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Sunday, February 10, 2008

When Doctors Become Patients

4 Adar Alef 5768

It's a non-Israeli Saturday night here in Israel as I type. I apologize for the confusion of dates/times. According to the Jewish calendar, its already Sunday. Blogger lets me tap in Hebrew if I wish, but hasn't yet adjusted its clock for Middle East locations or customs.

I rarely post on the weekend (I'm usually in a social whirl and I figure you are, too), but I just came across this wonderfully insightful article entitled...


As a woman who suffered the medical "system" several times over in order to save my life, I sure hope that medical professionals will buy Dr. Robert Klitzman's book.

My usual mode is to be quite cheerful even when I'm hospitalized, but I became quite sad, fearful and outspoken this past December-January when...

  • ... Not one staff member helped me to eat my meals despite my broken dominant arm

  • ... "Yank her broken arm harder!" orthopedics ward nursing staff abused my body, removed my call button and denied me access to the in-house religious services department as I suffered their alleged "care"

  • ... Nursing staff failed to provide basic equipment to me for over a week (a visitor summoned the head nurse to force her recognition and repair of the problem)

  • ... One particular patient kept the entire ward awake with her incessant cell phone calls throughout every night.

  • ... And when unit secretaries erred at setting up my in-hospital and out-patient appointments. Imagine the toll that their repeated mistakes took on my health...

Doctors were puzzled over my 2.5 kilogram (5.5 pounds) weight loss within 7 bed-ridden days and upset about my ever-escalating blood pressure. They did not comprehend how poorly the nursing staff behaved to me, let alone that I experienced horrific pain from the fracture compounded by rough handling from the nurses while ingesting several narcotic painkillers daily on a usually empty tummy.

Other problems occurred due to nursing negligence and simple nurse nastiness on my watch. This is not the correct forum to list each item of concern. But I can thank The One Above for the terrifying, and temporary (whew!) experience. The insight I gained enables me to help others in that predicament. I hope to get you OUT of it and to prevent the problem altogether for other patients.

How did I survive the mismanagement of my well-being? I practiced the mental health exercises listed in my book.
And friends brought me vitally necessary nourishment
at every visit.

Doctors, you saved my life and my arm, but your nursing staff almost killed me. And the uber-rude cell-phone caller of a patient in my ward tortured many other people trying to sleep at night, not just me. Her acid tongue scared our fellow patients whenever they asked her to "hang up already!" I was simply the only one unafraid to publicly complain about her!

Dr. Klitzman and I have experienced life on the other side of the hospital blanket. It's not a cozy experience. Intimidating, counter-productive and downright dangerous are accurate descriptions of our encounters.

Sadly enough, other patients worldwide have suffered,
and will yet suffer, as I have. They'll experience different problems, too. But they shouldn't experience anything other than optimal care. Read Dr. Klitzman's book and learn how to take better care of your patients no matter where you work. You do want your patients to heal in an optimal manner, right?

I adore you, doctors, but you have something to learn about fostering optimal patient care. May The One Above keep you in excellent health and humor. I prefer that you not learn Dr. Klitzman's lessons the hard way. Please. Read his book.


Suffering with a Medical Crisis?

Been there, done that, wrote a book about it, and going forward into the future.

Want to learn many more can-do healing/coping strategies? Then read, benefit from, and tell others about It's MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry if I Need To. Give someone a copy of It's MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry if I Need To.

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To your good health,

Yojeved Golani
Coping with a Medical Crisis?
Make the Changes You Need in Your Life.

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