by CK Dillon · Filed Under: African American Baby Boomer Health Alert
Every day I realize and give thanks as to how fortunate I am. I’ve not been one to spend a lot of time in or around a hospital in my lifetime.
Healthy Boomers . . . Take Note
I can count the times on one hand that I have had to go to the hospital and on that same hand I can count the days that I was a resident.
Those aforementioned days all came a few months ago when I was suddenly snatched out of my self-imposed euphoria of the excellent health myth.
I was the one healthy Boomer in my circle of Baby Boomer friends and relatives who took absolutely no prescribed medicines. And that was my brag.
I’ve got good genes evidently. My grandma lived to be 95 and was never in the hospital until she passed 93 years of age. My mom only recently spent her first days as a hospital resident and she is 79.
Prior to November 2010, I had never been admitted to a hospital. Initially it was quite unnerving when the lead doctor, after discussing my condition with his team who was screening me said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “you’ve got a few issues and they want to admit you.”
At first it was obvious to him I was stunned when, as my record of no hospital stays hung in the balance, I said nervously, “Do you mean now, like . . . today? Maybe I should go home and think about it.” I was thinking maybe I’d wait till the holidays were over and get a retest that would prove my conviction that I was, in fact, o.k.
He made eye contact with me and unsmilingly said, “Right now, today.” He had no way of knowing, but it was his no-nonsense, honest and straight-forward demeanor that got my attention.
I’ve never experienced chest pain, other than an attack of gas once or twice a year, and had learned to live with a slight shortness of breath that had become persistent over the last few months. So in my mind, I didn’t have any problems.
Well, despite my best efforts, my record came crashing down that day and I was admitted to Carolinas Medical Hospital, specifically the Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute.
It had to be the luckiest day of my life.
Stress tests confirmed an erratic heartbeat, and still in denial, my thought was I would be prescribed a ‘magic pill’ and sent home by five o’clock. In hindsight I realize how naive I was trying to hang on to a record that meant nothing to anyone but me.
As for hospital stays, all I had to go on was comments of others who only seemed to have horror stories and negativity about their stay in other establishments.
If you ever have the unfortunate circumstance to spend a few days in the hospital, my hope is you will be fortunate enough to be admitted to Carolinas Medical.
Every person with whom I had contact, from the doctors, to the nurses, to the dietician, was professional and courteous. I am still amazed at the lengths the staff went to in order to make my stay comfortable.
For my first, and hopefully only, stay in a hospital I could not have scripted it any better.
Since I was dismissed from Sanger on Thanksgiving day, I feel better, breathe easier and am getting back to exercising with regularity.
When I was in denial, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Carolinas Medical and Sanger Institute
If any of you reading this just happens to work for Carolinas Medical or the Sanger Institute, you can be proud of your organization.
They have what they call a WOW card that can be filled out to give recognition to certain people who gave excellent care.
This article is my WOW card to everyone who cared for me in my time of need.
Again I offer my sincere thanks for making my time of uncertainty less stressful. You all have proven yourselves to be professionals.