Archive for February, 2009

A Love Letter to Barnes Jewish Hospital & Washington U Medical

February 28, 2009

Sounds ridiculous, right? 

What kind of nut would write a love letter to a hospital for heaven sake?

Six months ago I would agree with those comments. That was before I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. CANCER! 

In my life I can’t think of anything that would scare me more than that word.

  My doctor in Joplin, MO told me the news. And in the next breath he said he wanted to send me to Barnes for further treatment.

From the moment I got connected to the doctors associated with the hospital, I was taken under the wing of a healing organization that has continued to amaze me at every step.

The first day I arrived in Dr. James Fleshman’s office, I was called in right on time. He decided that surgery was needed. While I was in the office, he assessed that Dr. Steven Hunt was the right surgeon for me.

They conferred and within minutes he had a date scheduled. There were several more tests I would need and their office made the appointments one right after another on that same day. I walked down the hall for a CT scan.

As soon as that was done I was sent to another appointment for pre-surgery blood work. Then in for an EKG. I had taken my laptop along with me, expecting to have a long day of waiting. I never sat in any office or waiting room long enough to even open it up.  

The entire facility ran like a well oiled machine. And then again, not like a machine at all. The kindness, courtesy and professionalism of absolutely every person I encountered were exceptional. The facility was spotlessly clean and beautifully designed. I have to say that it seemed more like a fine hotel than a hospital complex.

I came back about 10 days later for surgery and had the same great experience then. Remember, I had cancer. Cancer and a great experience don’t seem like they would ever be uttered in the same sentence.

But, quite frankly, I was so blown away by every aspect of Barnes that it inspired such confidence. I was sure I was getting the best possible care, the best possible chance to return to health. 

Surgery was successful and I’m out of the woods for the time being. I’ve not stopped talking about Barnes Jewish Hospital and how impressed I am. It’s a 5 hour drive from southeast Kansas to St. Louis, and yet I am so sold on your organization that I will continue all my treatment with you.  It is so worth the trip.

In closing, thank you sincerely for the excellence of your organization and the genuine caring spirit of the entire staff.  I continually see commercial where patients talk about the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  I tell everyone I should do a commercial for you.

Dina Dove, author

Rule Followers and Rule Breakers

February 18, 2009

Maybe there are more than 2 types of people in the world… (DUH)… but for today’s conversation, let’s just break them down to 2.

                Rule Followers (RFs)

                Rule Breakers (RBs)

Now let’s add a little twist and give those 2 sub-types.

                Enlightened Rule Followers (ERFs)

                Enlightened Rule Breakers (ERBs)

I’d be the Rule Breaker type. So I’ll just put that out there right up front.  

There was a day when I lived an RB kind of life, but I’ve now graduated to the enlightened group. Let me explain.

There are such vast differences in perception between RBs and RFs that often they can’t get along with each other at all. The down side of the rule breaker category, I must admit, could be living outside the law, and that is not good.

But the upside RBs are the innovators, the creative sorts, often entrepreneurs that just dare the world to tell them something is impossible so they can go out and make it happen.

Those at the low end of the RF category are pointing fingers at those who break out of the norm and sometimes push the envelope to the limit. So, there can be a lot of judgment going back and forth between the 2 groups even though it is these very differences that make the world go around.

Now we come to the enlightened group on both sides. These people have a lot going for them.

Having dropped their judgments about people who think entirely different from them, they are now open to enjoy and revel in the unique and special talents of the opposite group.

One of my best friends is the ultimate Rule Follower.  She follows the rules, TO THE LETTER no matter what. Don’t try to get her to fudge on anything. She doesn’t go even one mile over the speed limit, always uses her blinkers, gets off the phone when there is lightning, etc.

You get the picture.

Me being a rule breaker, I ignore all of those at times. And some of them ALL THE TIME. Speed limit? What’s that? (just kidding, kinda)

So, how can we be the best of friends?

It is the word ‘enlightened’ that makes the difference.

When I suggest that she do something that might be a slight infraction of ‘the rules’, she starts to explain why she can’t. And… even as she starts, I say,

“Oh yea, you’re a rule follower.”

And then we both laugh.  You can’t make a person go against their basic nature and we should all give up on trying. We’d be a lot happier.

When I tell her my hair-brained ideas, or wend a wild tale about something that seems too far out to be possible, she just cheers me on.  Breaking the rules seems as impossible to her as keeping them is for me, but we take joy in the differences and use them for comic relief. 

Secretly…….. (Don’t ever tell her I told you this)

I think there is a hidden rule breaker somewhere inside her… that lives vicariously thru me.