Monday, February 22, 2010

So Many Changes

Today I went for my annual 'squishing of the boobs' and was taken aback, again, by how many changes there have been in the hospital since we moved here 30+ years ago. It really is quite amazing.

The door I used to get into the hospital today used to be the main entrance. I remember walking into the vestibule, in labor for my first, and needing to sit down because I was having a 'pushing contraction' and couldn't walk. When I finally was able to get up and get near the elevators, someone noticed me and brought me to the OB wing with a wheelchair. I couldn't have gotten there any other way, that's for sure. The elevators were right there in the lobby, so it was easy to find one's way through the hospital. But not anymore.

The hospital has expanded so much that it is at least three times bigger than what it was. I can't find my way around without a map or very clear, written instructions. Just the amount of elevators is overwhelming. It now sprawls across the street--where the new main entrance is--and the two buildings are connected by an overpass. The original building is at least twice what it was. And except for the economic downturn, things don't seem to be slowing down. As soon as the economy looks better, I expect the hospital to do another expansion. The only bad part of this is the fact that the hospital is in the middle of a nice neighborhood that is slowly being taken apart to make room. This is what is called progress.

And what do we get for the progress? Just this: a regional medical center with a Level II Trauma Center; over 200 doctors in 65 different specialties and subspecialties; a heart institute, cancer center, brain & spine center, rehabilitation center, brain tumor center, etc.; a teaching hospital with affiliations with numerous universities and community colleges throughout Michigan and the Midwest. This is one of the Top 100 Cardiovascular hospitals in the US for 4 years in a row and has a gold seal of approval for stroke care. Among the doctors who are here, many have won awards in their own practices. Our internist got an award as one of the best a couple of years ago and my old GYN was named one of the top GYNs in the country. I guess this isn't too bad in a city of around 20,000 people! (This IS the biggest city in the UP.)


meleah rebeccah said...

I always ALWAYS get lost in the hospitals over here, but YOUR hospital with all of those changes sounds PRETTY DAMN awesome!

cmk said...

I feel as if we are tremendously lucky to have such a good health system here. Otherwise, health care would involve HOURS of driving in order to get to specialists. (We still do need to visit Mayo's or Marshfield, etc, at times, but not as often as it would happen without our hospital.)

meleah rebeccah said...

yes, you ARE lucky!

Anonymous said...

Yes, progress is good, but I'd hate to walk in one of the doors of a hospital in need of emergency care and have to find my way to the ER!

cmk said...

Thank goodness the ER is now VERY prominently marked--kind of has to be now that it is a Level II Trauma Center. However, before they expanded the ER, it WAS a bit difficult to find, as the entrance was in the back of the hospital.