How do you begin to thank the people who save your kid’s life and then take such good care to be sure she gets through “the biggest surgery of her life” safely? For them, it’s all in a day’s work. For us, it’s everything.
I find myself so full of gratitude I just want to hug them, and I hope they can see in my eyes how much I appreciate all they have done for us. Of course, Dr. Miller and Dr. Theroux top that list. It also includes the ICU nurses and the respiratory therapists and the ICU docs and residents and even the lady who cleared our trash today. I am simply blown away by how amazing this team is and this entire hospital is. I keep telling them and they say they appreciate hearing it yet I don’t know if they really get how truly impressive they are.
Creating a strong culture in an organization is really, really hard. And this place seems to have it figured out. Every time anyone leaves our room, they ask if there is anything they can get for us. They ask that of each other, too. Sometimes, someone just pops in to ask our nurse if she needs anything. I look around to see if she called for help or if there is an alarm that signaled a possible need. I’ve finally figured out it’s just someone with a moment of time looking to be helpful.
I first learned that lesson from my husband. He used to walk through the room and ask if he could get me anything when we were first married. I learned to ask the same and realized that it’s a rare offer and that it builds such a strong connection between team members. He still does it – he’ll send me a text to say, “I’m on my way, can I get you anything?” It’s a step toward someone regardless of what else is going on with them.
Perhaps that’s what’s so impressive about this team. They step toward each other regardless of what else is going on with them. Even in rounds, when an attending doc wants to correct a resident, it’s done with care and respect and an educational spirit. That’s stepping toward another rather than trying to tear him or her down. I simply find the whole thing a blessing and am grateful to be in the middle of it as a participant observer.
As for Catherine, all this gratitude seems to be wrapping around her and serving her well. She’s doing remarkably well, they all agree, especially given how much blood she lost. Dr. Miller and Dr. Theroux each rounded on her this afternoon and were both impressed with how well she’s doing given the circumstances. (When have you EVER heard of an anesthesiologist rounding on a patient? She’s AMAZING!) Miller thought she was going to need more medication for BP support given her fluid loss. She’s only needed some additional fluid given and no medication yet. She still looks puffy and has lots of tubes in her so I’ll hold off on any pictures – hey, you wouldn’t want someone to send out photos of YOU! 🙂 They’ve weaned her down to .015 Fentanyl and that’s so low a nurse actually did a double take when she heard it. They’re discussing pulling her off that entirely and switching over to only Tylenol to see if she wakes up more and shows more interest in breathing so they can extubate. Simply amazing to me. And I’m thankful. Cautious – yet thankful.
I also want to thank everyone who sent her cards via the e-service. We’ve received so many and I read each and every one to her. They are awesome and it’s so great to hear from so many of you – especially those I didn’t know were still following her story (like you Jen!). Some of the nurses were here when I read them and they started crying and said, “Wow! There’s so much love there.” That is so true and such a great feeling. Some of you may not have realized you could click on THIS LINK to go to a page where you can send and e-card. Catherine will receive it printed out and I can read it to her. It’s very cool and just another example of the small touches that make this place so incredible and create such gratitude in me.
Obviously, we’re hoping for another good night as Catherine starts to wake up more and more. The part that has me the most grateful, though? Her spine is super straight! Go back and look at the earlier post where I showed you the 78 degree curve. And then compare it to this…
Like I said – how do we express gratitude for that?