Thank you for your good wishes and visits while I was in the hospital. I was discharged around noon today and have spent the last five hours either sleeping or looking for loose pants.
I had emergency abdominal surgery that revealed that a section of my small intestine had become blocked. The surgeon was able to manipulate my intestines by hand to remove the kinks; the very good news is that there was no diseased tissue, no tumor, and nothing to be taken out. No one can say why it happened.
I got very good care at Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC). The surgeon was such a nice guy that I, at first, doubted that he could be a real surgeon – where was the necessary arrogance and impatience? But he was unfailingly generous with his time, and I hope that my quick recovery to date is an endorsement for his good work. The nursing staff varied in experience but the senior nurses were always on top of things. I had one particularly fine nurse who was able to give me the tools, both mental and medical, to deal with the transition from not feeling much post-operative pain (due to an epidural that was started during the operation) to a lot of pain as the epidural wore off.
As I waited for Susan to bring the car around to the entrance of the hospital after I had been discharged I read a legal notice that laid out the hospital’s obligation to treat any and all patients with the highest level of care regardless of their ability to pay. I cannot imagine what it would feel like to be in a position of absolute physical vulnerability as I was, know that there were doctors and nurses who could assist you, and be refused care.
As Susan pulled away from the entrance, I started sobbing. What a privilege to have that much care directed toward getting me back on my feet! For sure, I couldn’t have done it myself. I am in the land of Big Gratitude.