Saturday, December 23, 2006

My Crisis du Jour at GW Hospital

I haven't posted because I ended up spending ANOTHER night in the hospital unexpectedly. I've started telling people when they say, "How are you doing?" that "You know me; I lurch from crisis to crisis, then get up in the morning and get on with life."

This is a photo of me yesterday. (ie, Lurching from crisis to crisis)

Today we threw a birthday party for my mom, got haircuts, walked around Georgetown and will end the day at the park. (ie, Getting on with life)

My goal for Christmas is to avoid any kind of medical drama that will put me in a local hospital (rather than Hopkins) while all the doctors are on vacation, leaving me to medical staff who ask (as they did at GW, where that photo was taken) whether I'm going to get "iron supplements" for my aplastic anemia. I get that the average person doesn't know that aplastic anemia is not actually anemia, but bone marrow failure. But to work in the hematology/oncology wing of a hospital where they are doing transplants and to never have heard of it!?? It's rare, but not so insanely rare that someone who went to medical or nursing school wouldn't have heard of it...and certainly wouldn't ask if iron pills might help (they're quite toxic and potentially deadly to someone getting lots of transfusions).

Like I said, just let me get through December 25th without the need for an ER visit. I'm tired of doing Hematology Revision 101 with people who ought to know better, while bleeding or getting stuck with 100 needles or feeling like crap.

Which brings me to the next photo from GW. Yes, I'm naming names because this is an outrage. Here is the sign that hangs everywhere at The George Washington University Hospital, healthcare provider to Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney and Senator Johnson:

Wow. Now I have seen it all. It's now my job ("it's everyone's responsibility!) to make sure my healthcare provider has washed his or her hands before touching me. Wow. How sad a statement is this on the state of health care in America that it's now not considered mandatory--like Lose Your Job mandatory--for healthcare workers to wash their damn hands between patients?!! And now I'm supposed to ask?!! Like why don't we all just ask the airline pilot on our flight if he's had some beers? Why not ask our teachers if they can read? Why not make it "everyone's responsibility" to make sure the firefighters have packed their hoses on the truck? Holy mother of g-d!

When I saw that sign I was like, "get me the eff out of this hospital!" Like now they have to remind their staff to wash their hands after peeing or touching a sick person, like they work at an Applebees rather than with the health and welfare of other humans? Or, more accurately, *I'm* supposed to remind their staff to do so?!

Like I said, just get me through the 25th so I can get to place where they consider basic hygiene to be so basic as to not require either signs or patient policing of medical staff.

Good luck, Senator Johnson!! I hope someone on his staff makes sure GW isn't giving him iron pills with unwashed hands for his neurological issue...


whykiki said...

Do not diminish the Applebee's by associating its staff with improper manual washes. The Big A is one of the two chain restaurants at which I will eat -- Outback Steakhouse is the other -- & I have never had a bad moment there. (Of course, I know to only utilize the New Berlin, Wisc., location; but therein, no problems.)

As to your bone marrow deficiency, grow red blood cell generating tissue, grow!

Vigilante said...

U kno i came here via wonkette???!!! congratulations, EEEEEEEEEEE. well deserved. well deserved. not jealous at all...