Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Taking care of one of our own

A note from an administrative staff member who became a patient, reprinted with permission:

I wanted to personally send you an email, not send in the BIDMC Patient Survey, regarding my medical care at BIDMC over the last year. (This is my first week back from my one year medical LOA).

July 9th, 2008, after my PCP received blood work results back on me, it was suggested that I go to “a Boston hospital” to have my blood work rechecked. My numbers looked funny. Where else would I go but to BIDMC, where I worked. I drove in myself, went to the ED, where before you know it I was in an isolation room. Little did I know just how sick I really was. I wished I had a family member or friend with me. I never expected the news I was about to hear. A nurse came in (I wish I knew her name but I don’t) and sat with me. I said “I’m really sick aren’t I?” She said “Yes, you are”. I asked if I had leukemia and she said she really didn’t know but oncology doctors would be in to see me soon. The personal treatment that I received from the ED was exceptional. The staff was wonderful and truly caring.

That evening I was shipped up to 7 Feldberg where I spent the next 5 weeks, diagnosed with APML, leukemia. I believe it takes a special person, doctor or nurse, to be a caregiver to a very ill person. There were days that I wasn’t sure I was ever going home, but the staff never let that thought stay in mind for very long. I can’t say enough about “my family” on 7 Feldberg. They made it a point to get to know me and my family personally. Although everyday I hoped and prayed that I would be going home, I couldn’t have been in a better place. The folks on 7 Feldberg have my praise!

I started my outpatient treatment right away. Off to Shapiro 7 I went 5 days a week for 5 weeks. I had a 2 week break and then back in for another round. My good days were really good; my bad days were really bad. But I always went home comfortable physically and psychologically. I really don’t want to point out anyone, any department over another, but I have to in my case. The staff (medical and administrative) on the Hematology/BMT floor is great. It’s scary knowing that you have cancer, but when you walk into the front desk area you are greeted with such compassion, almost forgetting the reason why you are there in the first place. Once again, very special people.

My BMT nurse has been with me through thick and thin. My Oncologist is phenomenal. I have a great NP who was actually one of my nurses on 7 Feldberg. I sent them an email last week on my anniversary date and thanked them for all they do for me. I told them that I appreciate them allowing me to consider them my extended family. I had a standing weekly blood draw at 8am every Monday and saw my NP and doctor shortly after. Since coming back to work, that does not fit into my schedule, so I had to ask them what they could do to help me out. Again they have gone above and beyond. I take the shuttle from my office on my lunch hour once a week. My nurse will fit me in whether I’m 15 minutes early or 15 minutes late, basically making her schedule around mine. The next day I see my NP and doctor after their last appointment. I still can’t believe that they have done everything possible to make my transition back to work a smooth one. I’m here for my staff when I need to be, and they are going out of their way to see me, working around my schedule. Where else would I find that level of service?

In closing, during my inpatient stays and my outpatient appointments, there wasn’t a day that I thought I was in the wrong place. From Food Services, Housekeeping, Social Work, Patient Transport, Patient Accounts, CTscan, MRI . . . I could go on and on but I'd be afraid I would forget someone. What was a tough experience for me was made much easier by all the staff we have here. I’m in remission now, and I’m sure that with the exceptional treatment I receive I will remain that way for a very long time.

Thank you from a very satisfied patient!

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