Tonight Jim and I are spending the night in the hospital in a teeny tiny private room that is as hot as a sauna. I am not whining. I am grateful to be here. Jim spiked a fever this afternoon and his oncologist sent him here. They don't like it when Chemotherapy patients spike a fever of 102.
I drove him 20 minutes to the hospital where his Internist, his Urologist and his Oncologist all have privileges and he could have the care of any or all if he needed it. And that's the privilege we have - access to good health care.
The oncologist called ahead to alert the Emergency Room that Jim was coming in - preparing the way for his emergency so that he would not be over-looked in the waiting room. After a short wait he was taken into a curtained cubicle in the Emergency Room where they started a bag of IV fluid , drew blood for tests and cultures, sent him for a chest xray and started to determine what was causing the fever. Eventually he was given a potent IV antibiotic and the decision was made to admit him - "we are cautious with Chemo patients." And after a long but fruitful four hours he was admitted and taken to a room.
We asked for a private room and fortunately this teeny tiny room was available. We needed it because I stay with him. I don't ask if I can - I tell them sweetly that this is what works for us. We have learned over time that every patient needs an advocate with them in the hospital. - and like I am a watcher on airplances I am also, Nurse Ratchett, Jim's watcher.
As I sit here now, watching Jim sleeping, I am thinking about the stark contrast of this evening with the night I spent in the Emergency Room of Coney Island Hospital, a large big city hospital.
Its something to think about.