Of all the things I thought I might put
on my website the last thing I thought was a report on the Leesburg
Regional Medical Center (LRMC). But this section is all about
Florida, and how it relates to retirees and, like it or not, one of the
things we retirees have in common is an increasing need for medical
assistance. As they say, growing old ain't much fun but it's
better than the alternative.
So here's a thumbnail sketch of my recent (7/06) experience at LRMC.
I'm not sure how helpful or interesting it will be, but if it can be
useful to even one person then it was worth doing here.
First of all, the disclaimers: I'm no doctor (although I have played
one on TV), and certainly no expert when it comes to medicine, even on
the receiving end. I've spent more time than I ever thought I
would in hospitals, but probably less than most. I had my back
operated on in '89 and kidney stones removed in 2000 (both done at
Carson-Tahoe Hospital, in Carson City, Nevada). And, interestingly
enough (for the sake of comparison here) about 18 months ago I had
almost the identical problem (and stayed overnight for tests and
observation) at Carson-Tahoe that I was to experience here in July.
Here we had just gotten through watching a movie (the last Harry
Potter) with friends and I got up and used the bathroom. As I was
washing my hands I suddenly felt intense chest pain that knocked me to
the floor. I was unable to talk or move much, but kind of lay
there as the giant elephant continued to crush me. Finally I was
able to stagger out of there and into the bedroom. You have to
trust me -- usually our movie evenings end a lot better.
Our guests left and Annie wanted to take me to the hospital but we
had already done this dance before, at Carson-Tahoe. There, after
spending the night and being subjected to numerous tests which concluded
my heart was perfectly fine, I was released to go home a lot poorer but
none the wiser when it came to this malady. The only thing that
separated this incident from the other was the length of the pain --
while the other pain went away after a few minutes this persisted.
Indeed, while it would wane and vary it never completely stopped all
night long. And the next day, when I thought I was better, I was
again washing my hands (just cleanly, I guess :>) when I was struck
again down to the floor. At that point we decided to go to the
emergency room, even though my blood pressure and pulse weren't
Rule of thumb in emergency rooms: if you want to see someone right
away, just admit of chest pains. It worked wonders at
Carson-Tahoe, and did the same here. They don't even make you fill
out paperwork (although Annie stayed behind to do it) but whisk you into
the ER to see someone within minutes. That was true in Carson and
it was true here at LRMC. I will say the ER rooms at Carson were
much nicer, but CT is a much newer facility. And there I met the
first of all the very wonderful people who worked the hospital.
Without a doubt the staff at LRMC (at least the two dozen or so I
saw) were uniformly the nicest folks I've ever met at a hospital.
I can't say that they were meanies at Carson-Tahoe: some of them were
also very nice, but I didn't meet a single person at LRMC that didn't
seem as if my care was the most important thing in the world to
them. The one exception was a doctor from my own family practice
but we'll get to that (and he wasn't LRMC staff).