In February, I temporarily set aside my role as care provider to become a care receiver. When the tables are turned, what a valuable reminder it is of just what it means to
Through a combination of genetics (mother), activity and mileage, I had acquired carpal tunnel syndrome with severe sensory loss in my left hand. Since I had become accustomed to my left hand’s ability to tell me what it was up to, Theresa Wyrick, M.D., of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery kindly agreed to fix things.
This is not an ad for the one-day surgery center on campus, but I must tell you, the facilities and the personnel were first rate. I am still not sure why I had to take my socks and underwear off for wrist surgery, but we will save that for another time. Dr. Wyrick was her typical kind and professional self. As a testimony to her skill, I am typing this (with both hands) on post-op day four.
As we deliver care, let us keep in mind the mindset of the patient. Their minds are swirling with questions – “Will it hurt? Will I have some complication?” – and especially when the diagnosis is unknown – “Is it cancer? Will I die?”
Thankfully, we don’t all have to undergo wrist surgery to gain the benefit of this simple reminder: Look away from the computer for just a moment, think like a patient, and see things from the other side.
Mark T. Jansen, M.D.
UAMS Physician Relations & Strategic Development
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