My Summer Vacation: NOT
This month's Scientiae, hosted by Lab Cat. is about "My Summer Vacation". This is not a good topic for me this year. Tom, FairerScience's technical guru and my spouse/partner since forever, had his neck broken in early June; so this summer has not exactly been a vacation.
We have, however, learned a lot that we thought we should "share":
• In Massachusetts and a bunch of other states, if you call 911, they are obligated to take you to the closest hospital (even if it is awful). If you drive yourself or call the ambulance service directly, you can chose the hospital to which you go (as long as everyone is breathing).
• If you're not the patient, do whatever it takes to ride in the ambulance with the patient.
• While in the hospital, check and recheck everything. "What is this medication?" "Why are you giving it to me/him/her?" (Sometimes there are assumptions like "Well of course you are on pain medication so therefore you need…."; but if you're not on pain medication; then you don't need the other stuff; but unless you ask you're going to get it.)
• Even in the best of hospitals, once you leave, contacting folks can be hard. Get business cards from everyone. If you can't get business cards- ask for e-mails and cell phone numbers.
• Even if you can't get e-mails or cell phone numbers make sure you get folks' names. You can always google them and with, any luck at all, get contact information and maybe even a connection—wow you were at Woodstock; me too (ok maybe that wasn't a good example but...).
• Write down everything, including your questions and print them out and bring them with you. Check off when you get an answer to each question so you know which questions you haven't gotten answered yet.
• Always bring your laptop when you go to the hospital (all the cool hospitals have free wireless; just remember you may want reinforce your security).
• Acknowledge the wonderfulness of so many of the people you meet, or already know, during these really difficult times
And if you’re lucky enough to have your hospital be Mass General, try the breakfast pizza—we really like it!
PS Tom’s in a halo vest (which isn't fun) but we walk several miles a day, he does the cooking (thank heavens—chocolate chip cookies are all that I cook) and keeps FairerScience and Campbell-Kibler Associates going.