Friday, December 09, 2005


If it’s been a while since you were a patient in a hospital, you may be in for a few surprises. In recent years there has been more emphasis placed on allowing family members to become a more integral part of the treatment and healing process. My brother, who is a doctor, jokingly remarked he might want to “scrub-in” for my recent procedure.

Having family and friends with you in the hospital makes a world of difference in the recovery process. Sometimes, it’s the difference between life and death, when alert relatives are able to recognize problems and summon help in time to avoid fatal mistakes in patient care.

I had a great nursing staff waiting on me during a four-day hospitalization for prostate cancer surgery. The nurses and physicians’ assistants were excellent in their responses to my needs, and provided a quality environment for my post-surgical care. It also helped that there was a lead advocate for my care right next to me, every step of the way, each day and night of my stay. Slept in my room, in fact.

The best caregiver I have ever had is also my helpmeet, my soul-mate, the mother of my children, and has been by side for the past 26-years. It’s fortunate that hospitals recognize the enormously healthful bond between husbands and wives, when one of the partners is in their care. I can’t imagine how my recovery would have been without my bride by my side. She can’t imagine being anywhere else.

I am a fortunate man, indeed.

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