This is the last of the three part abridged form of the story I have been working on for the last few months, which I am hoping to have in a printed form in a book very soon, otherwise I might have to come back to The Hanoudi Letter and publish on its clean and very obliging pages. Now that 2012 is coming rapidly to its end, I wish you all my good friends and colleagues a very happy and a most peaceful and prosperous New Year, you have been absolutely wonderful, god bless you and thank you very much.
Now I am not doing a dissertation on the clinical management of vegetative states. I am doing a piece about history, people and emotions, especially in as it relates to the years we spent in the nursing home and at Beaumont hospital. It is not about the physical structures of the facilities or their architecture, it is about their history and their contributions to the amazing story of American medicine during the second half of the 20th century. This piece is about the basic concepts and ideas which guarantees that the patient receives the best kind of medical service available. This piece is about the people, the set of men and women who are running the place and keeping it in the best possible shape so that it can deliver the care it is asked to do, it is about these people’s emotions and the way they understand their responsibilities and about their ability to do what they are asked to do and not about their numbers or their diplomas.
We arrived in Michigan on the 14th of November 2007, we have been given the chance to resettle in the United States because we have suffered as a result of their presence in our country, we were received by three young men from the Lutheran social services of Michigan who were to help us with the problems of resettling in the United States and our son Samer who was our sponsor.
I would like to emphasize from the beginning that our stay in this great continent of a country in spite of some minor disappointments and frustrations was a great improvement of what we had during the previous four years when we were taking care of our son ourselves at home and in Amman the Jordanian capital. After a short stay in the Detroit hospital where my son was taken to on our arrival which was a very bad experience he was sent to a nursing home in the same area except for the periods when he was sent to Beaumont Hospital in Oak Park when he developed one of the medical to which he was very prone to his breathing to his feeding and to his tracheostomy, at that time we were still very much involved in his care because in spite of the good care he was receiving he still needed us, because of his proneness to the crises I have just mentioned he had to be watched 24 hourly which was sometimes difficult to provide by his health care givers so we were still very much involved in his care which meant that we had to stay for sometimes very long periods at his bed side.
The Lutheran Social Services of Michigan is a charity affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is the largest faith based non-profit human service organization in the state. Motivated to serve others as an expression of the love of Christ, the Lutherans help those in need regardless of religion, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, height, weight, age or unrelated handicap.
We were greatly helped to resettle in the United States by these very nice people, they assigned a case officer to help us with the plethora of problems which are associated with settling in the completely different environment of our new home, the great United States of America with its different culture which is totally different to what we were used to, our case officer was a very nice Iraqi young woman herself a refugee who used to live in the good old days near my daughter’s house in Baghdad, she was a great help, we still see her occasionally.
After staying from the Nov. 14 in the big Detroit hospital he was taken to from Chicago when we arrived which was a very disappointing experience my son was sent to the Greenfield rehab and nursing home on the Nov. 23 where he stayed when he was not in Beaumont hospital until the end.
Greenfield rehab and nursing home is an intermediate care facility and it is like all nursing homes a place of residence for people who require constant nursing care and have significant deficiencies with activities of daily living. Its residents were a mixture of elderly and younger adults with physical or mental disabilities. Its services were provided by skilled nurses and nurses’ aides who were available 24 hours a day. The facility is located in Greenfield road in Royal Oak/Michigan midway between 12 and 13 mile roads and it was to this facility that my son was referred after he was discharged from the Detroit hospital where he was since arriving in Michigan on November 14. We were to stay there from Nov. 23, 2007 until Nov. 11, 2011 when he was taken from there to Beaumont hospital for the last time.
Beaumont Health System is a regional medical system in the Detroit Metropolitan area. It first opened with a 238-bed hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan in 1955. The hospital system is named after William Beaumont, a medical doctor at an army post on Mackinac Island, Michigan it includes three hospitals, medical centers located throughout the area, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and hundreds of doctors' offices.
