Well That’s Better!

Vancouver skyline from my hospital room.






Firstly, I took some  better snapshots of my view. Photography is definitely not my best medium, but it should give you a better sense.  I definitely could never afford this view, but it’s easy to see why everybody wants to live here.

One heck of a view, eh? It really does look like it’s a poster on a wall.






The more important improvement is that I got the port out, and I’m feeling substantially better. There’s still some wound healing to do, but I am no longer septic, which is excellent news. They need to do an echocardiogram to double check that there isn’t any valve damage in my heart. It’s much happier now than when I got here, my heart was quite erratic and the murmur is back stronger than before, but it’s improved a ton already. I’m using a PICC line- it’s a touch less convenient than the port, but it’s okay. Once they are certain my sepsis is gone, they’ll put in something called a tunneled Hickman (very similar to a port). Then they’ll can send me home on a couple of weeks of IV antibiotics, and I should be good to go. (That is, provided I can find something I can eat that doesn’t send me straight to anaville…)

This experience in hospital has been so different from my previous ones. SO different. It’s the same system, so it can’t be about money or resources. The entire culture here is different. I’m not a ‘problem’, I’m a ‘challenge’. They put logic ahead of policy, and common sense is allowed to be part of the picture. A perfect example- my meds. My regular daily meds are under my control. If I want to take a little more or less, tweak the timing, etc, I am perfectly free to do that. The only thing I have to ask for is an opioid pain med, which I haven’t needed very often. And they’d like to have eyes on me when I take epi, which I can understand. When the medical team here doesn’t understand something, they don’t tell me I’m wrong or placate me (I hate the patronizing dismissal of arguments). Instead, they ask more questions- and it doesn’t feel like a cross examination in court. Instead of ‘that’s not possible’ I get ‘I didn’t know that was possible, can u explain how it works?’ It’s subtle, but small examples present in all interactions. Taken as a whole, the difference is dramatic.

Perhaps the most startling difference is that the people working here seem to actually kinda like their jobs. They don’t act as if their day is something to be endured. I never get the impression that their jobs would be so much easier if they didn’t have to deal with all these patients… There’s no eye rolling or belittling. And when I go down the hall, medical staff make eye contact all the time; they even smile occasionally. The tension between nurses and docs is very slight here- probably just the right amount (they check each other’s actions, provide a different perspectives, but there’s a strong mutual respect). Their roles are defined, but not hierarchical.  There is no reverence assigned merely due to the letters after someone’s name. What they do is far more important  than their title. They aren’t perfect, of course (it did seem to take a long time to get the port pulled…), but things seem to work much better for all involved.

So, while it sucks having to be in hospital, I trust the people taking care of me, and I have a fantastic view!

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