Undercover at UPMC Mercy

If you were wondering why I did not write a blog entry last Friday it was because I was previously indisposed having emergency surgery.

It started Tuesday night with slight discomfort in the abdominal area that I falsely credited to my large intestines. By Thursday afternoon, I was in such continual discomfort that I asked Steve to walk with me to the Urgi-Care Center at SouthSide Hospital.

I was seen quickly, told that the source of the pain might be my gallbladder and the next step was to have an x-ray and/or a sonogram, neither of which was available at this UPMC location. I could go to the hospital of my choice and if it was my gallbladder, I would need a general surgeon.

In my East End days, I would have gone directly to Shadyside, which I know like the back of my hand. My primary care doctor is at Montifiore but do I need her at this point and do they even still admitted there? I consider Magee, the home of my GI doctor and all of my cancer care, but the thought of going into an emergency room with laboring women has no appeal and so I finally opt for Mercy because of its proximity and my increasingly unbearable pain.

Mercy is an overflowing buzz of activity. (They share every other trauma with Presby and in addition, are the UPMC regional burn center.) In order to be seen in a timely fashion, I am placed in a bed stationed in the hallway of the emergency area, given an IV and introduced to my new best friend, Dilaudid. What a relief! By 8:00pm after all of the appropriate tests, scans and x-rays, I am on the surgical floor, scheduled for a Cholecystectomy, aka removal of my gallbladder.

The Sisters of Mercy established the Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh in 1847. When it merged with UPMC at the beginning of 2008, it vowed to keep its Catholic mission and core values and that they have done, crosses on each door, volunteers offering prayer and a staff that treats their work as if it is their ministry. In addition, in this holiday season, there was Christmas talk and holiday wishes at every juncture.

When the Priest offering prayer discovered I was Jewish, he returned a couple of hours later with a Refuah Sheleymah– Prayers for Healing booklet which ended with this Birkat Hagomel Recoveryblessing for a Jew to recite after emerging safely from a situation of danger:

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam, hagomel li-chayavim tovot shegamalni kol tov.

Blessed are You, Our Healer, Who bestows goodness upon the accountable; Who has bestowed every goodness upon me.

Merry Christmas to the Mercy community. You do great work!



4 Thoughts

  1. Jim says:

    I’m guessing it’s a relief to end 2012 without that stomach pain and to know what was causing it.
    From CA, I’m wishing Steve and you a wonderful, healthy new year!
    PS: Grace is sitting here with me and is excited to see you…the creator of her favorite quilt!

  2. Sarah says:

    I like that the priest brought you a Jewish prayer. Take care of yourself.

  3. Maxine says:

    Best wishes from sunny Atlanta,GA………thinking of you and wishing you well!

  4. phyllis says:

    Love seeing you wrapped and smiling in your cozy quilt. It is no surprise to me that all prayers, from all faiths ,for your healing is showering on you. Keep smiling and healing.

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