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By: Clarissa Cisneros, Emergency department coordinator, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center
Oct. 8, 2013
Three patients sit in white plastic chairs against the corridor wall. They are waiting for a bed for preop. Each dressed in hospital gowns; surgical bonnets resting on their heads, and hospital slipper socks guarding their feet.
“Buen dia,” they reply with radiant and timid smiles. Their hands lay across their lap holding their charts in place.
A few steps past them a man stands against the wall. He is wearing a pinstriped button down shirt neatly tucked into his black slacks that are held in place by a black belt. Three plastic bags lean against his feet, as he stands tall against the wall. A medical chart sits atop the bags. And above that chart, lay a patient wristband.
“Nervioso?” I ask.
“Un poco” he replies.
He continues to stand tall beside the wall, holding guard at the bathroom door. He is not a patient today, but his wife Lesly is.
It wasn’t until she was in recovery that I finally had the opportunity to meet Lesly. She had her gallbladder removed today. As she leans her body against the angled hospital bed we talk about her four children, ages 9 to 18, and how they each preferred to be with her instead of school. She tells me of her health and how her gallbladder had been bothersome for over a year. Minimal resources and work responsibilities prevented her from seeking treatment. That is until this jornada, this day’s journey.
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