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Confessions of a Hospital Snob

Jan 19

Posted by: ACHA
1/19/2012 2:54 PM  RssIcon

By Kim Edgren

I consider myself a hospital snob. It is easy for me because I live so close to Boston and some of the top hospitals for anything I have ever needed. When my friends ask my opinion about healthcare, I always steer them in that direction, even with many other hospital options much closer.

As a cardiac patient, all of my care has been in Boston. But beyond cardiac care, I still make the trip in, too. The few occasions I have opted for my local ER or doctor, their lack of understanding of my complex heart issues has lead me right back down the Mass Pike. Being cared for at a great institution, I have had great doctors and access to advanced research and technology. I have a wonderful primary doctor and my cardiac team is the best and has been since I started there as an infant.

I was reluctant to make the switch from my pediatric cardiologist to the Adult Congenital Group because I had such a wonderful cardiologist. Times change, however, and so must we. As we age, the lines blur and our bodies are not so segmented. Am I tired because I am old or having a cardiac change? Is it hormones or a rhythm problem? Seeing the whole body, and the mind, must be worked into the equation.

This brings me to my current cardiologist. I went in last week, after seeing my primary, because I felt tired, an ache in my chest… all the same stuff I felt a year ago. After the tests, and his consultation of them, he spent a very long time talking with me after he said that things are working and my heart is still improving.

I didn’t get the feeling that I should be dismissed because the tests said my heart was still functioning properly, though. I got the feeling that we were going to sit there until we investigated why I felt the way I did and what we could do about it. And a lot of this involved wrapping my head around my now-changing heart. What my doctor really helped me see is it is all connected—and changing—and that where I am at this point in my cardiac adult life is going to be different; that now-different person with the cardiac condition needs to be cared for.

I am not good with change, I have found out over the last six months. And having lived my adult life without any real symptoms or limitations, I am seeing that is not going to be the case for the rest of my adult life. I have to adjust—and I will be honest, it sucks. But knowing I have a cardiologist who will take the time and see the whole picture of who I am, not just what makes me tick, is going to make it a lot easier.

Kim Edgren was born in 1966 with transposition of the great arteries, pulmonary stenosis and ventricular septal defect. She recently became the proud owner of a Melody valve! When she is not trying her hand at writing she is busy spending time with her partner and three girls, managing her two child care centers and planning her next vacation.

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7 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Confessions of a Hospital Snob

Kim - I completely understand this! I just had my check up (I have Truncus Arteriosus and I am 34) and was told there is no change from last year but I've been very tired. I too have led a pretty uneventful cardiac life other than surgeries every 8-9 years. I have developed rhythm issues and am taking medication for the first time ever. Lots of changes and its been hard to digest over the last year. Awesome to know I'm not the only one! :-)

By Tammy Wright on   1/19/2012 5:00 PM
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Re: Confessions of a Hospital Snob

You took the words right out of my mouth! This is how I have lived and I am glad to hear someone else has the same feelings...Love ACHA blogs! Love the "Hospital Snob"!!

By Dana on   1/19/2012 5:44 PM
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Re: Confessions of a Hospital Snob

I too am a hospital snob ! Only the best for me...srroy small town general hospitals. :)

At 51 years old ( born with trasnposition of the great vessels, an enlarged pulmunary artery, and a single ventricle) it is often hard to tell the difference between heart symptoms and " getting older " symptoms. But I am happy with the " getting older " part anyway.

By Michelle on   1/20/2012 8:21 AM
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Re: Confessions of a Hospital Snob

Oh Kim--what an amazing post!! The title says it all! :) Can't wait for more from you!

From a fellow Boston "Hospital Snob",
Ryan Joy, 23 yrs
Truncus Arteriosus Type II, double aortic arch, single origin of the coronary vessels

By Ryan Joy on   1/20/2012 9:51 PM
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Re: Confessions of a Hospital Snob

Luckily, you are a hospital snob, and, I, for one, am very happy about that...your choice in drs and hospitals have been great ones !
And cardiac patient or not , none of us like to hear that something new we are going thru is because we are "getting older ",....
But ultimately, isn't that what we are all striving to do ?
Another great one Kim, and I love you , young or old !!

By Joanie Edson on   1/21/2012 8:26 PM
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Re: Confessions of a Hospital Snob

Hey there,

Such a great post! I too, am that Boston Hospital snob! We are so blessed to be in this part of the country...people travel very far to get the care that we do!
Shauna, 38, TGA, stent, pacemaker

By Shauna on   1/23/2012 2:51 PM
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Re: Confessions of a Hospital Snob

Dear Kim,

I also was born in '51 with Congentially Corrected Transposition of the Greater Heart Vessels. No surgery required. I'm a "Miracle Baby."

At age 44, I went into Third Degree Heart Block, requiring my very first pacemaker implant to save my life overnight! Since then, I have had six implanted pacemakers. One premature battery depletion. One with staph which lead to blood sepsis, which lead to Code Blue!

As a result, I acquired Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension to the lungs. I'm receiving great care, and I'm an official Snob of the Hospitals.

I am truly gifted that God saved my life so many times to keep me for his workings and blessings.

I became an Extra-Ordinary Minister offering Holy Communion at Church to the many people in my own community.

We need to look at our lives from a truly heavenly prospective. Not why me? But, yes me, I will MAKE a difference in someone's else's life.

God Bless to All Who Share My Condition,
Terrie - Now 60 and going and going!

By Terrie on   1/29/2012 9:50 PM

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