Genuine Care & Concern from Wound Care
My name is Lindsay Haleta. So, in my free time, I enjoy doing some gardening and yard work. I also like to cook and bake. I also attempt to help my husband. He builds motorcycles and classic cars, so I'm more there for moral support than anything, but I will get my hands dirty if I need.
How was your first unsedated wound packing change in the hospital?
During this packing change, because this was kind of the moment that would determine, "When am I going to get out of the hospital? Do I still need to be sedated for these packing changes?" So he came in and we removed the packing. For the packing change, there was 78 inches. That's six-and-a-half feet of packing that was removed. It was the most intense pain I have ever experienced in my life. Like, the best way to describe the packing coming out is like if you pluck a nose hair. You know how bad that hurts? It was like that for six-and-a-half feet from the inside. But with Dr. Johnson and all the nurses that were in there, you know, talking me through it, helping me, reminding me to keep breathing, we were able to get the packing out.
It's something I hope I never have to experience again because six-and-a-half feet of packing is a lot of pain coming out, but we were able to get that done. And afterwards, then I met with wound care and, you know, we repacked the wound, not with as much packing obviously this time, but the nurses and Dr. Johnson were just phenomenal. There's no way I could have made it through that and powered through that pain without them there supporting me and my husband as he watched.
What was the purpose of your packing?
My abscess was like the size of an orange, like between my rectum and my tailbone. So, the packing helps to keep it open and help any infection drain out instead of just pooling in there.
After your hospital stay, how did the wound care nurses help you recover?
Every day I'd come to the hospital and see Lisa or Jackie, and they would repack my wounds, you know, do all the measurements to see how I was healing. And when I say every day, like Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, you know, Jackie and Lisa were here to help me. And then that went all the way through until, I believe it was early January, I started going just a couple of days a week.
One Saturday morning, I was coming in for wound care after my last surgery and always at home, I would remove the packing, and then I'd come in, and then we'd measure, and then repack the wounds. And there was one Saturday morning I was removing my packing, and it was the toughest packing removal I did. I was literally in the tub bawling my eyes out, trying to get this packing removed. I finally got the last bit removed, and my phone starts ringing. It's the hospital. It's Lisa calling me to let me know she's here because she was coming in on a Saturday to see me, and that I could come in at any time. And, the timing could not have been better. She said, "Okay, leave the other side. You come in, and we'll take care of you." And I don't know what Lisa did or...well, I do. She used a little saline spray to wet that packing, and then we just slowly removed that packing, taking breaks when I needed.
How did the nurses make wound care easier?
While nobody wants to go to wound care, it's not fun, it doesn't feel good, was a very pleasant experience. Lisa and Jackie just always make you feel so comfortable. They ask all the right questions, very good at giving you tips on what you can do to make you feel better, or how we can get it healing. You know, celebrating victories. You know, you're measuring those wounds every day, you know, and sometimes it was like high-fives all around like, "Oh, it came in, you know, a full centimeter already. It's been two days." So seeing Lisa and Jackie was quite the experience.
And it was just that genuine care and concern, notes of encouragement that we got from them, you know, so many messages of, you know, "Good luck with your colon prep. Hope everything turns out okay." It was a genuine care and concern. Lisa and Jackie, they're phenomenal. They're a great team.
How did your care quality expectations change after Brookings Health?
My idea of what good health care is changed when I became a patient at Brookings Health. Since I've been referred on and gone to other places, I have held the standard of care from what I received at Brookings Health for what I expect going to other places. I will say there are places that have not held up to that standard that's been set here. The only place I've found that has even close to the quality of care that you can get in Brookings is at Mayo Clinic. So, I would absolutely send any of my family members or recommend to anyone to get their care at Brookings Health.
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