It’s a Great System!

I have a surgery coming up on Aug. 22. It’s not a long procedure, and I won’t need rehab afterward. I’m having a right-side sacroiliac fusion done, which is a beautifully simple procedure that eliminates a ton of pain. When it’s over, I’ll have matching scars on both sides of my spine. And, I hope, no more incisions for quite a while.



So today, we spent the entire morning doing some things that are required for pre-op approvals. We had to drive to the main hospital in Bethlehem, where I answered tons of questions in a pre-op history and physical. They always seem so surprised when I say, “No, never smoked; no, never used alcohol.”

I left that office with a handful of orders that we could take care of at the Quakertown campus, which is much closer to home. So we stopped there where I got stuck for blood work and a couple of other tests. One was a test for MRSA, which I’ve never had to do before. They swab your nostrils. Quick and easy.

What is MRSA? Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. In other words, it’s a nasty staph infection that is becoming more common all the time, and is resistant to treatment. It’s contagious. I first learned about it when I did a year of practicum in a nursing home, where it can be easily spread unless there is strict adherence to safety prodecures.

Then I went to another part of the hospital for an EKG. It takes longer for the nurse to stick all the leads on your body than it does to run the actual test.

I came home with a handful of antibacterial soap, wipes, and instructions. Only one more thing to do and I’ll be good to go. I have to get my PCP to sign off on the surgery, and I already have the appointment set up for that.

Thinking about all this, which at first just seemed to be a monumental waste of time, I decided instead that I’m very thankful for the care that is taken to make sure all the bases are covered. Check, check, re-check in order to prevent infection before, during, and after surgery. No stone left unturned.

This is not my first rodeo in the operating room, and I have to say that every experience has been positive. No complaints about the nurses, the techs, the doctors. We have an outstanding medical system that, until recently, is not under the governance of bureaucracies. It has developed in America as a result of free enterprise, outstanding education, and compassionate caregivers. The world still turns to America for procedures and medicine unobtainable elsewhere.

I sure hope we’re not going to lose that status.

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