Cardiac care is amazing
Have you ever noticed when you buy a new car you notice how many models on the road are similar to yours? We bought a minivan a few months ago and immediately I saw many minivans that were made by the same company.
Likewise, I can’t help but notice how blessed we are in Clay County with the quality of cardiac care in this area.
It’s the same principle: When you or a loved one need medical care, it seems all your friends have had the same problem and you find out how readily available care is for that illness.
When my wife developed breast cancer several years ago, the issue jumped out at us. It seemed everyone had been touched by the various types of breast cancer and so many had been in remission for years. That gave us hope. Now, Linda is one of those who can give hoe to others.
When I had my heart attack in June, I was amazed at the choices available for care.
Many years ago, a friend in Elkhart needed a stent put in one of the arteries of his heart. He had it done in St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. Just to drive from Elkhart to visit him was an all-day event. I remember he spent several days in the hospital.
Today, in Clay County, we can go to Union Hospital, Regional Hospital, Putnam County Hospital or St. Vincent’s in Indianapolis, all available, all able to do the job, with a short stay, almost like out-patient surgery. There may be others as well.
How far we have come!
I plan to live to be 140 but most of my parts will be plastic by then. That may be truer than we realize.
The stents used today are so small, smaller than the diameter of a spring on a ballpoint pen. Many people have more than one of those puppies in their chest (and we carry cards indicating that we have stents, if we need medical procedures or, I suppose, go through a metal detector at the airport.)
My own experience was nearly perfect.
During my heart attack, I wanted to ask the surgeon questions until he finally told me, “This is life or death. Do you want me to continue or stop to answer questions?”
I shut up.
But the staff was so calm, I really didn’t panic because they made it seem as simple as a trip to the dentist. More so. I really hate going to the dentist.
The staff treated me so well.
I found out my discharge planner and I go to the same church.
One lady, who lives in Brazil brought me a color brochure and described the surgeon’s procedure.
That night I couldn’t sleep and the nurse on duty took time to visit. We talked about children and grandchildren and our families in general. It didn’t take long until I relaxed and went to sleep.
I’m sure she had plenty of other things to do but she took time to visit with me.
Last week I received two get well cards from the nurses on duty during my most recent stay to have a second stent put in.
No longer do we have to stay in a ward with other patients, like I did when I was 6 and had my appendix removed. No longer do the nurses wear starched, white uniforms and caps and walk around with stern expressions.
Medical care has come quite a ways in a relatively short amount of time.
That fact hasn’t been lost on our elected officials.
When I was wheeled into surgery for my second stent, U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon was touring the hospital.
“Hey, Congressman!” I yelled and waved at him. (Yes, I was medicated.)
He came over to my bed, called me by name and we shook hands. I had interviewed him a couple times but I had no idea he recognized me.
“They’ll take good care of you here,” he said. “Good luck to you.”
“Yes, and you, too,” I said, referring to his re-election campaign.
He chuckled before leaving.
Medical care truly is amazing.