Thursday, December 5, 2013

Playing Doctor - Nursie For Real

It seems that Flopsy (Main Lady's eldest Little Darling) came down with the crud, the major symptom being the digestive tract threatening to issue the last meal a return to sender combined with quality control issues in what is delicately labeled as the lower tract.  This started about two weeks before turkey day, and it got so bad that on Monday before T-Day Flopsy went off to the sawbones.  Keep reading for medical outrage.

Dr. Sawbones gave Flopsy the old once-over and ordered one or more tests.  Medical doctors don't know anything without tests, excepting my old doctor who knew what was wrong with me right away.

"What's wrong with me?"
"Well, you're sick."
"With what?"
"Oh, I don't know.  Just one thing or another.  Here, take one of these pills once every six hours and if you don't see an improvement in three days, I want you to call me back.  Understand?"
"And by the way, no alcohol for three weeks."

My good old doctor is retired, and more's the pity.  I miss him.

Dr. Sawbones got the test results back and called Flopsy up on Wednesday to tell her that she has a growth in her abdominal cavity, and surgery is needed.  This afternoon would be best.  Flopsy declined and told him she wanted a second opinion and time off for good behavior.  So, right after turkey day, Flopsy and Main Lady headed back to the Big Windy and got a second opinion, which I gather started with the question, "Why did you wait?"  So surgery got scheduled.

The surgeon, Dr. Chopchop, said that this procedure was routine.  A real text book case.  No problem at all.  The whole business takes about an hour and can be done with modern day minimally invasive surgery and other good techniques, so Flopsy could probably go home the next day.  Just take it easy and all.  Reassured, Flopsy and Main Lady signed whatever papers need be signed, checked into Hotel Hell and braced themselves for a short stay.

Flopsy got wheeled off to surgery at 12:30.  By 2:00 Main Lady was beginning to worry a little.  Dr. Chopchop had said one hour, and Flopsy was now a half hour late for her welcome back to reality party.  Still, patience is a virtue, so Main Lady continued to wait.  2:30 came and went, and at 3:00 Main Lady went to the nurse's station to get a few answers.  Like, for instance, what's up with my first born?  The powers that be didn't know and refused to find out.  Main Lady went up the chain of command, finally encountering the adjunct to the five star commanding general of the entire joint, who told her that they had no comment at this time.  Main Lady would have to wait.

At 5:00 pm Main Lady tried again, and this time she got an answer.  Flopsy was still in surgery and wouldn't be out for a few hours.  No reason why, just that she wouldn't be out.  No one knew anything about Flopsy's health.  At 5:30 a volunteer bedpan orderly told Main Lady that Flopsy would be out of surgery in two hours.  Main Lady waited and time continued to pass with all the speed of a glacier hastened along by global warming.

At 7:30 Main Lady was informed that Flopsy was in the recovery room and would stay there for an hour or so, then be moved back to the ward.  Dr. Chopchop said that the operation was a success, the growth was removed along with a bunch of other female type plumbing that was deemed to be cancerous.  The extracted parts were sent off to a lab for testing.

So why did a one hour surgery take seven hours?  Glad you asked.  According to Dr. Chopchop, "This is a teaching hospital, and we wanted as many students as possible to see this operation.  So we kept Flopsy in the operating room longer than anticipated.  If we were just doing the operation we'd have been out in an hour, easy."

Let me understand this.  Maybe this is me, maybe I'm just a little fucked up here or something.  You the doctor, lord and ruler of all you survey in the hospital, you let the family suffer six hours of needless worry and anxiety just so a few med students can see an operation?  You couldn't even be bothered to send word to the family that everything's okay?

Does your personal health insurance include dental coverage?

This is truly one of the most insensitive things I've ever heard of in the medical industry.  I'm wondering if there's some kind of organization that Main Lady can complain to, and if a complaint is justified.

Any advice is welcome.


flask said...

wait, wait... was the doctor a black woman?

because those two things would explain it, yes?

CWMartin said...

Three words: Call a lawyer.

Old NFO said...

Concur with CW!!! "I" had a surgery that was a teaching surgery, it was over and done in an hour... That is PURE BS!!!

Mad Jack said...

Yes, Flask, those two things would explain it. But in this case all the males are wealthy, middle aged, portly white men who are loyal to Brother John Birch. Hell, two of 'em are guest members of my own lodge.


Mad Jack said...

CWMartin, Old NFO: Thanks. Now that the crises has passed, Main Lady is collecting her thoughts for a consultation with our local attorney, the ineffable Johnny the Hammer. We'll see what develops.

For my money, I think they may have injured her during surgery - like maybe dropped her on the floor or something. All that extra time might have been spent trying to figure out if anything's wrong and how they are going to handle it if there is.