. We question folks who say “That is just the way it is.” We will not stop asking questions.
In April of 2011, I told Ted we should have a gallery show in the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health. He responded with a twinkle in his eye that they would never let us pound a nail in these new walls. I responded with a glimmer in my eye, “We won’t need nails we will wear the art upon our backs.”
Now 164 jackets later, I can firmly say a patient art advocacy movement was born out of a moment of shared non-compliance.
Love always wins.
This is Regina’s blog post about my second jacket (see my side-by-side account of the story behind it here). It’s about a month since I first received it and have been wearing it dutifully. I am learning how to tell the story about it better each time, and it starts with “Compliance means….” and ends with “….and I am not that,” which seems to get the message across the best. Some people can’t believe that the jacket is hand painted, all people believe it is an incredible piece of work.
I am still a little touched when I talk about the fact that Regina is in the piece, with her hand on my shoulder. I tell people that we make a great pair – she says the things that no other people dare to say, and I help create the environment where she can say it – “Regina, what do you think of that?” I think that’s a good way for patients and doctors to partner together everywhere, don’t you?