My Patient Experience

April 29, 2010
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I have a lot of patient experiences, but the one I’m going to share deals with Grandmother Juanita and her heart surgery. It was at City Medical Center, a few years ago. I can’t remember much because it was a hard time. But I remember the long rides there and the long rides back, which were tough. Grandmother to have that surgery.

The doctors were putting a little machine in her chest so if her heart stopped beating it could give it a little shock to start it again. I can’t remember what it was called, but it really helped. She lived for two years after the surgery. While we were visiting, my mom would take me and my two sisters and distract us so my dad could talk to Juanita. He was her son, and I think he thought she wouldn’t make it. I remember the beautiful courtyard in the middle of the hospital, on the roof. That was my favorite place there.

One time we were visiting, we were heading to the courtyard, when a voice came over the intercom and said, “Code blue, we need assistance,” or something like that. I asked my mom what code blue was, and she said it meant someone had a severe heart attack. It scared me because my grandmother was in that hospital because of her heart. The patient who had the heart attack didn’t make it.

Finally, they got my grandmother scheduled for surgery. I wasn’t there when she went under, but my dad, two brothers and his sister, were then. The next day, my dad came back from the hospital and said the surgery went fine, and she was in recovery when he left. I was happy.

It had scared me when the voice said “code blue” and my mother had told me what it was. I was thinking of my grandma, Juanita. She had heart attacks before, but really little ones, ones they didn’t catch until me and my dad had taken her to Laughlin because she was wheezing heavily. That’s where they decided to give her the surgery and had driven her to Johnson City.

Two years after the surgery, after a couple bad days where she didn’t feel good, she was up and walking, and had gotten herself something to eat. She was sitting on my aunt’s couch eating some chips when she just slumped over. My cousin went into the living room, and called for his mom. She called 911 after checking to see if she was breathing. The paramedics who responded told her she was gone, and that she probably didn’t feel any pain when she went.

Her heart had exploded with her final heart attack. The machine they had put in her had tried to restart her heart, but there was almost nothing to restart.

When I was visiting her in City Medical Center, I had been thinking, what if she doesn’t make it, what if they machine doesn’t work, what if I lose my mamaw? But, luckily, thanks to the doctors and care-takers at City Medical Center, I had gotten two more years with my grandmother, when without that surgery, she would have died a lot sooner. I’m grateful to them.

My Mamaw Juanita was a wonderful woman, and she had seen more places in her youth than a lot of people get the chance to. She raised a daughter and three sons, by herself, because her husband died when my dad was only 4, and he’s the youngest. She recorded a record when she was young, and it was good, I’ve been told. She lived in Washington, D.C., for years, doing a job I don’t know about, and my dad knows little about. She was a really good grandmother, to me and my cousins, and even to some kids who weren’t really related to her, but she treated them as if they were her own grandchildren.

My essay is probably lacking some things, like formality, and is random at times, but Mamaw Juanita would be proud, and so am I. I think it’s a pretty good patient experience.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

krarthurs said...
Jun. 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm
This really touched my heart. This is a sensative subject for me, for I lost my grandfather to cancer and both of my grandmothers in a hosptial. This brought tears to my eyes, and I don't really get emotional when reading stories. Beautifully written, beautiful piece. I give you my regards and I truely wish you win that contest. Excellent.
Cordelia-13 said...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 11:35 am
Yeah, I hope you win, too. This is really good. This is the kind of stuff that changes people feelings and thoughts towards one another. This is really good.
_Elsy_ said...
Jul. 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm

aw i'm so sorry, but i can sorta relate: my grandfather died of lung problems-the first time i saw my dad cry. You have a lot of talent 5/5.i hope to read more of your stuff?

btw-can you check out some of my stuff?

_Zavery said...
May 11, 2010 at 3:29 pm
Aww... that's so sad. I'm sorry about what happened, and this is a very passionate piece from the heart. Nice job, and thnx for the comment you gave me!!!!
^unshed.tears replied...
May 12, 2010 at 10:52 am
your welcome :) and thanks for commenting on mine. i hope it wins the contest i entered it in
_Zavery replied...
May 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm
You entered it in a contest? I bet you're going to win. Well, I hope so, too!    =)
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