The best of a bad situation

Published 8:44 am Friday, December 5, 2014

Nobody wants to wind up in a hospital. Not during the holidays or otherwise.

Some health care facilities seem to have that turnstile attitude where they rush the patient in and out as soon as possible without much thought to the patient’s general well being and comfort. It often seems a lot less thought is addressed to the patients’ mental frame of mind once they arrive. Added stress about possible procedures to be performed is certainly not a thing patients need once they’re admitted into the hospital.

As we all know, a person can become ill at a moment’s notice and have to be admitted to the hospital. Or we can have that lingering illness that we try and remedy at home with over-the-counter medications and home remedies.

My fiancé fell into the latter category. For the last two or three months, Donna toughed it out and tried to fix herself to no avail. From what the doctors told us, she made the situation worse.

Fluid in her system caused a bad case of swelling, especially in her legs and feet. I can say it now, but she looked like a person in one of those fake boxing suits you see at the fair or carnival. She had a tough time walking short distances and sleep came about two hours at a time. She also had congestion in her chest. She tried coughing it up, which really made her ache all over after each episode.

Donna called me at work around 4 p.m. Monday saying she was ready to be taken to the hospital. When I heard that, I didn’t quite know what to expect when I got home. But she was just ready and knew it was time herself.

We arrived at Our Lady of the Angels’ busy emergency room at 4:30. After about three hours, she was sent to X-ray for tests and then on to the Lab for more tests. She spent the night in the ER, where doctors tried to slow her heart rate.

Donna was then admitted to ICU, where she spent Tuesday night and was released at noon Wednesday. All the doctors and nurses who came through explained each procedure and what it was meant to accomplish. I just can’t say enough of the staff’s professionalism and genuine concern through the whole ordeal. Their professionalism and concern eased a lot of anxiety. The diagnosis was congestive heart failure due to the Mitral heart valve not functioning properly.

Dr. Scott Picou, in Family Medicine, was one of her physicians, along with cardiologist Naveed Malik and resident Gabriel Agbanyim. All the nurses in ER and ICU were warm and wonderful. Hollie Breland, Krystil Creel, Pam Scott, Brandon Sorrell and Kasey Manning were just great.

I happened to pass by Our Lady of the Angels Administrator Rene Ragas as he was walking out Wednesday. From the top down, it seems Our Lady’s compassion and caring for their patients is genuine and heartfelt.

To all, Donna and I thank you.

I don’t want to be in a hospital, but if I am, I can rest assured I can receive the care I need without traveling far from home.

Randy Hammons is a staff writer for the Daily News. He can be reached at 985-732-2565 or by email at