To the editor:
I was recently discharged from Perham Health subsequent to colon resection surgery. Dr. Brett Glawe was my surgeon, and he consulted with Dr. Stolee, a skilled colleague with whom I have had previous care.
Glawe has been following me for about two years for a condition that seems both chronic and not likely to reverse. He carefully explained my options for treatment considering my increased risk for surgery (age 84 and impaired kidney function) as well as general risk in this type of surgery, gave me time to think and made no recommendation other than to choose one of the options. I chose surgery.
In the first few minutes of my admission, I was tended by an Army vet with Army medical experience in Afghanistan, and he exuded respect for me, concern for my wellbeing, and competence, efficiency and skill in his profession. He soon transferred my care to another team in an operating theatre, where they put something wonderful in my arm, and time stopped.
Some time later, I awoke to a very different situation — pain, drowsiness, confusion, dim lights and quiet. While pain dominated my experience, I never felt fear or that I was not safe. The hospital care staff were there to tend to my comfort, explain what was happening to me and provide or assist as needed in meeting my needs. For the first day I was totally dependent on others for mobility, but almost from the beginning, staff encouraged my participation in my care. To my surprise I was on my feet (briefly) within hours of surgery.
For the next nine days I experienced compassionate, disciplined care from the entire staff of the hospital unit. For many reasons, other doctors were called to respond to changes in my condition of concern to nurses. In every case, when that occurred, the doctor was fully aware of my condition from chart review before seeing me, conducted a direct, pertinent interview and ordered treatments that were effective in relieving the problem and supported healing.
The RNs, nurses aides, OTs, PTs and housekeepers were my most constant contacts. Every one of these that I met demonstrated commitment to high standards of practice in their discipline and had well-developed skills specific to their responsibilities and also in developing and maintaining professional, positive relationships. Once I asked, the housekeepers even sterilized my iPhone on their daily room cleaning.
It is quite likely that I will need intervention and again there will be many options for receiving care. My preference, however, is to get all my health care right in my backyard, at Perham Health.