I traveled this week to Southern Oregon where my Grandmother and other extended family lives. We had gotten a call days before that required my mom to emergently travel. When she arrived it was clear to my sister and I that we should follow. I won’t go into detail (because I don’t think my Grandma would want me to and she scares me) but in short, this was a life or death situation. Did I mention she is 94, lives independently and is truly one of the coolest people in the world?
Since Blake was born, I don’t do hospitals or other medical settings very well. Jeff is the default parent when the kids need to be seen and I only go in when I absolutely have to. I always expect the worst and have some trauma associated with being a patient or the parent of a patient.
It definitely feels more natural to head into the hospital to see someone elderly. Of course, though, none of us wanted her to be there. She had to have surgery shorty after we arrived.
When surgery was over, the doctor came in and he sat down. He explained everything, answered questions and spent time. Guess what happened after that? He went to go see my Grandma, look at her stats and results. Then, he came back. He came back, he sat down and answered more and more questions. No question was stupid, he wasn’t rushing and he was so kind.
After the surgeon had gone home, near 11:30pm, the anesthesiologist came in to talk with us. He explained, answered questions, asked questions. He was present and he cared. After that, nurses, chaplains, aids and on and on came in. They talked to everyone, brought coffee, snacks, blankets.
I’ve never been in a place like that before. Staff were coming by from days before asking how my Grandma was doing. Not one member of my family (we’re a large bunch) was met with anything but complete and utter kindness since entering that hospital.
I know what you’re thinking, yeah, it’s a hospital, that’s what they’re supposed to do.
Maybe it’s what they’re supposed to do but it’s not always what they do. In a panic, days after diagnosis, Jeff and I took Blake to our local hospital, briefly. We were told by them never to bring her back again. I could tell tons of stories like that about other families hospital experiences.
We couldn’t change what my Grandma was/is facing as much as we wanted to. I think we all feel an immense sense of gratitude in knowing she is getting the best care possible and even more than that, they really care. They care about her as a human being.
Just wanted to shout a reminder that in all situations, especially those as emotional and scary as these, kindness matters.
My Grandma is doing really well under the circumstances. When I saw her last she was joking with us and it was truly amazing. We are so grateful for more quality time with her and for her.
If you’d like to think good thoughts, please send them to my Grandma as well as my mom and aunts. They take on the brunt and could use love too.