Thursday, October 10, 2013

Batter Up!

This was written by my awesome husband.  I posted my feelings last night and I want to have his here as well, so that when we print this blog the stories are saved.

October 10, 2013 at 9:49pm
Some things I want to remember about yesterday's trauma.

- Medical professionals have training but that doesn't make them smart.  In an office setting, the Dr. may be calling the shots from a distance, sort of like a football coach.  He stands off to the side calling the plays to his assistants. Even the assistants have assistants and as you get farther away from the Dr., the skill level and competency of the employees is viewed as less critical and thus the stage is set for crisis.  The young man who brought Reed to us in the recovery room was not competent.  I suspect he knows less about medicine than I do.  He certainly wasn't aware of or following any kind of reasonable protocol for the discharge of patients following surgery.  Reed would still have crashed, geography wouldn't have changed that, but the crash would have taken place in the Dr.'s office where at least oxygen could have been provided to improve his oxygen situation.

- We need to resist the urge to follow the direction, spoken or implied, offered by those in the right outfits just because of their position.  This presumption of expertise by role is what allowed Reed to be basically lifted out of the wheel chair and placed into Kaye's car.  He wasn't able to stand and didn't help with the relocation from the wheelchair to the front seat.  We even talked about how we would deal with him once we got him home.  While we had the expert in the right outfit to help us at the Dr's office we wouldn't have that help at home.  He suggested we hold him up, one on each side.  For some reason that made sense at the time.  How stupid I feel now about taking that direction from a runny nosed kid.  Those of you who know me well will recognize this as a rare lapse of guard.  Always, always, always question authority.

-To understand the intellectual capacity of the average person, call 911 to report an emergency.  The assumption of the 911 dispatcher is that the caller is dumber than a box of rocks.  They don't act that way for no reason folks.  Think it over and be scared for our country like I am.

- Sometimes the most important person in an organization is the person answering the phone.  I already knew this but it was certainly reinforced yesterday.  If you want to appear inept, make the right choice for your phone attendant and you will accomplish the goal.  If I could point to the moment where my fire was lit to make this Dentist learn from the mistakes of his office, it was the phone call foul up.  It took longer for the Dr.'s desk staff to get the answers to the simple question, "What did you give him?" than it took for the ambulance to arrive in my driveway.  Really.  I have the timeline of events logged by the calls I made from my cell phone.  I was on the phone with the dispatcher for 6 minutes, until the EMT's arrived. It took 8 minutes to get the Dr.'s staff to answer the question.  Eight.  The Dr. was 10 steps away from the counter where the call was taken.

- The soft reply turneth away wrath.  The Dr. called tonight.  He won't forget the conversation for a long, long time.  I pulled out all the stops to push the man into a corner.  He willingly went.  I was almost disappointed that he didn't offer resistance.  After a rough start he changed the direction of the conversation by acknowledging his role in what occurred and stating that he felt responsible for what happened without qualification.  Now, time will tell if that is just a line of bull stuff, but he said it.  What was I to do?  I punished him for 10 minutes about the failure of his office staff to follow any kind of reasonable procedures.  He instantly agreed that things hadn't gone according to the protocol of the office.  I don't doubt that tomorrow morning when that office opens, the first item of business will be some staff training conducted by the Dr.  So, I'm still pretty angry and plan to make the Dr. learn a lesson that he won't forget, but I've got a little bit less steam up than I did yesterday.  If you're curious, I don't think this is worth a pile of cash and that isn't the point.  The people who do this work are licensed and required to operate within the parameters of those licenses.  Just like the Engineer's that work for me are responsible for the work they put their stamp on, whether they actually did it or not, the Dr. is responsible for the conduct of the people in his responsible charge.  A third party review will not be easy on him under the circumstances but based on his conduct on the phone, he will take the advice and improve his practice.   I know, right?

- Some of you probably think you have the best neighbors but you're wrong.  I have the best neighbors.  My phone went dead trying to respond to the concerns and petitions to help.  When I looked up and saw Ro Minervini watching from across the street, I knew that prayers were already on their way.  As more joined Ro I knew the conversation was about my son, about his condition, and I know that urgent and heartfelt petitions for his safety were spoken and unspoken to each other and to the Almighty.  Sometimes I feel guilty for enjoying our little cloistered corner of the world so much.  Yesterday I was profoundly grateful for my neighbors and friends in Carlson Heights.  You are our family and we love you back.

- My wife is an elect woman.  No panicking weakling here, just the tough and tender mother of three boys, turned awesome young men.  Kaye has her moments where people get her down, usually the mean and stupid variety that seem to be sprinkled liberally through public education, but she is rock solid in a crisis.  A little shakey after, but never during.  I think Colby figured out that the frilly dainty girls aren't the kind you marry by watching his Mom.  No, the kind you marry cut the heads off snakes and carry laser sight handguns in their Coach purse.  And they direct Church Choirs.  And they constantly learn and do new things.  And they have and show unshakeable faith in things that are yet unseen, but true and testify of it.  And so it is with Kaye.  I love you just as you are.  

- Our Rice family connection is tight.  Who get's the call in a crisis?  Dan and DiAnna.  The Psalmist wrote that a friend that is near is better than a brother that is afar off.  We love our near and far brothers and sisters and family, but this bond of friendship and family tie we have forged with the Rice's is what the Psalmist was talking about.  In the day of calamity, a friend that is near IS better than a brother afar off.  There are no words more.

- Reed is strong.  He is for sure in pain today, but he is not taking more than Advil and Tylenol.  Like his brothers, he is a tough kid and knows that while into every life a little rain must fall, it won't rain always.  In a Family Home Evening a couple weeks ago we talked about a favorite scripture of mine in Hosea.  Chapter 6 Verse 1 if you're interested.  The scripture presents the simple idea that sometimes, for things to be fixed, they have to be broken.  We were talking that over in the context of Parker's tibia which was split like a log, on purpose.  The Dr. had to break it in order to bind it up.  Some blessings are as sunshine and and some as rain.  Reed isn't happy about what happened, but he won't be dwelling on it either.   Reed's life is a perennial baseball game.  No crying.  Batter up.  On the way out of the hospital last night he spotted a guy in a Yankee's polo.  He stopped and picked a fight with the guy about the Red Sox v. the Yankees.  He is doing just fine.  

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