It Went Well

The surgery, that is. It took a couple of hours, but my mother came through it with flying colors, and is doing very well right now. God answered pretty much all my requests. A nurse friend ended up helping with the surgery, my mother got a private room with a TV so she could watch the final of America’s Got Talent and the procedure went smoothly with no complications. Her biggest challenges today, it seems, were  be the hospital meals (which are falling way short of her healthy, fresh, organic vegetarian food standards despite promises of accomodating her special diet needs… er…desires…) and the hospital pharmaceutical bureaucracy.

She only likes brand name drugs, and wants noting to do with generics. In the Friday interview we specified her desire/insistance on the brand name version of her drug. The nurse made a note, called the pharmacy, learned they did indeed carry it in the correct dosage and all seemed well. Then this morning, pre-op, another nurse called the pharmacy to ask about it and received the same assurance. Tonight, when it was time to dispense the drug, the generic version arrived and the pharmacy claimed they didn’t have the brand name version after all…. I’m not sure what’s up with that, unless they ran out. In any case, I had to bring her own pills over, the nurse had to take them to pharmacy to have them counted, labeled and verified and will keep her bottle in a special cabinet and dispense the drug to her from that.  Seems like an awful lot of rigamarole for a very simple procedure.

Similar things have happened with the food. The “vegetarian tray” for lunch was a giant plate of iceberg lettuce, a white-bread roll, a canned pear. The dietician appologized for there not having been avocado and egg on the lettuce… completely missing the fact that the main problem was the lettuce itself. All the vegetarians I know are concerned about eating healthy foods. And nearly all the people I know who are concerned about eating healthy foods consider iceberg lettuce to be anathema, a food completely devoid of nutrients. So why, I wonder, would the hospital think health conscious sorts of people who request special healthy diets, would find a plate of iceberg lettuce to be acceptable? And a white roll?

Well, I suspect they don’t have any other kind of lettuce or rolls. They’re trying to be accomodating, but most likely they simply don’t have the resources to carry out their good intentions. Oddly a small cafe on the first floor carries organic, healthy foods — with dark green leafy salads, flat bread, yogurt, organic oatmeal and the like.  So we got her a “regular” salad from there.

The funny thing about all this is that it’s amazing she was eating anything at all, when everyone expected her to be on broth and jello (though that is even more horrifying to her than iceberg lettuce). Right out of recovery, the nurse is trying to sell her on water, vegetable broth and jello (eeyugh!) and she’s saying , “I want to EAT!”  I’d much rather the dominant challenge of the day be this as opposed to some medical complication that might have had her in ICU struggling to survive.  So all the problems with the food show, I think, how well she’s actually doing. I would have expected her to be out of it, sleeping, groggy, struggling with the pain. And while they do have her on pain meds, she’s alert and fiesty as ever.  “I don’t think they’re going to like me very well by the time I leave,” she confided to me. “I keep telling them what I think about what they’re doing and it’s not positive.”

I just had to laugh. And told her to keep on telling them and maybe eventually they’ll get it right. But tomorrow I’m going to bring her some applesauce that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup in it, and maybe some soy milk, depsite their rather vague assurances that they will provide it…

And now I am going to stumble off to bed. It’s been a LOOOONG day.

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