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How to Rock a Hospital Gown
January 24, 2014 5:27 AM   Subscribe

Dr. Deborah Cohan, right before having a double mastectomy, held a dance party in the OR with her surgical team and they filmed it and posted it on Youtube. It's joyful and uplifting. Really, go watch. Here is an article with a little more about her if you're interested. I'm kind of surprised no one else has posted but I looked and couldn't find it so I apologize if it's a double post.
posted by BoscosMom (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Have to smile at this.

Interesting in that it did impart a sense of a ritual/healing/tribal kind of event. I wish her the best.
posted by HuronBob at 5:35 AM on January 24


I love women dancing around all joyful. I especially love it when they're about to do extraordinary work. And even more when the woman who is benefiting gets to smile because she knows she is saying goodbye to a part of her so that all of her can live.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 5:51 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Jesus, did there really need to be an ad before viewing the video? That's incredibly jarring, you'd think think whoever was responsible for putting the ad there would be more sensitive.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:55 AM on January 24


You'd really think that?
posted by sfts2 at 6:02 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


That's incredibly jarring, you'd think think whoever was responsible for putting the ad there would be more sensitive.

There is a 0% chance that a human was involved in that process at all.

This video is wonderful, thanks for posting.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:12 AM on January 24


Not to be cynical but one huge benefit would be to turn a work-a-day fairly repetitive procedure into not exactly an event but a day where everyone is alert and highly focused.
posted by sammyo at 6:26 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


Jesus, did there really need to be an ad before viewing the video?

Don't pretty much 100% of YouTube videos have ads before them now? The only variable is whether you will be permitted to skip it after 5 seconds or not.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 6:30 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


There was a nice interview with Dr. Cohan on NPR recently. Here it is.

. . .
Ads before YouTube videos? Adblocker must be doing its job. I almost never see them.
posted by mrettig at 6:37 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


That's great. That's some awesome bedside manner, right there, too.

More surgeries should start with a dance party.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:51 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Dr. Deborah Cohan, right before having a double mastectomy, held a dance party in the OR

Humans are totally aliens. And adaptable.
posted by Mezentian at 7:31 AM on January 24


Off-topic, but WTH: How to rock a physician's white coat.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:49 AM on January 24


I think Dr Cohan is inspirational, and good for her for being able to feel like dancing before such a life-changing event. But I think the sole focus on stories like these make women who DON'T dance before their mastectomy feel ashamed, like they're less awesome and brave because they're sad and scared and don't feel like dancing.

The amazing Lisa Adams says it best:

True awareness means showing the spectrum of what experiences are like for people with breast cancer, and not making them feel less than “awesome” if they don’t want to dance into their operation and just want to be wheeled in as usual. Videos of dancing patients reinforce putting a carefree, happy face on a disease that — even if detected early– still has a 20-30% chance of metastasizing, sometimes decades later.

I did everything possible to keep my cancer from returning. But it did anyway. I now have stage IV breast cancer, a diagnosis considered incurable.

I am no less awesome just because I didn’t dance and sing when they wheeled me in to surgery six years ago. I smile and laugh and write on my blog many days a week to educate and inform readers. But that isn’t as “fun” as showing a video of a dance session in the OR. I think the way we all rally to treat this disease deserves recognition.

posted by shesdeadimalive at 8:16 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


It's so awesome because it allows patient and medical team to be silly, human, and vulnerable with each other. It establishes a connection, and lifts the mood. Man, she's freaking great.

Have a fucking hoedown before every medical procedure, I say.
posted by gsh at 8:27 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Going into surgery is scary. I mean, going into the actual surgical room. It's very cold, you're surrounded by people you don't know, and they are all very serious. I mean, for all of my surgeries I've been high as a kite, so it didn't bug me, but if I had been more sober or more of a panicky person, it would have bugged.

So plus one for silly, for me.
posted by angrycat at 8:31 AM on January 24


I think the sole focus on stories like these make women who DON'T dance before their mastectomy feel ashamed, like they're less awesome and brave because they're sad and scared and don't feel like dancing.

Thus the tyranny of the extravert.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:37 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I think this is great, and I wish her nothing but the best.

mrettig: thank you for the NPR link! It answers the question I have been pondering since I first saw the video:

But it was a very joyous moment, and in fact, I’d had a discussion with the anesthesiologist beforehand. I had asked permission of him, I wanted to make sure at least a few people knew what I was going to be doing. His one request was that he not pre-medicate me, and I said, ‘Well, that would be fine, because dance is my medicine.’

In my own--completely different--experience with surgery, I was medicated before being brought into the operating room. I've been wondering if that's either not a standard thing to do, or if Dr. Cohan was just awesome at dancing while flying high on drugs.

I understand what Lisa Adams is saying about the sole focus on stories like this making women who don't or can't put on a happy face before surgery being problematic. One of the things I found most touching about Dr. Cohan's video was her surgery team dancing with her. It was sort of like them saying, hey, we're humans. This is scary and we're going to do our best to comfort you. Maybe a dance party wouldn't make me feel better before a surgery like this, but knowing that I was surrounded by people who would do that for me if I asked might.
posted by inertia at 8:42 AM on January 24


There is a 0% chance that a human was involved in that process at all.

It's actually probably due to the rights holder of the music. There are humans responsible for this decision even if it is simply by abdicating responsibility to an algorithm. A reasonable thing to do would be a campaign to get the adsense proceeds from the 7.5 million views donated to a breast cancer charity as the proceeds would likely be significant.
posted by srboisvert at 9:04 AM on January 24


That's awesome.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:40 AM on January 24


Advice:if the gown is open at the back,ask for a second one and wear it over the first,but forwards like a coat. Full coverage plus you feel like an adult.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:31 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


If people are going to give someone grief for not having a dance party before their major surgery, shouldn't the frustration be on those people being judgemental rather than some unrelated person who's trying to deal with the situation best way she knows how? What would you rather she do, be quiet like everyone else so that she doesn't make anyone else look bad?

I get that airing this as "this is how you're supposed to act, THINK POSITIVE YAY!" is obnoxious, but I'm not sure that means we can't share in her pleasure at all or that she can't share it with others as she wants to.
posted by divabat at 8:17 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I feel as though if the patient were a poor person, a black person, or a person who wasn't a doctor, the dance party would not have been permitted. So to me, this is an indulgence allowed to a privileged person, it's kind of a dumb wannabe-viral inspirational stunt, and not really impressive or interesting to me.

And it's kinda a feel-good gotcha trap, because anyone who snarks about it or who says anything negative about it is set up to be condemned as unfun, mean, petty, small, wanting to control how others cope with disease, etc.
posted by jayder at 9:42 PM on January 25


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