This week I experienced two medical procedures with each on total opposite ends of the spectrum. I found it quite interesting and thought I would share it. Early in the week I was scheduled for a stress echocardiogram at a local hospital. I saw my cardiologist the week before with some concerns. She ran some blood tests and scheduled the stress test. I won’t go into all the details of the issues I experienced, but none-the-less, it was to be performed two days before my foot surgery.
Let me just say that I am a very nervous patient- every test will end in a bad diagnosis, every ache is a tumor and every odd itch, scratch or feeling is a rare form of cancer found only in some sub-tropical location that I happen to contract. I make an effort to share my neurosis with the people performing the tests or procedures. Usually that helps set the stage and we cruise along perfectly. Not so much with the stress-echo. The testing was slow and belabored, the staff seemed stressed and hurried and after the NP ‘missed’ (her words) getting the IV in for the dye, I had had just about enough. Almost 90 minutes into it, I was not on the treadmill yet and my running shoes were on. Off came the diodes, the IV and the blood pressure cuff. I was in the parking lot 10 minutes later and on the way home.
I love my cardiologist. She is kind and compassionate and although she lectures me on the amount of coffee I drink, I respect her and her abilities. Her office team did not, in this case, share her skills and as of today, I still don’t have resolution or the test results. Sometimes that happens. That was the first time I had that experience with her office and it will not affect my decision to remain with the practice. It does, however, highlight what can occur sometimes.
Now the antithesis: On Thursday I had foot surgery. The doctor has a surgical suite in his office building. This makes for a more comfortable, non-hospital experience. Sadly for me and my elevator phobia, I can climb the 4 flights up but no way I can climb down on crutches. (I’ll get to that in a minute.)
After Chip and I climbed the 4 flights of stairs, we were met by a happy, wonderful woman who checked me in. She was very supportive and insured me I was in good hands. Then on to the nurse who asked me 1000 questions and then to the anesthesiologist who explained the details of how he was going to make me comfortable. Each person kind and compassionate. I was starting to relax; that and the little injection into my IV!
The surgery went well and the last thing I remember in the OR was the soothing hand on my arm telling me it was OK and to just breathe…..I woke up actually rested. Amazing.
Now we go through the discharge process and I tell them of my elevator fear. I said the more the merrier and ended up with five people in that elevator, a bucket of candy for the ride and a magazine just in case. In that short ride I felt so relaxed and calm. Those people went beyond what they had to do and it made a difference. I thank you.
The medial professionals that understand the human side are miraculous and the few that do not, well, I wish them the best when they are one day a nervous or frightened patient. I feel badly for older patients that are scared and do not have someone with them to help them like I had Chip. My poor husband…. and yes Chip, the sponge baths will soon come to an end….hee-hee.
Try to look for the good in people and listen to them. Most people are telling you either directly or indirectly how they are feeling. The good ones have radar that gets it, the not so good ones, I still hold out hope.