The hospital is new and bright and clean and confidence-inspiring. Which is good as I have very little confidence in ‘the system’ as it is. Fortunately, our surgeon feels a smidge the same way. We found out because all the nurses on the ward extol his work habits, his discipline, his skill and his attention to detail. He’s a nice guy as well. But it became pretty clear that he didn’t trust everyone in the ‘system’ (including the staff) to do what he wanted so he came in every day and did it himself. ON THE WEEKEND! Even to getting bags of ice and other ‘duties’ atypical of surgeons.
Sadly, his fears were somewhat confirmed. The first night the ‘kitchen’ forgot Sal and her roommate. They had nothing but the brownies I brought them and the nurses tried to make up for it with week-old, cellophane sandwiches. Sal didn’t mind. Neither did I, really. No one goes to the hospital for the food.
After her operation, she was pretty cocky. Swinging her leg like a Rockette, smiling as she hobbled along to the bathroom, telling me, “No pain. This is good!”. We were both encouraged but I was stunned. I had reconstructive surgery 40 years ago and the Tortures of the Inquisition pale compared to that deal! Only the Salem witches had it worse.
But Sal was ready for more……..
So her physio marched her like the Marines march Grunts. Less than 30 hours after the re and re, she was led on a 300 foot trek around the ward. Sal’s roommate and her physio went 25 feet and she came back in a wheelchair. Sal was a bit ticked after The Long March and she is simply NOT the type to get annoyed or complain. And the long first trip had also exhausted her. But she became downright angry about it when she awoke to a swollen, stiff, extremely painful knee the next day. A few words were exchanged. The next day the physio took her only 25 feet and then into a chair. But she still had to go up and down stairs (three) a couple of times before she was released. I was there – watching without breathing. I asked if they had oxygen for me.
They were good. Kinda. Mostly. My view is somewhat biased from the get-go. I HATE hospitals with a passion (mostly because I associate them with sadness, pain and often grief…my bad). Should you ‘press the button for the nurse’ the chances of them coming were about 50/50. If they came and then went off to get meds or painkillers or something, the odds were better…maybe 3 out of 4. And, of course, different shifts of staff seemed to be operating without any knowledge of the previous shift’s work.
“I don’t work here usually. I am in Cardio as a rule. Ha! What do I know about changing a dressing?”
The second night I brought them sushi and tempura. Sal was ecstatic. Even the food delivery people said, “Wow! That’s way better than this stuff!” Sal’s roommate was very appreciative. THAT kinda tells what you already know: hospital food sucks!
Overall rating? GREAT! Why? Because they ‘gave her back’ pretty much intact. The knee will heal. That is NOT always the case with hospitals. We lucked out this time. And we came away with a REAL appreciation for the surgeon, not only because he did a good job, but just as much because he cared enough to do all the post-op follow up. Dr. Tung is good.