Wednesday, I spent seven hours sitting at a hospital waiting for my wife to emerge from a hip replacement that we were told would take an hour and a half or so. Of course, you have to add 45 minutes for anesthesia and another 45 minutes for recovery, so maybe three hours.
Oh, and for their convenience, you arrive two and a half hours ahead of time, so now we’re up to five and a half hours. A late start for the surgery and general slowness on the part of everyone involved turned this in seven hours before she got to her room.
We saw them wheel her toward her room on a gurney, and the young man pushing her said he needed a few minutes to get her situated. A nurse at the station adjacent to the little waiting room where one of Sharon’s girlfriends waited with me told me she would let us know when we could go see her.
After waiting another twenty minutes, I went back to the nurses’ station and asked how much longer it would be before we could go to her room. “Oh, you can go back. No problem.” No apology for not letting us know. No explanation. Nothing.
Of course, the important thing is that she had a proficient surgeon. Getting the replacement parts imbedded into her body so she could be pain-free after the recovery period was priceless. I want her to be healthy and feel good. That was job number one.
But why did we have to be there at 11:00 for a surgery that was scheduled for 1:30? Why did it actually begin at 2:00? Why did she finally get to recovery at 4:40 if the procedure lasted an hour and a half? Why did she finally get up to her room at 6:00 if she was supposed to spend 45 minutes in recovery? And why did I not get to see her until 6:20?
I guess I’m just impatient, but I can find more enjoyable things to do than sit around a hospital all day long. Why couldn’t they tell me at 1:30 that I wouldn’t be seeing her until 6:00 or later and that I might as well go home or run errands or something? I realize my time isn’t as important as a $ million a year surgeon’s or maybe even a $90K to 100K a year nurse’s, but it is worth something. Would it kill them to accord a little dignity to spouses of their surgery patients?
nightmares experiences have you had dealing with surgery being performed on a loved one?
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