I’m sure it happens in all towns, especially smaller ones, but it seems that many of the things that are unique to that town are taken for granted or under appreciated by those who live there. In our case, I would include such things as our museums, the Lew Wallace Study, Lane Place, Old Jail Museum, etc. I would venture to say that unless you went to school here, many folks have not visited all or any of them. Wabash College is another example many take for granted. I don’t know of a county anywhere in the country who wouldn’t do anything to get a prize like Wabash College. Again, I would wager there are many in the community who have never visited the campus.
Along those same lines, another important example is our local hospital, Franciscan Health. We’ve been blessed to have a hospital going back many, many years under at least five different names. It’s a local hospital, so what’s the big deal? It’s a big deal when you consider 18 out 92 counties in Indiana don’t have access to a local hospital. Granted, there are hospitals in Lebanon and Lafayette but in an emergency that’s 30 minutes by ground depending on the traffic and weather. Even with a local hospital, some serious patients will have to be transferred to another hospital but at least they will be stabilized enough for the move.
A myth I’ve heard forever and it’s now fostered by local social media posts, is that our local hospital doesn’t have the facilities or staff to properly care for patients. For the vast majority of issues, that’s just not the case. Some doctors rotate in from Franciscan Health in Lafayette to treat patients here. That being said, there are always certain situations when transfers are needed to handle more specialized issues.
I recently came down with COVID and was admitted to our local hospital. I was in and out of Med/Surge and ICU for 15 days while they worked to stabilize me. Fortunately, with the proper care, I was able to improve enough to come home and continue my recovery with the help of their visiting nurse and outpatient physical therapy programs. I had only been in a hospital overnight once and had no idea what to expect. Boy was I surprised. I quickly lost count how many different staff and department people were involved in my care. From the time I was wheeled up to my first room until I started my dismissal process, I couldn’t have asked for better care. It seemed like there was always someone in my room for this test or that check. What struck me the most was how friendly and upbeat everyone was, especially my nurses. They were always asking if I needed anything and they even did the same for my visitors. Once they found out I liked Sprite, there was always a fresh Sprite at my bedside. I did find one thing curious, however. I always ordered my next three meals ahead of time and I’m still wondering how I ended up with spinach on three different meals since that is a word I never utter, especially when it comes to ordering food.
At one point there was discussion about transferring me to Lafayette and they did reserve a bed for me but at the last minute they decided they could provide the same treatment here and save all the hassle. That was a relief especially for my family. I was able to confer with my pulmonologist in Lafayette by means of a two-way monitor that was wheeled in next to my bedside. He was even able to listen to my heart and lungs in real time.
My experience with COVID is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. They said I was fortunate to have had the two shots and been in good shape for my age or things might have turned out differently. I realize that this is just my experience but for me it’s the one that counts. In closing, my point is that I think Montgomery County is fortunate to have Franciscan Health in our community. I know I’m repeating myself but I can’t say enough about the professional care I received especially from the nurses in Med/Surge and ICU. I hope they all got at least one of the cookies I left when I was discharged.
S. David Long
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