Sunday, April 22, 2012
On being the patient
I just have to start there, because this video is worth every minute.
So it went like this:
Burke goes on a trip. Burke comes home from a trip. Burke says, "I have pain in my abdomen, and it's not going away." Burke can't sleep. Neither can his wife. Burke decides to ask for a priesthood blessing and go to the Emergency Room. Jess drops Burke off at the Emergency Room to park the car (see 1:43 of the video). Burke and Jess wait in the waiting room for an hour. Burke and Jess spend 3 and a half more hours in the ER. After much deliberation, Burke says 4 or 5, sometimes 7 or 8 (see 5:19 of the video). Burke gets diagnosed with appendicitis. Burke gets wheeled into the Operating Room. 1 hour later Burke's surgeon says everything went well. Two hours later Burke is settled in his hospital bed. Three hours later the resident tells him he can go home. Two hours later Burke is home in his bed, recovering from a very long night/day.
A few reflections on the whole experience:
-ER nurses are very special people. Nurses in general are very special people. I know that the ones Burke met made a big difference in his experience.
-When they brought in "the surgery team," we met a medical student and 2 residents. I didn't even meet Burke's surgeon until after it was all over. Burke met him right before going in for the surgery.
-It does not feel good to be sitting in that freezing cold waiting room all alone at 6am after staying up all night, hoping all goes well with the surgery. It was very lonely.
-It felt really good when the surgeon came and found me and told me that everything went well and Burke was doing great.
-Ever since being in PA school, every time I have gone to the doctor, or heard about the experiences of my family members, I have been very disappointed in how they/I have been treated. This was the first time since starting school that I felt satisfied by the history-taking and physical exam that was done. This was the first time they actually did it the way I was taught. Props to the student and the residents!
Burke is well on his way to a full recovery. Less than a week after surgery he hopped on a plane to Wisconsin to go spend some time with his mom. Tomorrow night we'll both be home again and taking the week off. We haven't figured out what we'll do yet, but we need a very relaxing vacation!