Random Thoughts

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital surgical day treatment

... the most responsive staff anywhere.

by Ed Boyd

I know you are going to think I’m a little daft saying that I had a marvelous time at the Surgical Day treatment on Tuesday, 1/22/08. The staff  was, from beginning to end, the most generously responsive anywhere.

I reported at 8:30AM to have my hernia repaired and was greeted by Joyce, an R.N. who moved swiftly but happily getting me situated. I was shown a bed and asked to take everything off and put in the bag I was given. Catherine tied the Johnny, as I can’t manage these, especially when I am nervous. Propped up in the bed, Joyce gave me a warm blanket as she could sense my apprehension. Joyce was with me for the next two and one-half hours. She did a lot to quell my misgivings. This is why I can remember her name so easily. I can’t remember all the other names but they were no less generous.

The anesthesiologist was the next person to stop by and reassured me that I would be slightly sedated and given a spinal medication. I felt better hearing this, as I did not want to be intubated. I have a long history of surgeries starting in 1995-2008, with ten various cut ups of one kind or another.

I looked up to see that my number one daughter, Ellen, and my number six daughter, Amy, had arrived, all the way from Stratham, New Hampshire to cheer me on. Amy is a recovery nurse at a New Hampshire hospital and had suggested by phone to Dr. Serrano that I be given two shots of Lovenox prior to my surgery and he agreed. I have only one carotid so the discontinued Plavix, a blood thinner, would be replaced by Lovenox. As we talked, Alfonso Serrano, M.D. came by. Dr. Serrano greeted both Ellen and Amy, and thanked Amy again for her suggestion. Dr. Serrano is a very bubbly guy; he chatted with both daughters and was very reassuring to me.

In a little while, I was finally wheeled into the operating room. I was given sedation in the IV that made a popping noise that startled me. The nurse reassured me that this was the key that the medication had arrived. My arms were stretched out on either side and strapped in a frame of some sort. This felt like I was about to be crucified and said so. The nurse simply laughed.

Dr. Serrano and his assistant arrived and I was draped so I couldn’t watch the procedure for which I was grateful. Sedated, I slept for a little. As Dr. Serrano had said, “You sleep and we work.” In what seemed a very short time, I was bandaged and wheeled out to the recovery room.

I wish I could remember the beautiful nurse in the recovery room who saw to my needs. She, too, was very responsive telling me that my legs would be immobile for a while. “You should just relax,” she said. After an hour or so, I could feel that my legs were starting to work. I looked up and both daughters had sneaked into the recovery room. They just stayed long enough to see if I had survived the operation, they said with a smile.   

As my legs began to freely move, I felt pain in my left side that increased as time went on. I asked the nurse about the pain and she asked me, “On a scale of 1-10, how do you evaluate the pain you are having.”  I said, “ About 8.” She noted that Dr. Serrano had left a prescription for pain and went off to get me some. I took the pill I was given and in about 45 minutes I could feel the pain subside from 8 to 5. I have since mentioned this to Amy and she says that in her hospital, patients are given sedation before the spinal wears off. Not a bad idea!

In all, if you have to have an operation, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital Day Care Center is the place for you.

March 7, 2008

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