AS I SEE IT 5/7: So how was YOUR weekend?

So…how was YOUR weekend?

I spent mine at Virtua Hospital in Marlton, NJ. I went in
because I had what turned out to be a hernia, expecting to
have something done to help that, either Friday or have
something scheduled. Instead, I would up stuck there in for
the weekend, however, because my sodium levels were major
out of whack (low). Switching off a BP medication thay
apparently vacuums out sodium WAY too much to Lasix and
adding protein (I’m now officially an old fart as they have
me on Ensure) seemed to help, but I’m also stuck with
ridiculous fluid restrictions for 2-3 weeks to get them back
the rest of the way.

For a lot, that wouldn’t sound like much. But I have to add
something else. During my stay I was not then or now happy
in the least at the way that some nurses, doctors and other
professionals communicate with patients at Virtua Marlton,
or rather don’t communicate, cause undue worry and upset and
inconvenience patients and family members. From a nurse
suggesting a possible draconian after care plan to an
outside surgeon no-showing a hospital exam (seems to be a
frequent phrase coming up in my various real and wrestling
lives, yes?) after being told all day they were to be here;
then receiving no word what was going on, then when it was
obvious that no one was coming, giving specific instructions
to make clear not to bother coming until the next day, then
showing up at 9:30 pm after my brother went home…all the
way to a discharge doctor who didnt bother examining me
trying to make arrangements that bore no resemblance to my
actual post-hospital needs….I am totally pissed at this
facility. Maybe others are used to experiences like this.
I’m not.

Being my first time as a patient ever I find most of this
inexcusable, because it does little or nothing to help
patient care…or even make a profit (I’m still waiting for
the bill for all this, which will be an entirely different
and just as unpleasant experience, I’m fairly sure). The
medicine side of medicine needs to learn that communication
is a major part of caring for a patient (and making a profit
too). It isn’t a matter of giving answers patients or family
want to hear. Far too many times in real life, sadly, that
isn’t possible. But to communicate, to be real, and try to
comfort and be polite….those things ARE possible, and
very, very necessary. I hope Virtua starts really soon,
because I found this a continuation of what had happened
nearly five years ago when my late Mother was in the
hospital for what became her last illness. Same behavior,
same feeling when it happened.

Keep me in your thoughts, prayers until I get in the other
side of all this, please. Back to wrestling next week.

Until next time…

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