Still receiving much appreciated boxes of cookies, fruit baskets, cards and letters, dinners for the family.  It keeps us going and makes us feel surrounded by friends – I wouldn’t have realized how important that kind of support was until this illness.

 Status: 9.0/10.  An emotionally uplifting day.  Attended Rachel’s Class Day, which they hold prior to her commencement tomorrow.  Saw many old friends – so nice to see their faces and give them a hug.  And not only did Rachel do a fabulous job with her speech to the class and her solo singing performance, but she was publicly recognized for winning the Athletic Spirit Award, and to our surprise, and to her as well, she and a classmate received the school’s Community Service Award.  What a great day for her and for her proud parents. 

Events:  I received two notes from Hopkins today.  One was an estimate of the bill we would receive for my stay – an extraordinary sum (and it was noted that we would receive another bill for our physician services).  I could not help but recall what was noted during the health-care reform debate – what happens to people without insurance, or those who have just lost their jobs, or those who financial life would be changed even without an extraordinary illness.  No one can know who will be struck by lightning – so there has to be a way that we all share in dealing with catastrophic events.  Do you have to have a current job or have never been sick before to share in that protection?

The second letter was a satisfaction survey on my stay.  As the survey says, “By sharing your thoughts and feelings about your health care experience, you can help us make our care better for future patients and their families.”  I hope that’s true.

Comments:  For a few hours at Class Day today I felt normal.  Looking forward to a restorative morning at Commencement tomorrow.




14 Responses to “”

  1. Art Ulene Says:

    What an uplifting message! Thanks again for sharing yourself with us. As for Hopkins, save yourself some time….. just give them the link to this blog. That will give them an honest picture. Take care! Priscilla and I send our love to you all….. ART

  2. Judy and Ken Freedman Says:

    How awesome to hear that you have had such an amazing day! Congratulations to Rachel! I know that you and Lisa are consumed with overwhelming pride and joy. I think there is a Yiddish word, “kvelling,” which is what you are doing and feeling!!! Please tell your mom that I send my LOVE!

    Looking forward to hearing what your patient satisfaction survey says!

  3. Gail Lehmann Says:

    Our son-in-law recently had hip surgery and was in the hospital for one night. The bill was $55,000 and that does not include the doctor’s fees. It will be interesting to see how much their insurance company pays and how much they are asked to pay. They are both self-employed and pay for their own insurance. Sadly this might lead to bankruptcy. What a mess…
    Bruce, I hope you write a book on your experience.

  4. Judy and Larry Says:

    Congratulations to you and Lisa (and your extended families) on Rachel’s wonderful accomplishments. You should be so proud. We are very glad that you were out of the hospital and well enough to be there to watch her perform. We hope that you continue to improve and feel great. We also hope that you will fill out that survey about your recent visit and let them know all of the ways that they can improve patient care. You certainly know first hand.
    Best of everything to you and your family.
    Love, Judy and Larry

  5. wendy Says:

    B- congrats on all areas- give Rachel a hug from me. I agree with Art- don’t waste any of your precious time that should be focused on getting in shape as you so well stated.-

    Your blog has been comments in the moment and said so much about the reality of the situation. You yourself couldn’t express it any bette in a survey, so just fwd the blog to ALLLLLLLLL the hospital higher ups. You would be doing yourself and sooooo many others a good service by passing this on…those who couldn’t speak as well or those who didn’t even know that it wasn’t considered “normal” protocol/procedures. Do shout from the mountain top… and let us know what response you get.

  6. Ken and Ruth Says:

    Congratulations to Rachel on her graduation and special awards and to your family on the celebration of this, another parental button-popping milestone.

  7. Jill Stewart Says:

    “Normal” is a good place. Who would have thought “normal” was a goal? Especially for a high achiever like you??!?!? Warm fuzzy thoughts for more normal days and your opportunity to file your observations and comments with the Hopkins folks and the whole medical community on the well-informed perspective of a patient!

  8. Peggie Neill Says:

    Bruce –
    Such lovely scenes, finally, of you at home, of your “essence of it all” anniversary, of today’s wonderful Class Day ceremonies with such a sweet spotlight on your daughter and a great baseball_playing son.

    Please try to stay in the moment and celibrate the day’s joy, and the love of family and friends. This is a richness beyond all measure. The bills will still be there next wk, they can be dealt with, and all their maddening stupid hassle.

    But now it’s this week, and you have this wonderful graduation and all your loving family. Stay in the moment and love and be loved.

    Love you,

  9. Eileen Breslin Says:

    Dear Bruce,
    Savor these moments. The love, joy and pride emanate from your writings. Thank you for sharing so. The realities of bills and satisfaction surveys will provide interesting reading — later —when you write the book. For now, rest relax, heal. We send congratulations to Rachel, What a remarkable day for you and Lisa. love, Eileen and Bill

  10. Johnny & Lake Says:

    Dear Bruce – So very happy that you had a terrific Class Day. Rachel’s brilliant successes are certainly something in which to be proud; they are so much a part of her own tremendous focus, joy and smarts. No need to wonder where she got some of that from — of course the classical remark springs to mind: the apple does not fall far from the tree! And what a grand tree you are! A mix of the Mighty Oak, the gentle Cherry, the hard-headed Walnut (here your stubbornness is a great asset) and the wise Chestnut – all spring immediately to mind.

    As for the bill from Hopkins – this is horrific. I was under the (clearly wrong) impression that Obama’s fight to get insurance would cover this kind of situation. Over on this side of the pond, that is at least one thing the British seem to have got right — one less worry when one is ill or one’s loved one is ill. I hope that your wise words set out in this blog over and again help to change the situation in our own country.

    We love you Bruce and send you big kisses and hugs xxxx Johnny & Lake

  11. Len and Lisa Says:

    What a wonderful message and a wonderful time for you and your family. We have appreciated these events so much in the last few years but safe to say not as much as you will cherish each and every moment. It is the “fringe benefit” of the horrors you have been enduring I suppose. Bryan’s graduation is Saturday. The Kleenex boxes are ready! Love,
    Len, Lisa, Bryan and Alexa

  12. joel steinberg Says:

    Have a great day. You deserve it. And may your good days far outnumber the bad ones. Joel and Margaret S.

  13. Karen Jaffe Says:

    Yea for Rachel…life goes on and continues to improve and we know it will continue for all of you

    xxoooKaren, Sara, & Bob

  14. Bill Israel and Eileen Breslin Says:

    Bruce – It really warms out hearts to hear you home, enjoying a wonderful moment in Rachel’s life, and feeling the love and support of family and friends. We surely hope for the chance to see you soon. Oh – and the Rove book is finally coming out: Labor Day!

    Best wishes,

    Bill and Eileen

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