Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Set a Record

I set a record this time. In and out of the hospital in 30 hours. My fourth cardiac surgery of the year was deemed successful (actually at the time, the other three were as well!), and I'm home and healing. Even the pain is manageable, although I'm more than a little concerned about the assault my brain cells have been under with all the anesthetic that's been coursing through my bruised and banged up body this past year :(

I know I shared in previous posts (during my three previous prolonged stays)that I was, and continue to be deeply grateful for the kindness and quality of care I receive at the UHN (University Health Network), but it warrants repeating. Despite the ease of finding a conversation that laments, or berates, our troubled and overburdened health care system - admittedly, I've even instigated many a few - it is astonishing to witness, from the inside, the strengths and fragility of our systematized medicine. And despite the obvious (lack of funding, lack of beds, long wait times....), this system operates by the blood, sweat and tears of individuals who are, for the most part, devoted to caring for those of us who need them. This is a shout out for the doctors.

Over the past number of years I've been truly blessed to call Dr. Yoav Brill and his lovely wife, good friends. Through their close friendship, I've come to learn the sacrifices great doctors make for their patients. Great doctors work in the same limited system we find ourselves struggling in, they fight battles for OR time, funding, beds, and research, they advocate for patients, and occasionally even get some quality time with family. When patients consistently identify their doctor as kind, and compassionate, as well as skilled, you know you've got a gem. If you need a OBGYN, see Dr. Brill.

And if you need a cardiac surgeon, ask for Dr. R.J. Cusimano. Similar to Dr. Brill, comments from patients regarding Dr. Cusimano are filled with such praiseworthy distinctions as, 'kind', 'brilliant', and 'an excellent bedside manner'. When I read some of the stories and comments on RateMD', it illuminated for me the pressure and stress under which these men function everyday, in order to care for us. I am not unaware that my little defibrillator problems, although huge to me (and the functioning of my heart!), are trivial compared to 98% of the surgeries R.J. does every day; yet, the point is, he treated me with the same concern, sincerity and kindness that he would a patient undergoing open heart surgery.

The kindnesses that doctors like Yoav and R.J. share are really profound because they are most often exchanged during times of desperate anxiety, and emotional trauma. Their kindness cradles us, and dignifies us. They really deserve some dakbands.

No comments: