For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20)
A tribute to the dedicated men and women who serve on the floors of hospitals.
Most of my previous experience with hospitals has been as the patient, the pastor or a relative or friend visiting someone in a hospital. I either received the care or got out of the way so others could provide it.
Husband Tom’s total knee replacement surgery a week ago provided me my first serious opportunity to be the care provider. It has also provided my first up close experience with physical therapy.
How many people does it take to replace one knee? Answer: Dozens and dozens. The doctor who did the surgery. The people who manufactured the replacement parts. The administrative staff who set up the surgery. And especially the many people who are there for the post-op recovery and first days of rehabilitation. I met many of them. Each impressed me. I know there were many others I did not get to meet.
Whatever we’re paying the people who do this day in and day out – it isn’t enough. Of course the skills of the doctor and the operating room staff that support the doctor are central and critical to this whole process. However, other than short “how’s it going?” drop-in visits, they pretty much disappear after they do their highly skilled thing.
The staff that provides the in-patient care after the surgery are truly miracle workers. Their contributions toward the well-being of people deserve more acknowledgement and reorganization so this blog is dedicated to them.
It was amazing to watch the constant flow of people in and out of the room, each with a specific role to who play toward the recovery of their patients. Their ability to explain, prod, motivate, encourage, and challenge people who would rather take another pain killer and go back to sleep is remarkable.
The kindness of everyone we met along the way was reassuring. The thoroughness of the explanations – backed up with printed materials – has been a life saver once home and trying to remember all those instructions. Thank God – literally – for nurse friend Kathy Rehm too who has been willing to answer any number of questions about medications, use of equipment, and other assorted issues related to the recovery process.
Also thanks be to God for friends who have checked in, prayed for us, dropped off food, come for a visit, and played chauffer. We are designed to live in communities. It was never God’s plan than anyone should have to go through life alone. Sometimes we need the help. Other times we lend the helping hand. It’s like a teeter totter – we take turns being up and then down.
We hear so many negative stories about the health care industry. I am happy to report we still have many, many dedicated and capable people slugging away in our hospitals day after day. They perform a variety of tasks little and large to help us recover from whatever landed us there. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who was excited about a hospital stay. I have met dozens of professionals who do what they can to make the stay as pleasant and short as possible.
Then there is the whole team that plays a part in the recovery process after the hospital. God heals. God heals primarily through people who have been trained to play their part in the healing drama. There is much about health care in the United States that could be improved. There is more about health care in the United States that is cause for giving thanks.
So thank you everyone who has been with us on this journey from old knee to new one. As Tom often says, “I appreciate you.” I do appreciate you, each and every one of you.