There's a lot to be accomplished before Skip's surgery since she'll be bedbound for 6 weeks following the procedure. She got a tooth pulled early last week. Then there was the pre-op appointment at Brigham and Women's Hospital on Friday. We followed that up with a BBQ dinner out. She'll be going to her MS clinic next Thursday. She needs to see her neurologist so he can do a write-up for Medicare as part of the request for a new wheelchair.
Fortunately, we also have some socializing to do as well. We typically have dinner with my mother on Saturday nights, so that's where we were last night. My brother, his wife and their oldest daughter also joined us. That was fun. Today, we're getting together with old friends we hardly ever see since they moved away to Cape Cod about 10 years ago. We're meeting halfway between our two homes for dinner. On Thursday, it's on to see another couple that we love very much for dinner. Since they bought a vacation home in Maine a few years back, they're not around much on weekends, so we don't get to see them very often.
For Skip, who only gets out about once a week, this has been quite a whirlwhind. I guess we're getting 6 weeks of outings crammed into 2 weeks.
Some thoughts about the pre-op appointment. The nurse who met with us spent two hours going through everything to prepare for the day before and day of surgery. She was great. Skip and the nurse, Patty, bonded immediately on their Irish background. She was very professional, knew her stuff, knew what was important, but also was very caring and warm. A tech came into her office while we were meeting to draw blood and perform an EKG so we didn't have to wander around to different offices, with a wait at each one.
There is a stark contrast between this hospital and the hospital where Skip had day surgery in 2007. MW (Skip's aide) took her to the pre-op appointment, so I don't know what went on there. But, when we arrived at the day surgery admissions, there was no assistance whatsoever offered to help Skip get into a gurney and ready for the surgery. I had to manhandle her onto the gurney and change her into a johnny without benefit of any hospital staff assistance. This was completely consistent with all our interactions at this hospital. Skip was admitted there in 2004 for kidney stones and there was no one to help the nurse transfer her into the hospital bed following her admission. I had to help get her to bed. Tests -- they never had any device or people to transfer a disabled person from wheelchair to examining table. Patty at BWH told me I wouldn't have to do anything on the day of surgery except to make sure Skip was safe and everything was to our satisfaction. She told me when we checked in for the surgery, the "transfer team" would show up and take care of everything for Skip. How great is that for both her and me?
Re-posting of a blog post from last year
6 days ago