Sunday, September 30, 2007

I Heart Rhode Island Hospital

I was in R.I. Hospital for three days for an elective procedure (translation: You can see us now while you're still feeling decent, or you can see us later when you're not.) I have nothing but nice things to say. Everyone was polite & went out of their way to assist, when clearly they did not have to. My procedure was clearly (meaning overly) explained by everyone as was my immediate treatment afterwards. I was in surgery ? 4 hrs. I recall being in the prep room with others & the next thing I know someone was asking to me to squeeze their hand & I was wheeled away from recovery to my room. Evidently I was quite entertaining before they put me out but my minds is a blank. Darn! my best moment & it's a goner.
Question: When did Doctors & nurses start to look so young when they used to look so darned old???
The first day and 1/2 after the procedure I was in "Step-Down." This was intensified care with a nurse looking after three patients. Lovely. They were wonderful & I would have thanked them more often if I'd had a voice. Unfortunately I had to have a tube down my throat which gave me the mother of all sore throats. Throat spray was useless, but other pain killers helped. Ah, pain-killers.
The only complaint was that I never had more than 2 hrs. of continuous sleep. While the hallways were sometimes noisey, it was comforting to know that there was life out there. The rooms were private & equipped with medical computers.
When the tube was removed (instant relief) I went into the co-op building. Two to a room, one nurse for 6-8 patients & a CNA. It was noisier, but I had a nice view of the city, especially at night. My partner kept her t.v. on 24 hrs./day - grr! - and much of the time I could hear it - headphones needed here or the supplied hand-control with a lower sound cap . Finally, some kind nurse turned her overhead light off. Care is not quite as close here, but that worked for me. I received instructions from a nutritionist & a social worker. I was there a day.
When I left there was valet parking so that my husband could leave the car out front & come & get me. Good thing because I was unable to do much walking.
The Visiting Nurse Service out of Middletown-Portsmouth has already been here. Love them! I am so lucky to have good health coverage. Other then some co-pays on meds, I won't see many actual bills. When I was younger I rarely saw the Doc., much less a hospital. As one ages, this process reverses & this is when most insurers would like to rid themselves of you. High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, high cholesteral, smoking - all YOUR fault - not.
I'm homebound for awhile letting incisions heal up & hoping that the bruising will leave soon, but I actually feel quite good. My diet has been restricted to purees - yum, puree, but I'm making do quite nicely.
When I could speak, I asked my CNA about her shift schedule. She was just coming off a voluntary 16 hr. shift. Sometimes the nurses are required to do so, too. 16 hours??? How do you actually function for sixteen hours? Doesn't sleep deprivation play a detrimental role here?
If you haven't been to RI Hospital or its environs, it is quite a complex with expansion going on in the area. Hasbro (for children) & Women & Infants are all there. The staff told me that everything is connected underground. It's in South Prov. (I think), just outside the city - easily accessbile by highway. For the bariatric procedure I was having - no go for Newport Hospital.
R.I. Hospital is also a teaching hospital for med students at Brown Univ. I met many students who were working with my surgeon. I like that. Sorry, guess it's the teacher in me. And women! Sometimes things do change for the better.
Thanks for the good thoughts, prayers, etc. It helped.
Forty years of indigestion. And it's just gone. Amazing.
My former heart-patient Frank & I also heart Miriam Hosp. - specialists in coronary procedures!
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