The difference in compassion showed by Rubio Cancer Center staff and the employees at Scripps Mercy Care Hospital was eye-opening. I mean, i already knew this, but spending a week dealing with both American medical staff and Mexican medical staff really just heightened my understanding. Here are just a few illustrations.
- I had three Rubio employees come see me while i was in the hospital: Dr. Rubio, Sr. himself; Carolyn, the patient advocate; and Adrian, one of the drivers. Dr. Rubio came to reassure me that i was still going to be okay despite this minor setback, even going so far as to tell me he will up my stem cells in my drip bags to get my immune system back on track. Carolyn came bearing magazines, healthy fruit juice for me to drink, and more metaphor analogies to convince me that there was a purpose behind all of this happening. And Adrian brought me my journal, markers, and two books to keep me occupied. These people had to cross border security to visit me. Meanwhile, i never saw the surgeon again after the anesthesia hit me, and i couldn’t get a single doctor from that hospital to spend a solid five minutes with me.
- The whole time i was in the hospital, i argued with staff about how unhealthy the food options were for a vegetarian cancer patient. They didn’t seem to have a clue that juice from concentrate is not good for you, or that they’re making my cancer battle a harder fight by loading my trays up with sherbet, ice cream, jello, water ice, and pudding. Here at Rubio (who also has a hard time getting it right), one of the first things that Dr. Rubio, Sr. brought up was what kind of restrictions i had with my diet right now, and he encouraged me to tell the kitchen staff exactly what i needed.
- When i asked Dr. Arcovedo why he wouldn’t take out my bulb drain until the day i leave, especially since it was barely draining anything out at that point, his response was, “Because i have been practicing medicine for twenty years, and I’m telling you your drain comes out when you leave here.” I have never received such an egotistical or narcissistic response from any of my doctors here.
- No doctor would even come see me the day i left. It was like they couldn’t be bothered. They gave me no discharge paperwork (since i was leaving AMA, they said). They didn’t tell me how long these staples are supposed to be in my stomach, when my follow-up with a doctor back home should be, if there are any warning signs that the area isn’t healing properly, etc. They didn’t even give me a wheelchair leaving the hospital. Meanwhile, Adrian (the driver) is carrying all three of my bags and racing ahead of me to grab the car and drive up to the front of the building, making sure i don’t have to stand outside by myself too long, considering how weak i was … and then anytime we stopped anywhere, he was always helping me in and out of the vehicle and always fetching the vehicle so that I wouldn’t have to walk far.