I came into the ER with severe abdominal pain and vomiting. After scans and decisions, I underwent what I thought was going to be a laparoscopic appendectomy. The surgery was more involved than anticipated. I had a number of organs removed and part of my colon. All of this was during the time when no family members could be inside the hospital with me. Of course, I was admitted to the hospital and placed in a room. When the surgeon did his rounds the next morning, I was informed about the extent of the surgery, and we would need to await pathology reports, but he started encouraging even at that point consideration of inserting a port for chemotherapy treatments.
I went into the hospital basically a healthy person, I was all alone with no family allowed to be there with me, and this was all very overwhelming. I continued to recuperate as expected, and each day the surgeon would mention the port, but no pathology report had returned.
On Friday, 3 days later, Erin was my nurse. She was in my room tending to my needs when a representative from anesthesia came in to get me to sign a consent form for the port procedure scheduled now for Monday. Erin was already working on trying to facilitate a conference call with the oncologist, me and my wife. I was taken off guard by the anesthesia consent form because I hadn't heard any details about the pathology response yet. It felt like those steps happened out of order. I didn't even know what the port procedure would entail. I didn't even know yet exactly why I needed the port. Again, my wife could not be in the hospital to hear any of this firsthand and support me.
Erin realized how unsettled I was. She sensed my anxiety with the process, potential news, and again no family present. She arranged for the oncologist to come to my room, where we would call my wife to talk together. But she did not stop there! The more she thought about it she decided to pursue permission for my wife to come to the room for a face-to-face meeting with the oncologist. She knew this oncology consult was what I needed to better understand my potential diagnosis and the need for a port and what was involved with that. She also sensed I would take the news better with my wife present. That time together was so precious and helpful to me at that moment.
Erin went way above the call of duty that day and I want her to know how I very much appreciated it.