Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Own Surgery

Planning for My Own Surgery

As I plan for my own surgery, it has given me yet another aspect of healthcare. I get to see some of the details advocates for others may often forget about. I am a very private person but thought it might be helpful to tell my own story as I move forward.  And, of course to look at it from the eyes of the patient will be helpful in many ways to my work.



I am in the business of patient’s safety, for the simple reason healthcare is often not safe, I have my doubts about entering a hospital and subjecting myself to a knife, while asleep to remove the same organs which have given me my wonderful children. Unfortunately, almost my entire adult life has been surrounded by only the less positive outcomes of healthcare. Though a realist, I do know that there are hundreds of thousands of surgeries that have great outcomes. I just don’t get to hear about them nearly enough.


Errors can start anywhere, such as the paperwork I received saying I will be admitted 2 days after my surgery is to take place. I didn’t call to question this because I knew I would get a series of phone calls from the surgeon’s office. But, when I did mention it, instead of an apology I received a comment “Oh, you know when the surgery is”. Because it was changed, that date was never on the form, and she was not planning to send me a correction. “Just change it on your sheet” she told me.