Sunday, February 10, 2008

David's Discharge

When David was discharged from the civilian hospital, I was given no instructions whatsoever. The physiotherapist did teach him how to do steps. There aren't the resources out there for anyone medical to show even the mildest curiosity about life beyond their doors. I get that. It's dangerous but I get it. The people were all good people but there's just no room for curiosity - no looking at food trays to see if the patient ate because the food is low quality anyway. The major protein source was milk-based - instant breakfast and boxed milk shakes but David read somewhere that milk thickens secretions so he didn't touch it. He went down to the hospital cafeteria to buy food but even there it took some thinking. I thought I was being smart by mixing the soups to get a wide enough variety of vegetables but the wives of the dialysis patients warned me about the amount of sodium that was giving me. When I got off the plane, I headed straight to the doctor's for a renewal of my thyroid pills and even though the waiting room was packed to the gills and my own doctor was out of the country, I got a lecture because my blood pressure was creeping up. Because I'm at the upper limits of normal, I'm supposed to take my bp and record it every day but in my rush, I forgot to pack the machine. Believe me, I was extremely grateful not to see my doctor because he is incredibly conscientious and really cares about every little thing. Hospitals save lives and for that I am eternally grateful. But my doctor is right - it's the little details, the little choices that have a big impact on quality of health.

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