It is different from person to person, but they sometimes look to you to understand something about them as a whole person and to be able to help with whatever you can do in your limited context, to put that into the sense of who they are. I have to say, I learned that eloquently from some people that had AIDS that I took care of, because they would say in the beginning, they would... I would talk to them about, “What do you want nurses to know? What do you want nurses to think about when they take care of you?” They would say, “The most important thing that you can do is not to judge me. I am me. I am not some statistic, a homosexual with Pneumocystis pneumonia. Sure, I happen to be homosexual, I happen to have Pneumocystis, but that is just things about me. I am me. I have got my thoughts, my feelings, my experiences, my life, and all those are important to how I am dealing with this, how I am accepting or not accepting treatment, how I am reacting to treatment, what I am going to do when I get out of here, those kinds of things.”
For the complete transcript of this interview, go to the Transcripts page.