Friday, December 21, 2012

Above and Beyond

It has been a scary, painful, difficult week, which began with 30+ hours of labor followed by a C-section.  I have been dealing with all of the challenges of being in the hospital as a patient for the first time (that I remember), recovering from surgery, and caring for a newborn (also for the first time).  Along the way though, I have had several moments, which I want to highlight, of the staff showing compassion and respect for me as a person, above and beyond the excellent medical care that I received.  I would like to thank:

The OBGYN, who kept me well informed about what was going on.  One of the scariest things is not knowing and letting your imagination run away with you.  When a decision had to be made, she explained the options and the implications of each one, as best they could be predicted, and gave me space to talk to my family too for support. 

The anesthesiologist, who kept me updated during the surgery, when I could not see because of the drape.  I have seen C-sections performed from the other side and know what the steps should be.  He also wrapped towels around my arms when I was shivering and let me know that this too would pass.

The post-partum night nurse, who was always positive and upbeat and never made me feel like I was bothering her, even when I was calling in the middle of the night.  Taking the baby to the nursery for a few hours, so we could get a little sleep, was much appreciated.

The day nurse, who was kind and encouraging, when I was having hormonal crying spells.  She reassured me that it was normal to feel overwhelmed at first and everything would be okay.

Everyone who let my husband know that he was doing a good job too.  Several nurses and the lactation consultant all remarked on this.  Maybe they tell every dad that he’s the best dad on the floor.  But they noticed the way he changed the diapers when I was still unsteady on my feet, the way he fed me and helped me drink while I was nursing, and the way he stayed with me and supported me through the whole process.  He certainly did not feel like he knew what he was doing, so I was glad that so many people with baby expertise could tell him that he was actually a gold-star daddy.

We are all doing much better now, settling into our new life at home.  Yes, this is hard work, but a great blessing too.  And it was good to see from the patient side how a little humanism can go such a long way in helping people to feel cared for.

1 comment:

  1. What an experience for you, as a physician! If you felt that overwhelmed at times, just think how ordinary patients feel, when they have only the faintest understanding of what is going on.

    At a vulnerable, emotionally-charged time like childbirth, medical staff make an indelible impression that stays with you for life. For good, or ill.