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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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  • E-mail me at:

    sara at saraarts dot com

    Make sure the subject line of your correspondence is clear and specific. I do not open e-mails from strangers unless I can tell in advance that I want to read them.

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  • I Took The Handmade Pledge!

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Let's hope their medical care is more personalized than push and click.

Good luck..

Wheels crossed



Thank you, WCD.

One of the forms I have been instructed to fill out and bring with me asks if I am experiencing depression, "sleeping problems" or anxiety.


Sadly, there is no blank for fits of hysterical laughter.

Ron Sullivan


Oh cripes. Don't get me started on hospital PR and marketing. Who let those frackers in?

I think I'll go have a beer.


Please have one for me.

Jen of a2eatwrite

I hope it goes far better than you expect.

My mother recently had experiences at a SFTH/POOI that she didn't want to go to, and a small hospital that she'd had a good experience with when she was younger.

Much to her surprise, she had EXCELLENT care at SFTH/POOI (lung cancer) and horrendous care at small, comfortable hospital (fractured pelvis).

Let's hope you have a similar surprise. Here's sending good thoughts, vibes and everything else your way.


Hugs. You could just print out this post and staple it to the back of the forms.


Thinking my best thoughts for you, and hoping the care is better than what you might expect based on that committee-made email.

WCD crosses wheels, I cross claws!


Thank you all.

Jen: If I hadn't been to this institution before and run for my life, I would have more hope, less fear.

BLC: Tempting. Very tempting.

Casey: Cluck, cluck! Very appropriate, since I am feeling quite "chicken" at the moment. (No offense to the girls.) :)


I'm staggered.

It's unfortunate but my own professional experiences with hospitals in Wyoming and Colorado have been only too similar.

Customer care had fallen by the wayside to a ludicrous level of faceless beaucracy.

It's infuriating, but don't let the buggers get you down!


Sugared Harpy

Been mulling this over because I'm just so infuriated that with all the lovely wordage of the PR variety, you just wanted your fucking appointment and treatment. You just NEED your fucking appointment and treatment.

I wish I could say this was isolated, but I know better.

Sugared Harpy

And here, here, to you. And wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery :)


Thank you, Ian and Melissa (SH), for your words of support. And thank you for getting the problem.

Here is something I know, because I have been employed in administrative capacities at two other SFTH/POOIs in the Boston area, both very prestigious, "world-class" institutions attached to one of our prestigious, "world-class" medical schools, and been a patient at three including this one and also including one where I worked. The problem really is that every single person who works at each and every SFTH/POOI -- not by any means an institutional phenomenon specific to the Boston area, as you have each noted -- serves four masters. First there is the medical school to which s/he is attached (or to which his or her boss is attached), either Harvard or Tufts here in Boston; second there is the hospital itself, or rather the overarching hospital management corporation under whose umbrella each individual hospital in that particular network also competes for resources and privileges; there is the Research, and each individual's reputation and career in the world of the Research; and then, finally, there is the Patient Pool, which often becomes as much a resource to be exploited by the first three as another master to be served.

When I go to ANY hospital for ANY reason, I, a humble Patient, expect to be at the top of that list. I prefer the only other thing on that list to be the individual hospital, and I expect that hospital to put its needs after mine, for its management to consider that a reasonable expectation, and for it culturally to expect everyone who works for it to put its needs after mine, because it only exists to serve me.

I don't know anyone who can effectively serve four masters, and I know some very, very smart and accomplished people. Because the SFTH/POOI has a structure built on four inconsistently unequal pillars, the structure itself tends to becomes more culturally important within the structure than the purpose for the structure. It cannot help but be so. The result is a culture which inspires reflexive marketing. Everything must feed The Structure. If The Structure crumbles, well, where does that leave everyone inside?

kathy a.

sara, this is awful. wish i had some words of wisdom, or some hammer to hold over the heads of the powers that be.

i've just been dealing with some intensive medical hoopla, since my mother had a fucking stroke AND broke her hip last weekend. a "major" stroke -- she was intubated and expected to die the first day. and we camped out at the hospital and interrogated everyone handy, and thought she got great care in the hospital -- but they kicked her out after five days, a day earlier than we were told even the morning of her discharge. the mind reels.

one of her doctors made very snarky comments about hospital administration, so i have a crush on him now.


Oh, Kathy, I am sorry. That sounds perfectly awful. I'm glad she has at least ONE doctor on her side, though.

I hope things improve for your mother and the rest of you. Long recuperative road ahead, as I'm sure you are well aware, and I hope there will be a minimum of arguments about freakin' money for goodness' sake.

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