The system sucks, but the people…

The medical system is a disaster, especially from the financial side, as I detail here and here.  But there is one part of the system I have no complaints about, and that’s the people.

With only two exceptions, and those are colored by the “necessity” of uncovering abuse where it doesn’t exist, every single person we’ve dealt with has been absolutely great.  Professional, competent, kind, even gentle.

  • The ER staff at American Fork Hospital were exceedingly gentle with Gabriel when they took care of him there.  He was distraught, it was late, everyone was tired, but they splinted his leg with great care, and when they pricked him for his line, they were supremely careful of him and tried everything to help him be comfortable.
  • The ambulance paramedics offered several things to help Gabriel be comfortable, and allowed Jeanette to ride with him to the hospital.  They were obviously sensible of the fact that this was a bad situation for us, and did what they could to make it better.
  • The Trauma staff at Primary Children’s Hospital could hardly have been more courteous or kind to us.  They were faster than advertised at nearly everything, and we ended up leaving there a couple hours sooner than I expected.
  • When it was time to go for Gabriel’s checkup after a week (yep, we’ve made it a week), instead of making us come all the way to upper downtown Salt Lake, they let us go to Riverton instead, about 30 miles closer to home.  They’ve given us suggestions for cleaning and de-smellifying the cast, which have been somewhat helpful.
  • When we were coming to pick up the bill from AF Hospital, because the lady knew we’d have to be quick about it, she offered to bring the bill to the curb and hand it to us instead of making us come in, so that we could get back to Gabriel faster.  This offer by itself tells you a great deal about the people that work there.

Our impression of the medical system has bee greatly altered by these and other experiences.  We know that as messed up as the system itself is, that it is staffed by people that are absolutely the best in the world at what they do.  More than that, they’re great people.  In the days that follow, when I am proposing possible solutions to the medical mess the country is in, I want to make very sure that I’m clear about one thing: I don’t blame the people that are inside the system.  Few to none of them have anything to do with how we got where we currently are, and it is entirely possible that some of them would be hurt in the short term by what I think we have to do to fix it.  Such is not my intent, but I don’t think that anyone is going to come out of this unscathed, anyway.

For now, a hearty thanks to all of the many people that have helped us by performing jobs for us that we cannot perform for ourselves.  We all thank you and are very grateful for you.


Gabriel slept in a bed in his old room last night, the crib having been dismantled.  He went to sleep far, far better than he ever has, and although he did wake up a couple of times (well, okay, six or eight times) between 12:30 and 4, he slept okay before that and after that.  I haven’t been home today, so I don’t have a report on how he’s done after that much sleep, but last night Jeanette and I did get more sleep than we have been getting, and in our own bed, too, so that’s not nothing.

Melatonin, in response to several recommendations, has been procured, and we’re going to give that a shot as well, and see if it helps him settle.


We got Gabriel up and sat him near the table.  It required four telephone books and two bungee cords, and I doubt very much if this arrangement would meet any federal safety standard, but as you can see, he loved it.  Halelujah, it was like having our son back again.

2 Responses to “The system sucks, but the people…”

  • Pepper says:

    The lady at the store said that if he seems groggy with a full pill of the melatonin it can of course be split. I don’t know if I communicated that properly to your son. It can also be put into food so he doesn’t have to swallow it. They had liquid of some other sleep aid, but it didn’t have melatonin in it, so this we thought would do better. And the sweet lady at the store says she hopes he feels better and gets more sleep soon!

  • Pepper says:

    And I agree – I am rarely treated better than when I have an issue where I am having to be involved with the “hands on” people involved in health care.

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