Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The pre-surg assessment

So, the worst part of this turned out to be getting through Salem while they indulge another fit of completely pointless highway construction.

I had another one of those guilty twinges that come when, by your words, you announce yourself as a member of the health care club. You are often treated better and more promptly than the ordinary mortals: I sure was. There's a short-term selfish benefit, but wouldn't it be nice if all the patients got treated that way? I know: silly damfool idealist.

The major piece of business was something I'd begun with the physician's asst (PA) at the surgical practice. I take half a pharmacy's inventory. Two of them are medications which I must take, religiously, every day. Even the slightest interruption in either makes sudden and unpleasant death a real possibility. I have no objections to sudden. It's the unpleasant part I'd rather avoid.

This bit of clinical reality conflicts with the standing instruction for outpatient surgery: don't eat or drink anything after midnight before the procedure. Being what is called "an informed patient," I pointed this conflict out to the PA, who wrote it onto the chart, and I discussed it again with the assessment nurse. We have all agreed that I will take the two crucial meds with a little water, as far ahead of surgery as possible.

What happens, precious, when the patient is not informed? We wonders, yes, we wonders.


Blogger malevolent andrea said...

I think that may be more or less standard procedure these days. When D had to have the tests for his liver, the instructions said nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours before, and I was like, "But what about his morning meds!?!?" (The chances of me even getting him there without at least an ativan in him being, y'know, fairly small.)

And they were all, "oh, no, no, definitely he can take his regular medication, just with the absolute bare minimum of water he needs to choke the pills down."

But, as you say, there are probably people who would read the instructions and not think to ask.

11:54 am  
Blogger crispix67 said...

*That* is why I always encouraged my patients to ask questions. And if the doctor didnt answer them to their liking...ask their nurse, call for a supervisor, or get another doctor.

While some people do seem a bit militant in their "informed"- ness (I know there's a better word-sorry) practically anarchist at times...I do believe people should do all they can to inform themselves and friends and family about whatever illness, surgery or medication they are given as treatment.It is now a question of safety more than ever.

I now would like to add they also look into alternative and homeopathic remedies as I have had great success bringing Yoga, healthy foods and herbs into my life.

Rock on wit yer informed self!

4:06 pm  

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