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#09 (20Jul00) The 'Hello' Missive

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Subject: Jen wellness update #09 (20Jul00) The 'Hello' Missive
From:      Karl Horton

This is a good one.

Jen continues to be free of panic attacks: she's not used her PCA (Patient Controlled Actuator) for morphine in 24 hours, just Vicodin via feeding tube.

Surgeons' lack of bedside manner is legendary. The "plastics" (support team for the reconstructive surgeon) came around to visit Jen today and check the state of her forearm radial flap.

Its a bit grim for them, because they have to remove the cast carefully, which takes quite a long time. Obviously what they boys want to be doing is to be huddled around an operating table, with the patient conveniently anaesthetized, chatting about golf and fast cars. But here's Jen, sitting quite perkily on the edge of the bed, writing them notes and obviously wanting to *communicate*.

The three surgeons did their best to maintain their superior distance, and exchanged sotto-voce remarks about  the blood flow to the flap, and the neatness of the three by six inch slab they'd carved out of Jen's arm.

Then, by surprise, Jen tapped the doctor on the shoulder.  He looked up from concentrating on removing the wadding from her arm, and made eye contact. Jen calmly put her right forefinger over her trachea-tube, enabling airflow through the voice-box, and said "Hello".

It was a great moment: Jen wasn't expected to vocalize like  that for a little while yet. All three of them were visibly astonished, and the slightly dour Hungarian's face broke into an open smile and said "Way to go, Jen".

regards, Karl

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Page last updated: Monday, 05 March 2001 18:07:33 Eastern Time.