Friday, August 3, 2012

Smart Patient

A few weeks ago, I got a babysitter for the morning so that I could spend a few hours alone at my favorite used bookstore. It was well worth it.  I walked all the aisles, fondled a boatload of books, and picked up a boxful of books to add to our collection.

In that box was a book I wish I had known about 2.5 years ago-- You- The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment by Micheal Roizen and Mehmet OzDarren's comment when he saw me reading it was "Couldn't you write that book now?"  Yes, reading it now is a review of many of the lessons we had to learn the hard way but it was a good refresher.  

Though most of the information in the book would have come in handy as Matthew had 25 nights in the hospital, 2 trips to the emergency room, and 6 trips to the operating room, some of the information in the book would have given me even more anxiety.  "As many as 98,000 patients die every year from hospital errors.  Another 2 million hospital patients get infections. Your personal odds of having a significant unexpected complication (meaning one that could lay you up for weeks, leave you permanently disabled, or kill you) when you check into the hospital are 1 in 25."  With Matthew's multiple trips to the hospital, that risk is multiplied!    Ugh!  Doesn't make me want to rush out and schedule Matthew for another surgery!

Speaking of the next surgery, we are coming to the later part of the summer, and we have been thinking about Matthew's postponed hand surgery.  After I was spooked, and especially after reading this book, I need to do more research about hand surgeons and hospitals before we make a decision.  We need a hand surgeon who has done this surgery a great number of times (which we had at the Scottish Rite Hospital) AND a hospital that can handle any emergency (which the Scottish Rite is not set up to do, as they are an orthopedic hospital) AND a hospital that has serious infection prevention measures in place (which I'm sure the Scottish Rite has but was not our experience when they put Matthew in the same inpatient room as a little boy fighting a staph infection).  So, more research before we reach a decision one way or another. 

1 comment:

  1. Katie,

    My daughter was born without thumbs and had her pollicization surgeries this year (one in January and one in May). I would be more than happy to share my experiences with you, including our search for the correct surgeon. My daughter is doing great, and while it has been a long road, we are very thankful we went the direction we did.

    Your children are beautiful! :-)