Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Model Patient

The Matron has official permission from He Who Cannot Be Named to use that name and blog about his acute illness and emergency surgery.

Thank you, Stryker.

Let's develop the 'model patient' theme.

First, when Stryker woke up in horrible pain at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, he roused his father -- not his mother -- out of bed. This was good move number one.

John stayed up with Stryker; the two learned what retching and bile meant. They alerted the Matron to the situation around 7 a.m.

John: "I think we should call the nurse line."

Matron: "I think we should wait it out -- it's probably the flu."

Stryker: "It's not the flu. This is different."

They went with Stryker and even handed him the phone so he could describe the intestinal drama to the nurse himself; the nurse pretty much said run to the hospital.

Once there, it took about ten minutes for the doctor to decide Stryker needed to have his appendix removed. No x-ray, no MRI, no technology, just a woman with her stethoscope and knowledge, pressing a belly and looking into an eye.

You know the emergency room? The wait, the tedium, the agony?

But God-Buddha-Allah-Oprah-Universe were with Stryker and the Matron. When they walked in there was no one waiting. They got a room instantly.

The surgical team was upstairs finishing another emergency surgery -- on a baby --and ready to take Stryker instantaneously. He was snapped right up. Terrified.

Matron to surgeon: "He's terrified."

Surgeon: "I know. That's my first job--taking care of his fear. Actually, that's a lot of what we do. Everyone in the O.R. knows that the first thing, is he's scared and we'll help him."

Could she fall to the floor and weep in gratitude now?

The surgery not only went great, but a nurse kept coming out every ten minutes to report how well Stryker was doing.

Turns out the first thing Stryker said to the nurses when he woke up was: "Thank you."

Stryker to floor nurse: "Thank you for taking care of me."

Stryker to Matron: "Can I have stationary to write a thank you card to the surgeon?"

Stryker to janitor: "Thank you for emptying the wastebasket in my room."

Stryker to person who took blood from his arm: "Thank you for taking care of me."

Stryker to person delivering his food in the hospital: "Thank you for taking the time to bring me pudding."

Stryker to Matron at 4 am last night --now home -- : "Thank you for sleeping on the couch next to my room."

Surgeon, nurse, janitor, food delivery person to Matron: "What a polite young man you have there!"

The Matron would like to take complete credit for this, but she can't. It's in his bones.

But not his appendix, which is officially gone.

More on the gifts and aftermath later. Yours truly has had the minimal legal sleep possible for four days and has developed all themes within her brain power.


Unknown said...


Bravo on the manners. If a young man can gracious when he's having a body part removed...well, that is just awesome.

Minnesota Matron said...

Thanks, Kelly! I feel the same. His decorum was really the hallmark of the event. Everyone who came into contact with him commented on this and I have a small stack of thank you cards -- that he initiated -- to mail today. I'm sort of shocked.

MJ said...

Wow. What a story. What a polite young man. It makes me hopeful that my pressing comment of "What do you say" may not need to be prompted one day. Get some rest all of you!

Jen on the Edge said...

Oh my gosh, how scary. I'm glad that he's okay and that everything happened quickly so that there was no suffering.

A note about his wonderful gratitude: My older girl had her tonsils out three years ago after spending almost an entire year sick with strep. When the tonsils came out, Grace thanked everyone -- the doctor for making her better, the nurse for holding her hand while she was in the operating room, another nurse for bringing her a popsicle, etc. She was just so happy to have those diseased things out.

smalltownme said...

What a polite young man! I'm glad he came through OK.

FlourGirl said...

Polite indeed. That boy has a good heart & soul. Glad that everything turned out ok!

JFS in IL said...

Good to hear it all went smoothly - hope you get some rest!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to have such good people working on him. And bless you and him for being appreciative--that is so cool he wrote those cards.

Minnesota Matron said...

The cards went out today! His concern and idea. Good guy!

Becky Brown said...

Mary, I'm so glad that all is well. And your kind and appreciative young man? Well, I'm a little bit in love.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That is a wonderful story--you must be such a proud mama!

Anonymous said...

Whew for Stryker! and yay! for Mr. Polite! Maybe you should reveal the name of the hospital. Any place that good deserves to be praised all over the innertubz.

Be glad Stryker did not have his appendix boo boo in a month. Twin Cities nurses voted overwhelmingly last night (90!) to go on strike.

btw, you never told me what color socks Merrick wants. There are photos of his choices over on Facebook.

Susan said...

How wonderful of both of you to extend your thanks to the staff - I am sure they don't hear it often enough.

Maggie C. said...

I learned (the hard way) that if you have abdominal pain in the ER--and follow that up with barfing on the floor of the ER? They will treat you like royalty, complete with private room. Part of me wishes I didn't know this...but then again, after the lady wouldn't let me lay down on the gurney behind her as she took her sweet time taking my entire medical history...she had it coming...

Anyway, great story, it takes a lot for a kid (or, um, grown adult) to get comfortable enough in a situation like that to act normal, nevermind nice & polite! I think we already knew this, but you've definitely got yourself a stand-up citizen the only question that remains: which Ivy League will he be attending in a few years?

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

A wonderful series of merciful responses to a truly awful event.
Best wishes on his recovery!