The following blog was written by ProMedica employee Gina Sares in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated this year from September 15 – October 15. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely the opinions of the author.
When I was a child, I’d fall asleep to my mom singing Duérmete, Mi Niña. When I got older, we listened to Buena Vista Social Club and Nat King Cole in Spanish around the house, and I sang Gloria Estefan and Selena as a teenager to practice Spanish. In college, my Latina friends taught me how to dance merengue and introduced me to Reggaeton. Now, I sing the same lullaby to my children and Spanish music is a must for baking sessions and cleaning sprees.
Spanish music is just one of the ways I celebrate my heritage. Growing up in northwest Ohio, I wasn’t exposed to a lot of it, but I cherished what I knew and made an effort to hear more. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I’m sharing a poem that demonstrates how Spanish music helped carry me through one tough moment as a patient. It may seem simple but it made all the difference in making me feel comfortable during a vulnerable time.
My Cuban and Mexican heritage is a gift from my ancestors and my community. It connects me to my past, inspires my future and strengthens me in the midst of challenges – even in an MRI machine.
MR Lumbar Spine
I’m probably the tech’s first patient
to ask for Reggaeton in the MRI machine.
He asks me how to spell it before
wheeling me into the tunnel.
Yep. Reggae. Ton.
Then it’s a white washcloth over my eyes,
a stiff pillow below my knees,
my heart thumping wildly.
I try to find a happy place,
where my skin doesn’t itch
and my joints don’t bend
and I can be perfectly still
for 25 minutes.
A happy place with answers,
where pain has a name and I have a plan.
But the machine is so loud
it’s dizzying. It whirls around me,
twisting my brain.
Don Omar greets me in the tunnel
and the magnets start dancing.
DUN, DA DUN. DUN, DA DUN.
I breathe in the music
until the rhythm tames my heart.
Thank God for Reggaeton.
I needed something to cut
through all of this.
A familiar voice to shout,