Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but A is still in Intensive Care over in London. It’s been six long weeks now, which you’d think would be a record-breaker. It’s been a scary roller coaster, too, with high fevers, sudden blood pressure drops, and words like “fistula” being bandied around (I suggest that you don’t look it up. I did, and regretted it immediately), along with “more surgery”.
The latest is that she is well enough to receive visitors, though the conversation will be a trifle one-sided since she still has the tube in her trachea. On the bright side, she’s off dialysis and hopefully off the ventilator for good. And I do mean good.
I know I’m far from impartial about the British healthcare system. The hospital which killed my father with negligence also has the dubious distinction of having killed my stepmother’s first husband. The deaths were mirror images: Dad’s because they forgot to put him back on blood thinners; Bill’s because they forgot to take him off. All this in the middle of London, one of the most civilized places in the world.
Lest you think I’m exaggerating: the hospital took full responsibility for my father’s death after my stepmother pursued a complaint of wrongful death. They agreed to change their procedures and this has hopefully saved other lives, which is about the best you can hope for.
I’m so glad that A is still alive and is recovering, however slowly, yet I remain convinced that had she been admitted to, say, Stanford Medical Center near San Jose, where my father received excellent care, she would not still be in intensive care and that they would have dealt with the causes of her fever and other symptoms more quickly.
I could, of course, be wrong, but an unofficial survey of American healthcare professionals agrees with me. It’s incredible that she’s still in ICU, and that her husband has had to endure such a lengthy ordeal. She’s going to have to learn to walk again and regain her strength, so even if she came home today, it would be a long road ahead of her. I guess I’m just frustrated and feeling the miles these days.