Saturday, July 31, 2010

How little it takes

I think it was Wednesday that we got a call from the receptionist/assistant at the office of Dr. Drazin, the chemotherapist to whom we went for a second opinion. We had sent her a "thank-you" card, something we usually have done with many of the medical people we've come into contact with -- and something she particularly merited because when she heard the story and knew time was of the essence she got us shoe-horned into the schedule, I think scheduling us before the insurance approval had arrived (though it did). She was practically crying, saying her day started out badly and the card cheered her up and if there was anything -- anything -- she could do for us, we need only ask, even though I'm not her doctor's patient.

We've had a lot of experiences like that, with medical professionals and many others willing to go out of their way or give that little extra effort. We have also done a certain amount -- well, it was Jen coming up with the ideas -- to encourage people to give us the best care. Jen bought a bunch of treats -- Tootsie Roll pops, chocolate-dipped mint sticks, dark chocolate squares and the like -- and offered some to almost anybody who came into the room, from head nurses to cleaning people. I've mentioned before how Jen chipped in by helping with linen, stool samples and the like during my first hospital stay, and how the hospital personnel said it was rare and appreciated. I think all this pay-it-forward stuff contributed to my having an unusually positive hospital experience. And it took so little effort.


Michael Freitas said...

My wife's mother was in a nursing home for many years and my wife never failed to bring treats and stuff when ever she visited. For a couple years she raised a few thousand dollars and bought Christmas presents and had a party for the folks. Her mother got excellent care.

Alan Bock said...

It seems that by and large women know almost instinctively how to treat others if you want good results and we men who can recognize the benefits of "paying it forward," and go along with it, but might not have initiated it ourselves. At least that's my impression of my experience.

Anonymous said...

I won't argue the point. Women are more sensitive, but we can do some good stuff. Ah, you need a mountain moved, let me get on that...If it was up to women we'd still be wearing diapers. Plumbing that's a man thing.