George is home. I am so amazed by the resiliency of the human body to overcome seemingly impossible odds. Two weeks ago a doctor told me to be prepared to say goodbye to my beloved.
Today he is at home, walking with the use of a cane for additional stability, eating meals, watching the television..just sitting with a purring cat at his side. We have a new beginning.
Two weeks ago he was not expected to last through the night. Today he is grumbling about the lack of salt on his eggs. I am so happy to hear that hoarse grumble issue forth!
I will forever be grateful to the doctors and nurses of the Oklahoma Heart Hospital.
Dr John Randolph was George’s surgeon..a great teddy-bear of a man with strong, capable yet gentle hands and a sweet sense of humor.
His nurses were incredible… going far beyond what their “job” was, they exuded patience and love with every action. They called when off-duty to check on him daily. They offered encouragement to him to keep trying, “just a little more” they would say when he had no appetite, “just one more step” and “I’ve got you” when walking with him down a hallway.
Never saying “how are WE doing” but always “how do you feel, George?”. I wonder who taught them all that the “royal we” is so terribly annoying?
The hospital is owned by the physicians who work there………and they are entirely patient-oriented. It shows. For the last nine years, the Oklahoma Heart Hospital has received the “Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award“. This award recognizes top-performing facilities that consistently rank in the 95th percentile of performance in patient satisfaction in the health care industry.
It was through the research performed at this hospital that placed a basic heart monitor into smart watches. Each patient is given one upon discharge.
One of the things that impressed me the most was the hospital policy on visitation by friends and family. A bed (or two) was in each room and family and friends were encouraged to stay. A complimentary meal was provided for family……that is a huge difference from every other hospital we have been associated with in the past..and there were a LOT of those. George is a Registered Nurse after all.
Another difference between this hospital and every other one I have known is their practice of surgical updates to family members. A nurse attached to the surgical team gave hourly updates on where in the procedure the patient was and their condition. It’s difficult waiting for news and those calls to let us know everything was going well took a huge emotional burden away. After surgery another call was made by the nurse to let me know that George was in recovery…how long it usually took for a patient to awaken, and how long it would be before he could be visited in the intensive care unit.
And just minutes after that call, the surgeon met me in a conference room to explain what he had done and how George was…he explained things to look for in the coming weeks and months…he HELD MY HAND while he spoke. He HUGGED ME as he said I could go upstairs now, and warned me George still had chest tubes and was still intubated. He offered to go up with me and explain the machinery keeping my husband breathing.
I am so grateful for the care each person took of George…from Mayji in housekeeping, to Leiai in radiology..to Catherine, Mary, Sarah, and Susan in Nursing, to Anita, Marjo, Cynthia and Nanette in Patient Care…To Howard in Phlebotomy, to Anderson in Anesthesiology…..to Martha in Chaplaincy, to Brooklyn in food services. Thank you.
And thank each and every one of my readers for their prayers, hopes and wishes…