Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hospital --- prewrite

I have spent enough time in hospitals to tell some stories.

My most recent 2 experiences have been fairly positive. A friend, a retired nurse, went into the hospital short of breath and 4 days later, after a simple but unlikely set of test results she had open heart surgery and a double bypass. Everyone knew and loved her and she got excellent care, everything went very well, and she was out to rehab in 4 days and out of rehab to go home in 5 more. My other most recent experience in a hospital was even more positive: one of my two "extra" daughters went into the hospital a week earlier than her scheduled C-section date and had a beautiful, healthy, perfect baby boy. Because it all happened so quickly, I wasn't present when she delivered, but got to hold the baby before he was 24 hours old.

I also have numerous horror stories of experiences with my mother and dad, who were much older than my retired friend, were not known or important to the hospital staff, and who, through ill health in Mother's case and dementia in Daddy's, were not able to speak for themselves or stand up for themselves.

These stories would be easier to do as fiction probably because they are so personal to me and quite painful to remember. But now that I have said that they are really true, I am not sure what the sense would be, or even that I can do that. Perhaps I will try later.

But let me say as a caution to all: if you have a loved one hospitalized who is not able to speak up for him or her self, to ask needed questions and understand not only the answers but the ramifications of those answers, and to insist on receiving the help he/she needs, be sure someone who can and will act as that person's advocate is present with them in the hospital as much of the time as possible. Most nurses and hospital attendants are good people with caring hearts, but they are---almost to a person---desperately overworked and over extended. And altho they care generally, they do not love that possibly crabby, uncooperative, or just helpless person as you do.



Blogger sister AE said...

well said

10:19 AM  
Blogger tumblewords said...

So true. I've been all around these issues and agree with you wholeheartedly. Nicely written.

4:03 PM  

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