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Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Thank You Letter

June 12, 2001

Dear Howard County General Hospital,

My mom and I came home this day. She is doing much better thanks to you.

It is good manners to thank those who were there when you needed them most. We are not strangers to you, and you have always been there for us when we needed you most.

Thank you Emergency Room!

I dislike a lot of things about you ... your noise, your bright lights, your uncomfortable beds and chairs, and the hours and hours and hours we spend waiting for test results.

BUT, the care we receive each visit is outstanding.

Have you considered piping in some classical music???

Thank you Cafeteria.

I won't starve when I am there. I am not gastronomically impressed, but I can keep up my strength, at least.

You might consider serving the same items you give your patients. My mom had the most wonderful meals brought to her room. I would gladly pay to eat some of those.

Thank you Coffee Shop.

Your coffee and lunch salads are excellent. But on Sunday you were closed!! What is with that?

Sunday is a big visitors day. Why are you closed? I had to buy 2 cups of coffee from the cafeteria today. That would have been two punches on my brand new coffee club card toward a free coffee!!

Oh, well. I am sure we will meet again.

Thank you Gift Shop.

I bought the most beautiful bag there. It made me feel better when I bought it, because I was a little down about missing my day trip to The Mannings Spin-In Day in PA with my cousin on Saturday. It was also supposed to be a day out with my husband - just the two of us. We don't get too many of those.

I know what I did was shop-therapy, but still. You were there to give me that little boost!

Close up of the stitch work. Isn't it beautiful? Everything about the bag is beautiful and well thought out. It is American-made as well.

Even the last day nurse we had commented on the bag. Apparently she saw it in the gift shop as well and thought seriously about getting it.

Then it was gone!!


Thank you Reception Desk. You always greet me with a smile, even though I was the "crazy lady of December" fame!

And thank you "little old lady in the red blazer from December" for not calling the Behavioral Unit on me - when I probably should have had an intervention!

I am much better now!!

Thank you Waiting Area.

This lovely spot is just down the hall from my mother's beautiful room. I love the water fall down the pane of glass, the beautiful picture on the wall (right), the nice chairs for relaxing and the view of the front entrance of the hospital. It is a nice little respite space.

The picture on the right was a favorite of mine.

For the record - this beautiful picture in that Waiting Area is bolted to the wall!

Yes, I checked. I love this picture. My snap shot does not do it justice.

(Please do not ask why or how I know about the bolt on the wall. I will admit to nothing.)

Thank you Human Resources for hiring such wonderful and dedicate staff members. My experiences with all of them - including the red blazer woman - were exceptional.

A special thank you to mom's new Home Health physician, Dr. Kristen Clark. This wonderful physician has visited mom only 2 times previously. Her focus is to keep her out of the hospital. Of course, mom seems to get very sick within hours of our first symptom so it is hard to head off a hospitalization if you wait for the first symptom. While in the hospital mom was well cared for by a hospitalist, Dr. Mahin Choudhury. But Dr. Clark took the time to review the hospital records remotely and brain storm ways we can avoid other hospital stays in the future. She called me in the hospital with her ideas. No other doctor has ever called without me initiating the call. Dr. Clark - you are what all doctors should be!

Finally, let me say thank you to the hospital on behalf of my mom. She may not be grateful right now. In fact, as each day passed and she got better, she awakened each morning with a major chip on her shoulder. She was not grateful for your help, or her improving health, or for the family who has surrounded her every step of the way ... no, she seems to fall back to the "glass is half empty" mentality. I am soooo not that kind of person. So this morning, I set her straight - no pity, just a recitation of all the wonderful blessings she has and how lucky she is, and if she couldn't change her attitude to recognize all the good stuff, her most ardent supporter (me) would sit in the downstairs lobby rather the hospital room with "her-most-ungrateful-self". My voice was raised and my anger was evident. I think she heard me. Once my mom gets home, she may be grateful as well for your excellent care and beautiful surroundings! She wouldn't be as well today if it wasn't for all of you. So my mom sends her thanks, too. Trust me on that.

With that said, let me say that I share my mom's desire to never return here. Five hospital stays in 6 months is a bit much.

But I also recognize that we will be back.

It is comforting to know that when we need you, you are there.

A Grateful Resident and Daughter


  1. I'm so glad that your mom is doing better! It seems that you know every inch of the hospital, as well as most of the staff. I'm surprised that your positive attitude hasn't rubbed off more on your mother. I don't think that there's anything more tiring than visiting loved ones in the hospital. I love how you were gracious to the staff, during such a frustrating time. Julie

  2. It is always a sign that we are improving when we get grouchy and a little testy. Good for her. Let's hope the home starts to lengthen now and the hospital visits get less.

  3. great post. i wish i had thought to do a big thank you like this after my husband spent time in the local hospital. :)


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