Thursday, October 18, 2012

The spine fusion and I

The past month has been a blur.  That ambulance ride in July to St. Joseph started a whirlwind of visits to and from doctors, a new pattern of painkiller shots, and a date for surgery.  (If I didn't say so last month, I thank Dr. K again for his visits to the first hospital long past when he should have been at home in bed.)

The surgery schedule prompted many, many phone messages, and a clear phone call that surgery would be 2 days sooner than scheduled originally, at a hospital I had never seen. 

I hadn't been able to drive since the ambulance ride to emergency in July, so a wonderful person drove far out of her way to take me to registration at Glendale Adventist.  The registration was a nightmare in more than one way, and leads me to a story I have to tell.

After a couple of needles, for some reason I was led to a windowless room and told to wait.  All the chairs were too tall for my short legs, but there was a makeshift loveseat the right height.  I sat.  And sat.

After a little while, a woman came in with a tiny older woman, perhaps her mother.  She pointed at one of the tall chairs, and motioned for the tiny woman to sit.  The next time I looked I notice that the little woman had badly swollen legs and feet.  She had taken her feet out of her wedge shoes, which, from the tall chair, she could barely reach with her toes.  Her "daughter" was busy talking with a nurse and did not look at her.

I wanted to go over and suggest the mother come and sit by me, where she could reach the floor.  Then I was afraid it would cause friction with the frustrated-looking daughter.  So I did nothing.

What's wrong with this picture? 
-The nurse and the daughter did not even look at the mother, who was presumably the patient.  Nor did they speak to her.

-I wimped out and finally did nothing. 

-Our view from our cheerless room of gloomy furniture was into a huge, lavish, glass-walled room, not for patients, but for visitors and relatives.  Big, comfy chairs were in groups around coffee tables, and coffee was available. 

Again I ask:  what's wrong with that picture?  Who is important in a hospital?

More later. ..

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