ABOUT 11 years ago, the late Jack Renault, then-general manager of WGMD and the nicest guy for whom I ever opened a mic, told me, “We have the best air staff of any small-market station in the country.” He had just returned from a major broadcasting convention and may have been objectively correct. I hope my friend is listening from the Great Studio in the Sky because today’s WGMD is, in my view, even better.
But we also have something else: the best audience on Earth. Many have called and emailed their good wishes and I’m more appreciative of that than I can express.
I spent over a week in Beebe Hospital on IV antibiotics just before Labor Day. I’ve written before about this world-class facility in our small community where I have been an in-patient at least 3 previous times. American hospitals are the world’s best, like our physicians, surgeons, nurses, technicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. I have had very good experiences in American hospitals and I defend them against the spurious and silly claims made by the left to rationalize obamacare.
In America, when an MRI, X-Ray, CAT-scan or other type of imaging is required, it’s generally done within a few hours since the equipment and technicians are available right then and there. In Europe, Cuba, NorKor, Canada, the U.K., Central America, etc., most patients may have to wait days or weeks. At the Beebe E.R., I was told I would need a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan and less than an hour later, of course, it was underway.
One of the things that comprise an individual’s quality of life is, undeniably, the quality of their food. Hospital food is, by definition, institutional since thousands of meals are prepared daily, and there are several types of diets to fulfill different patient requirements. Like a good friend of mine heard on WGMD every Saturday, I’m a foodie with an eclectic, easy-going palate. A greasy-spoon burrito can be just as satisfying to me as a Filet Mignon at 1776.
None of those treats were available since I was on a “heart-healthy” diet, so everything was “lite”. They did a darn good job anyway and I looked forward to the meals that those great ladies, like the Englishwoman, Sally, brought to me thrice daily. One time, my friend Sandy brought me Matzoh ball soup and a corned beef on rye with Cole’s slaw and Russian dressing from Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli, the best meal I had eaten in over a week anyway. “Musician” Mike, the charge nurse that day, seemed a bit envious, being originally from northern New Jersey.
Mike was one of the superior nursing professionals who took excellent care of me. I am still amazed at how responsive and willing they were to tend, without complaint, to the physiological needs a patient my age will have. They were all competent, friendly, professional and dedicated. I was nice to them, too, which always helps, even when they had to wake me up at zero-dark-thirty to take vital stats or administer I.V. medicine.
Come Saturday morning, Vascular Surgeon Carlos Neves, MD removed infected parts of the medial cuneiform bone and the metatarsal at the arthritic joint, which caused the wound, which got infected, which is why I was there in the first place. That was pretty amazing itself: I was rolled down to the E.R. on my own bed, the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist got me ready to go in and, without warning, I was waking up back in my hospital room. No pain, no muss, no fuss. Beebe infectious disease specialist Bill Chasanov, D.O. prescribed the I.V. antibiotics I’ve been on ever since, which are defeating the remaining bone infection. Another nurse named Michael installed a “PIC” line which has been in place over a month now with no complications.
Like the other occupational and physical therapists, the Richter ladies were excellent and helped tremendously with the knee scooter I got from Steve at BellHouse Medical. They knew more about it than I did which expanded its usefulness exponentially. Everyone in that department was fabulous and focused.
After a week, I was back home with Beebe nurses and therapists coming to The Barn* regularly to check on my mobility and progress. Nurse Kelly comes weekly to take blood samples and dress the planar wound. Thanks to the excellent care in the hospital, at home and from the Wound Care Center at the Health Campus on Rt. 24, it’s finally healing up very well.
Beebe came up short on only two counts: Like any hospital, a patient can’t get enough sleep. If I got 3 uninterrupted hours at night, with a few 1-hour naps each day, I was lucky. All hospitals are noisy, busy places where one cannot control one’s environment. A harried nurse or aide will often forget to turn off lights or close the door, so there’s always something conspiring with something else to keep sleep, an actual physiological necessity, far, far away.
Their only other failing was when I was first admitted: I told the hospitalist physician that I wanted to be on the floor with the “naughty” nurses and he replied, (with a knowing wink guys understand) “Sure, no problem!” That didn’t happen, though, which left me bitterly disappointed, but I got over it.
*A nickname Linda and I have for our house, which does not resemble a barn in any way. Ask me on the air some time and I’ll tell you why.