I experienced appendicitis twice – which is physically impossible anatomically except in the case of attempting 2 routes of healing. My first choice was to be treated by an intravenous deluge of antibiotics, as it was presented? sold? to me as an effective alternative to an appendectomy, appealed to my greatest fear (the profound invasion and alteration of my body) and, I knew how to repair my constitution following this therapy. Upon recovery, I became consumed with the creation of a document dedicated to the improvement of the patient experience in the area of abdominal conditions and surgeries. Based on my letter, I was invited to present my exhaustive holistic document of RECOMMENDATIONS to select management of the 14th Floor.
Approximately 6 weeks later, I sat in a play and began to experience familiar pain. 19 hours later, I was surrounded by lights and stainless steel, counting down from 10.
There is, in fact, a 3rd route of healing in the facing, and living through, of one’s greatest fear.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Mr. Joseph Lebovic Mount Sinai Hospital Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Health Complex 600 University Avenue Toronto, ON M5G 1X5
August 19, 2011
Dear Mr. Lebovic,
I wanted to tell you about my recent experience at Mount Sinai, having landed in an ambulance on my way to Emergency and then to the 14th floor with acute appendicitis, Monday August 1st.
A few hours after my arrival, Dr. V*. greeted me. I was relieved to be in the presence of her kindness and efficiency, as she made swift, accurate decisions to ensure that I received proper tests to determine my ailment. I was then visited by Dr. Q*. who provided a description of my condition and treatment options with respect, details, compassion and warmth so that I was able to understand my predicament and participate being well-informed. I am thankful that my condition did not suddenly worsen as I was in Emergency for approximately 8 hours.
The next morning I was happy to meet Dr. M*., Dr. M*. and the Team so that I could express that the antibiotic treatment had been very effective through the night. I was feeling so much better that I would like to share a few highlights of what I was able to achieve:
- clean the bathroom,
- hold a “clinic” on hospital corners for the summer student volunteers when they came to change my bedding,
- provide comic relief and assistance to my room-mate as she walked the “lap” and,
- shower in the “shower room”, careful not to disturb the mold.
While I have described these situations from a positive perspective, the impetus is founded in grave issues of Health & Safety that compromise the synergy of the patient’s healing process in concert with the dedication and care of great medical minds.
I know that this is not “news” to you, that your time is very sought-after and that budgets are always challenged. However, I request, with the greatest respect, a short meeting where I could discuss some ideas for the 14th floor that are based in holistic and innovative thinking, strategic partnerships and savvy entrepreneurship.
I feel that organizational, financial and conceptual challenges only present opportunities for positive advancement. Small steps = big changes.
c.c. [*attending doctors names omitted for respect of privacy]
- More from Andrea Shewchuk
I experienced appendicitis twice – which is physically impossible anatomically except in the case of attempting 2 routes of healing. My first choice was to be treated by an intravenous deluge of antibiotics, as it was presented? sold? to me as an effective alternative to an appendectomy, appealed to my greatest fear (the profound invasion and alteration of my body) and, I knew how to repair my constitution following this therapy. Upon recovery, I became consumed with the creation of a document dedicated to the improvement of the patient experience in the area of abdominal conditions and surgeries. Based on Read More…
I happened to catch an episode of the CNN series “The Sixties” which featured the rise of the feminist movement. It caught my immediate attention as we here at Patient Commando were hard at work preparing our 2nd Annual Canadian Women Changing Healthcare. It had escaped my memory that in my lifetime there was a time when there were quotas on the spaces available to women in medical, dental and law schools. There was a time when airline stewardesses had to be single, with soft hands and were forced to retire at the age of 32. There was a time Read More…
I was compelled to begin this review having not yet finished the last page. Perhaps it’s that while the “end” is important in some way, no less – or perhaps even more significant and relevant - is the inspiration at any moment in Passage to Nirvana. An unconventional autobiography, we come to know Carlson as he comes to know himself again after an ironically-charged event leaves him to live a life transformed irreparably by Traumatic Brain Injury. It is the story of a writer, now struggling with writing, writing to heal, writing to learn, writing to share the specific and Read More…
By Andrea Shewchuk I began the process of rebalancing my intestinal flora, cleaning and rebuilding my liver tissue and nourishing my body with cocktails of antioxidants, freshly-pressed juice and a variety of fibres almost 2 months ago, addressing rapidly spreading and debilitating eczema from a systemic perspective. Until now, the process had expressed itself very logically and linearly as not only the eczema cleared before my eyes, but the many other side effects of candida pollution, emergency pharmaceuticals, passive exposure to chemicals, my emotional toxins, elusive unhealthy dynamics etc. gracefully disappeared. Only very once in awhile did I want to Read More…
By Andrea Shewchuk I went into my stationery and boxes to find wrapping for the trinkets I would take to Susan tomorrow. I had wondered late last week, before, where the calendar had gone, through our recent move and other clearings, what had made the “filter” process, my mind drifted momentarily into the bigger concept of change, impermanence, importance… I rooted around in the envelopes and cards, and there at the back, peeking out, was Anne’s 2011. She had given it to me and said that hopefully it would be marked with many more times getting together in the future. Read More…
By Andrea Shewchuk What is care? What is caring? Who is the “care” in healthcare”? What is the worth of a pear. It’s Sunday September 30th, and in 6 days it will be one year since I found myself in the Emergency Room for the second time, afflicted with appendicitis (which I fondly refer to as “Appendicitis II”). Now, I am enjoying a day of knitting, yoga and quiet and, a pear. This time I was in a cozy ER room within earshot and a good view of the nurses’ station. I had been at a play earlier that evening, Read More…
By Andrea Shewchuk Almost 11 p.m. We looked out of the 14th floor wall of windows at the orange CN Tower. The CN Tower was lit different colours to mark seasons or occasions. It was that time of an evening or that time anytime when something happens and all truth can be spoken and it’s safe. You just “know” that “time”. We had just come back from a walk around “the lap”. “The lap” was the obstacle course of gown and other disposal units, nurses’ trolleys and other walkers rather than safe passage for people with disconnected abdominal muscles and Read More…