Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trip to the Hospital

Today Kathy had shoulder surgery at Northside Hospital.  I was impressed by the careful exactitude by which she was admitted.  The admission took over three hours.  Everything was investigated from when she had last eaten or drank to a detailed listing of all allergies and of medicines recently taken.  The staff also carefully noted medical history, prior surgery, and smoking and alcoholic beverage habits.  Some questions were asked repeatedly by different questioners--the nurses or the anesthesiologist team.  Witnessing this, I could not help but think of another room in the hospital—the emergency room.  Patients may arrive in comparative chaos.  All the careful questions normally painstakingly covered, must be done in a rush or in the case of unconsciousness—not at all.  The unknowns, demands and risks escalate tremendously.  I got to thinking of other “accidents” in society and how different institutions must deal with them—schools, social services, police, churches.  These human catastrophes must be handled quite differently from situations where problems can be fleshed out in calm detail.  Most importantly, emergency situations must be frankly acknowledged in the first place and the temptation avoided to treat them as if time were on our side.

One other observation of today, I have truly become a family man.  Kathy’s surgery required setting the alarm for 4:30 am, a trip to the hospital, six hours of waiting, and a trip to the pharmacy.  I did not view any of this as an imposition or something to be commended.  It was just something that had to be done—on the order of having to tie my shoes.  I feel now that I have been totally captured by the family motif, and I rejoice in it. 

Print Page