Conscious Aging: First Day Home from the Hospital

Louise was discharged from the hospital about 6pm on Wednesday night, and Thursday was her/our first day home in the recuperation process. I’ve had a chance to reflect on the process.

In terms of being a patient, I think everyone who’s had surgery needs a support person there most of the time. Louise was in a very good hospital and the care was excellent. That said, there are tics in the process that occur at the higher risk points, like change of shift. Care is very specialized, with designated people to do each thing. Someone might say, “You’re going to have X in a little while, but Y needs to happen first.” Then the person to deliver procedure X arrives and Y hasn’t happened. Someone needs to point that out — respectfully, to be sure. I heard “this isn’t my first rodeo” and ” we know what we’re doing” more than a few times. I never doubted that — again, the care was excellent. But if my person was going to have something out of sequence in a way that wasn’t optimal, I wanted them to know that I was noticing.

Lots of things in hospitals have changed for the better. You get to order food when you’re hungry, and from a menu. They really try hard not to awaken you so much at night. Most people with Louise’s insurance level have private rooms, and the beds are comfortable and the space well equipped. The place was actually pretty quiet, given all the people receiving care. There’s a Starbucks downstairs, and a hospital cafeteria for family and friends. Most importantly, a hospital that does a lot of the procedure you’re having has the process down pat. They really do know what they’re doing.

This experience also makes me appreciate more deeply what Minga went through, needing to be in the ambulatory dialysis unit of the hospital three days a week all day for a whole year. She accepted her situation with grace and dignity, and the family members who supported her were loving and patient. I admire them even more.

 

2 thoughts on “Conscious Aging: First Day Home from the Hospital

  1. Congratulations on your caregiving perceptions and skills. Louise is fortunate to have you as a friend!

  2. for Phyllis: This is a hard role on both sides. For the post-surgical patient at our age, there’s always the “slippery slope” fear that you’ll never be the same. And for the caregiver, being out of my normal routine is stressful. Those two things given, we’re doing pretty well.

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