Best is not always superior –

And more not always better. Confident I had the best (a university teaching hospital) I scheduled Mos surgery on my right neck. Simplified: In doing Mos, the surgeon cuts out the skin cancer (sending slices to be checked) until all slices are cancer free.

When this surgery didn’t heal right, back I went—only to learn that this surgeon and his in-training helpers had made a miscalculation. (I saw their before and after pictures). These pictures clearly showed a spot of skin cancer that had not been treated.

Trying to convince these doctors they’d made a mistake failed. Another painful biopsy and I’m signed up for another surgery—with the same guy who’d done the last one.

Finally, wising up a bit after talking with a friend about her surgery (Anne had Mos on her left cheek and I couldn’t even see a scar), I had my records sent over and scheduled my surgery at the new place.

What a difference! I walked into a patient-centered, healing atmosphere. Treated like a real person, respected, I was also graced with no extra waiting time and everything explained by caring people.

The moral to my story: If your medical care doesn’t feel right, check it out. Maybe you’re in the wrong place. I was.

If you’ve been putting off filling out those scary end-of-life papers, I’d strongly suggest you educate yourself by taking a look at Jessica Nutil Zitter, MD, Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life. As Zitter says, “A typical patient cannot be expected to understand that, in the case of health care, doing more might lead to a worse outcome and more suffering.”

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