March 15th, 2012


Medical care

In October, my husband had an operation for an umbilical hernia.  We were not prepared for the experience in the hospital, the pain, or the recovery time.  We now know that is usual with this type of operation.  We were told it was no big deal, and it isn't compared to other operations, but it was a big deal to us.   We, too, received a questionnaire asking us to rate the hospital and the staff, and certainly people were cheerful, competent, and helpful, and it is odd to rate such an experience.  As this article says, you are in a hospital, not a hotel.  

I understand the importance of feedback and rating systems, and I understand that for most of us, hospitals are frightening places.  The one we love is stripped of jewelry, watch, and clothes, and wheeled off into a room and held behind closed doors.  We don't know what is going on.  We don't know what to do with ourselves.  We are scared, and the patient is scared, and yet, we all carry on, and then, we get a questionnaire asking us to rate the experience.  

This article brings back to me the fear I felt, and how I wish someone had told me and my husband this was a big deal.  The surgeon made it seem like such a small deal, that I almost went alone, and then at midnight, I remembered how I feel about hospitals, and I asked my son and his wife to come with me.  Senna, their dog came too, for added support.  I am so grateful they were there, so grateful.  It was a horrifying experience for me, and traumatic for my husband.  I think we can well honor and realize that a visit to the hospital is not a flight to Tahiti, and maybe hospitals could be a little more aware that no operation is routine for the one going through it, and for their family and friends.  It is frightening, and reading this article brought back to me how scared I was.