The day after Thanksgiving, I underwent an emergency laparotomy for an internal herniation of the small bowel. I haven’t made a secret of the fact that I had weight loss surgery about 18 years ago. A “Peterson’s internal hernia” is a rare but known complication of laparoscopic Roux en Y gastric bypass. Thanks to the fast and expert care that I received, I sailed through a dangerous surgical problem and am rapidly recovering.
While I was hospitalized, my friend and former patient, Morgan McCoy came to see me. This was not a small thing for Morgan. After spending months in hospital and losing her leg above the knee as well as a lot of her bowel, she’s not fond of hospitals. In fact, she talked about her hospital PTSD in a recent interview for Today’s Wound Clinic entitled Helping The Patient Throughout A Wound Care Journey. Who could have known that a few months after this interview, she’d be helping me thorough a patient journey? Visiting me was hard for her, but it meant a lot to me.
I also want to thank the fantastic doctors and staff of Methodist Hospital in The Woodlands, Texas. I have talked a lot about how dysfunctional the system seems to have become. The care I received was exemplary. It restored some of my faith in medicine, and has made me want to understand the secret to creating a culture of caring that extends from housekeeping on up. What I most appreciated was the cheerful attitude of the surgical floor nurses, who were incredibly busy while I was there but maintained a positive attitude. Believe me, that attitude makes a huge difference to a patient. I would not wish a medical crisis on anyone, but it’s probably good for doctors to be patients now and again. It’s good to be reminded what it’s like to be vulnerable and scared and to be on the receiving end of sharp things.
Hats off to Methodist Hospital in The Woodlands, and to my friend, Morgan.