The Adventures of Esi – When Ashy Ain’t An Option

Tomorrow I have an Electromyogram Nerve Conduction Velocity (EMG/NCV) test. It is used to diagnose potential disorders of the nerves and muscles. Because the procedure involves the use of repeated needles being inserted into the body and the use of electric shock, there is potential for significant discomfort (pain) at the time the needle electrodes are inserted. Y’all…that doesn’t concern me in the least bit….but do you know what does? Ashiness…

Medical Assistant: ‘Hello Mrs. Snodgrass! I’m calling to go over the info to prep you for your procedure tomorrow. Is this a good time?’

Esi: ‘Sure!’

M A: ‘Great! First, be sure to not apply any lotion to your legs to ensure that-‘

Esi: ‘Wait, what did you say? What do you mean?’

M A: ‘Well, we want to get proper readings when we insert the needles so lotions can’t be used-‘

Esi: ‘So butters, what about butters? Natural oils, perhaps?’

M A: ‘Butters? Oils? No, ma’am…’

Esi: ‘None?’

M A: ‘None.’

Esi: ‘…’

M A:..’Ma’am, should I continue?’

Esi: ‘So, you’re wanting me to arrive bare-legged, wearing shorts or a skirt, and without any emollient on my legs whatsoever? This is what you’re saying to me?’

M A: ‘Um…Yes?’

Esi: ‘What do your Black patients do?’

M A: stammering ‘Ma’am??’

Esi: ‘I’m just asking what do- Nevermind, do you have any Black nurses available to contact me? I’d appreciate it. I have some questions.’

M A: ‘Um, we can have someone call you back if you’d like’

Esi: ‘Yes, please and thank you very much for your time. You were great.’

20 minutes later

Black Nurse: ‘Hello, I was told you had some questions about your procedure tomorrow.’

Esi: ‘Yes, Ma’am, I was told not to put any lotion of any sort on my legs…I’m all legs, this seems excessive. I can’t grease my legs at all?’

B N: ‘Hold one moment… presumably changes locations, begins to whisper Okay, so yeah…don’t put on your real stuff, you can put on a light lotion, you know like the old school Queen Helene?’

Esi: ‘Yeah’

Black Nurse: ‘Put on somethin’ like that, we can use medical wipes to wipe it off thoroughly before the procedure and you can put on your real stuff after if you want’

Esi: ‘And there it is! That I can rock with! Thank you!’

Black Nurse: ‘Nah, no problem, I got you.’


Esi Akyere Mail Arthur Snodgrass is one of those people who is driven to fight for what is right whether it’s raising awareness for her community of persons living with Type 1 Diabetes or pushing for fair and equitable treatment of union workers, Esi uses her body and her voice to help others. Esi also has a habit of trying on other people’s clothes and dancing in front of cameras. You might call her a model but she would say she just has fun doing things she loves. Esi is a guest host of Showing Our Sass Season 1 streaming right now on YouTube.com/MartaGwyn.

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