Wednesday, August 19, 2009

(which killed his beloved father)

I have just spent 2 days in our local hospital. I had what I am pleased to call roto-rooter work done on the right carotid artery in my neck! When I was in recovery, for unexplained reasons, my blood pressure decided it didn't want to play anymore and dropped precipitously to 70/40 - I know this because I was beginning to return to the land of the living and I could hear the nurses in the recovery room sounding ever so slightly nervous. So they popped my happy butt into ICU (a supremely noisy place to be sure) and there I stayed overnight until my blood pressure stabilized at an acceptable level. From ICU to release in world record time! That's my story.

The article in The Atlantic enumerates many conditions that are not present at our local hospital - Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia - where the ICU, while utilitarian in most respects, is still comfortable and welcoming. The regular hospital rooms (where I sojourned for 3 days after my very mild mini-stroke) are enormously cheerful and pleasant and the hospital food is exceptional. Would you believe, they have a room service menu in each room? You can order what you want, thrice daily. And Mary Washington's kitchens produce one heck of a chicken caesar salad - my staple lunch while I was there! The rooms are equipped with hand sanitizer stations and the staff uses them. Trash is picked up every 8-10 hours. They also wear gloves when they are performing tasks that require any kind of needle stick and are most careful about infections. Perhaps I was lucky enough to land in a first-rate hospital, but my doubts about being so far away from The Ohio State University's world-class medical care, or the Cleveland Clinic, are completely assuaged.

God bless Mary Washington Hospital. I feel enormously lucky to have you in my backyard!

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