During the last four years of our son’s struggle we took him to Beaumont for no less than three dozen times, the first time was on the 11th of January 2008, in the beginning it was for every few months but with the slow deterioration of his condition we were taking him there more regularly, most of these visits to the hospital were to have his tracheostomy tube changed, for chest infections and problems of his tracheostomy, but increasingly for intestinal obstruction episodes which resulted from an increasing damage to his intestinal muscles which is called paralytic ileus and some other problems.
In the beginning of this piece I said that I am not doing a dissertation on the clinical management of vegetative states but I am intending to talk about a small number of the hospital employees who were exceptionally kind and helpful with whom and during my increasing regularity of visiting the hospital I became very friendly with them. I have not forgotten the help and compassion of the others and I would like to apologize to them but I cannot talk about every one now because of the guidelines imposed by the size of this update.
I have selected three of these wonderful people to talk about today not only because of our great friendships but because their lives provided a source of a tremendous moral and psychological help to me during the long years of the hanoudi tragedy.
The three are a doctor a senior nurse and a second nurse.
The doctor is a male aged 49 with 20 years of medical experience and practices in Surgery and Surgical Critical Care and Vascular Surgery he is currently the Medical Director of the Peripheral Vascular Diagnostic Center at William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak , he was one amongst many doctors who were involved in the management of our son’s condition, they were all very capable and helpful but they were all physicians, this one was a surgeon and the only one who was involved in actual operating on the boy on two occasions. On the whole this specialist must have seen our son on at least two dozen times, and every single one of those visits was done in a very friendly mood and in perfect professional capacity. I am greatly impressed by his medical skills and his capacity to give as best as he can
The senior nurse is a wonderful care giver and a very treasured friend, she is in her early late thirties , she has been married for the last twenty years and has an 18 years old daughter who is in Chicago working for a degree in international finances and a son who is two years away from college.
She was planning after high school to go to university for a marketing degree and then she changed her mind and went into a nursing school, she was greatly influenced into making this decision by what she calls her legacy to mankind, she is very kind and always ready to give especially to people who are in pain and suffering and thought that in a nursing career she could realize her hopes and expectations, her mother was a nurse which was another very important factor in her decision , so she went in 1994 to study nursing for five years during which she was working as a nurse assistant in Beaumont royal oak, and at the end of her years at university she returned as a registered nurse [RN] in the same hospital , when she worked in the beginning in various medical units including the progressive care unit and then to some administrative jobs and finally back to the progressive to which she was made the nursing administrator in 2008.
We met this truly remarkable woman when we took my son from the nursing home around the end of march 2008 when he had a very serious case of chest infection a condition which is always very serious in cases like my son’s and for that reason the boy was admitted to the progressive care unit on the 4th floor in the central tower to which our friend was recently made the nursing administrator. I was immediately captivated by her professionalism, by the significance she attached to her work and the depth of the concern she showed in her patients anguish and their suffering.
She was greatly touched by our ordeal and the desperate struggle and suffering of our son. She was always there to help and make sure that the boy was receiving the best care and getting everything he needed every time we went to the 4th.
She is very intelligent, a good reader and greatly interested in ancient history like myself, she in the old Egyptian civilization and me in the history of Mesopotamia which are usually referred to as the twin civilizations. We became very good friends, a boundless friendship which I greatly treasure and Venerate.
The nurse is 54, married, she has five kids, two girls and three boys one them died in a motor cycle accidents four years ago when he was 21. They are a very well knit family and very religious, the boys are active missionaries one of them spent two years in South Korea some time ago, and the other is now in Argentina on a similar mission. She has a degree in the liberal arts, and another one in holistic nutrition in addition to her nursing degree, she is smart and very friendly, she love books of which she had a lot at home she is greatly interested in history she enjoys the company of her colleagues and her patients. We met shortly after we arrived here; she is intelligent, friendly and highly professional,
This woman is a wonderful person, intelligent, witty and very friendly, I have been greatly honored and blessed by her friendship, and her religiousness was very impressive and inspiring.
Friday, October 20, 2012