Colonoscopy Time

I am writing because I wanted to express my concern about the medical centers across the country that perform common procedures like colonoscopies on a daily basis. While I understand that Covid has changed a lot about how one interacts with patients, I was very disappointed to be treated in the way I was prior to my colonoscopy this week.

Three years ago when I had a colonoscopy at this Center things were quite different. It was the human touch and connection that made me feel safe and secure having the procedure done. By that I mean the anesthesiologist, who was an older man, took the time to talk to me right before he put me to sleep by  introducing himself a second time  and making a small joke. This made me feel relaxed and safe and as if he cared about me.

Yesterday the anesthesiologist did come in and introduce herself to me in the waiting area however immediately prior to being put to sleep I was wheeled into the procedure room where no one spoke to me. My doctor didn’t speak to me, and the anesthesiologist did not speak to me. Frankly, I was looking for the anesthesiologist and I’m not even sure that she was there. Perhaps it is the practice now for the head anesthesiologist to meet the patient, take down information, and then pass this down this information to another anesthesiologist who will actually do the job. I hope not!

The feeling I had was that I was on an assembly line and merely a body on a gurney. It would have made a difference, for example, if someone had asked me how I was doing, patted my hand, and basically reassured me right before I went to sleep. Instead, when I said that the needle in my hand was hurting somebody seem to adjust it, but they didn’t say one word. I guess they felt like it didn’t matter because I would be asleep in two minutes which was true. However, perhaps they do not realize that those moments before being put to sleep are incredibly important ones and make a patient feel safe or unsafe. I felt unsafe and so that is my memory of the procedure and the treatment I received.

I understand the reasoning behind the lack of personal connection because of the fear of Covid but I think it is not right that patients don’t receive compassionate care. It’s very important for doctors not to forget that though they do 20 of these procedures a day or more, each  patient is an individual deserving of compassionate attention and reassurance.

The leader sets the tone in any business. Therefore, I have taken the time to write this letter in the hopes that doctors and others who are in this position will change their style in terms of patient interaction. All it takes is a pat on the hand and a gentle statement saying that everything will be all right.  Every employee who interacts with a patient should have the same compassionate approach and should take the time to make sure they are feeling comfortable. This happened at times during my procedure, but the most important time is right before one is put to sleep when anxiety is at its highest level.

Thank you for reading this and I hope that some changes are made because I think it will make a big difference in how comfortable people feel having colonoscopies performed.

Obsessive Researcher

I am always trying to figure out how to do things faster and more efficiently. Even though I consider myself to be old now I’m still working on the efficiency routine. I should have a clipboard and a pencil and a list of things to accomplish however I have nothing but two dogs that I need to feed and a house that seems to be constantly needing attention. I noticed this morning that rather than making oatmeal and putting egg whites in it I could take a hard boiled egg and chop it up and put it in the oatmeal prior to microwaving it and in that way I would save myself so much trouble because I already had hard boiled eggs in my fridge. So I plopped the hard-boiled egg cut up into the bowl of raw oatmeal and added milk and half-and-half because I am a sybaritic woman and turned it on for two minutes. Then I removed it from the microwave and luckily I was wearing my glasses because the entire thing exploded like a bomb in my kitchen. They were literally bomb fragments on my ceiling made of hard boiled egg. If I hadn’t been wearing my glasses I don’t think my eyes would’ve survived. When this happened it made such a loud noise that I literally shrieked something I haven’t heard myself do ever in my life. I backed away from the microwave with caution thinking it might happen a second time and I had a long debate with myself over whether or not I should eat the oatmeal despite the fact that it had exploded.

 

This is the problem with being an obsessive researcher and an analyst. When unusual things happen 

You stop and think about why did they happen and try to understand what the result of this happening was and what you should do to avoid this in the future.

 

It’s pretty obvious what I should do to avoid this in the future. It was still pretty damn exciting. In my kitchen an explosion that sounded like a 28 gauge shotgun going through the ceiling and all it was was a remnant of a hard boiled egg. That’s my day!

 

 

 

Virus

Child’s Game

“Hold your breath!”

passing a graveyard we said

In the back seat of a 57 Ford

gravely

acknowledging the dead.

Now, out walking, I hold

my hand over my mouth

careful to not breathe in

air of living people

passing.