Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Medicine, Florida style

My experience yesterday at our small hospital here in Florida was a change of pace.
The first hint was days before my procedure when, during the pre-op routine, a pleasant blond phlebotomist appeared around the door, but then said in a low Slavic accent, “I have cahm to take yuur bluuuhd.” But still, I heard no ominous organ music, so no biggie.

          And I met a level of clean I’ve never encountered. That same day, after the nurse had finally finished walking me through the reams and reams of paperwork, she swabbed my nose for Mersa, and handed me a bottle of antiseptic soap. She instructed me to shower with it the night before the operation, put on clean pjs, and sleep on clean sheets. On the surgery morning, I was given packets of warm antiseptic wipes and told to swipe my whole body before putting on the hospital gown. Next step was iodine swabs in my nose – twice – and a timed, two-minute swabbing of every inch of my mouth with antiseptic mouth wash.

          Mind you, the area of interest for all this was an eight-inch or so section of my upper torso. In comparison, when I had my gall bladder out at our big monolith of a hospital in Massachusetts last year, I might as well have been in a Mash unit under siege in Korea.

          I later enjoyed a small-town moment when the volunteer, a hearty older guy with a brush of a beard, came to wheel me to the O.R. We exchanged pleasantries, I learned he lived near me, and I shared that the day before, my husband and I had ridden our bikes right by there on our way to a food festival down the street, so popular that they run shuttle busses to it. He said, “I saw some bikers that day as we were leaving. Told them, ‘Be careful, it’s crazy down there!” I said, “That was us!”


  1. The small town moment would have made me smile. And wow on the cleanliness front. That is an extreme I haven't come across.

  2. all they told me to do before my they ran a device from my groin to the inside my heart and zapped it was to wash with antibacterial soap the night before...no clean PJs, no clean sheets, no wiping the whole body there and certainly no nose and mouth swabbing and what's the deal with that?!

  3. That certainly sounds like Gold Star service to me.

  4. Well, it's better not to have any unwanted bugs attending the event, so good for all that cleanliness. I've never experienced anything like it myself. :-)

  5. Sounds like they went the extra mile to eliminate germs:)

  6. Stopping by from Coffee on the Porch blog. Our youngest son lives in Miami--surely that place is a country of its own! I love visiting him there, just for the culture shock. But backroads Florida is one of my favorite places. It's been years since I've been anywhere except Miami, but I'd love to go again--esp to Cross Creek.

  7. I went through something like that last year, when they took one of my kidneys out: the night before I was supposed to shower twice with a.b. soap, and wear only clean clothing. brrr. No soap in the rooms, though, only that dreadful squirt bottle thing, and no way to wash anyway. Very strange.

    Every hospital runs on a different set of rules, that's for sure.


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