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Friday
Dec022011

Touch Me

I was very moved by a TED talk about human touch. The context was the doctor-patient relationship, and the potential for building trust through the laying of hands on another person's body.
 
The speaker, who received a standing ovation, described the ritual of examination and how it is being replaced by a vast array of technological wizardry. Doctors are more likely to order a CAT scan than to place their fingers on a patient's body. He came to this disturbing realization when he spoke with a patient who had changed doctors not based on the hospital atrium, or the cutting edge equipment, but because she wanted touch.
 
As chance would have it, I watched this minutes after I missed an opportunity to touch my husband. I was leaving our office just as he was returning, and by a turn of the corner, I came face to face with him when I had almost passed him unseen. We spoke about mundane things, who drives which kid where, and then I left. As I drove off I felt a lack on my lips. I could have kissed him. I should have kissed him. 
 
Especially in the wake of my neighbor's abrupt death, I wish I had done something far more important than clarify the Odhner Shuttle Schedule. I wish I had hugged him. 
 
I hear of couples for whom touch has fallen off the radar. This grieves me. And yet, I could throw my arms around my own husband a little more often. He would not mind.
 
I believe that babies need skin to skin contact in order to grow. Why would it be any different for marriage?