A Personal Note About Healthcare, What’s Important and Social Media

flickr: oedipusphinx

Tuesday my mother-in-law suffered a heart attack, and instantly nothing else was important.

It struck while she was walking with my wife. Within the hour she was in the emergency room at Willamette Valley Medical Center, where the heart team was administering clot-busting drugs, then racing in an ambulance — sirens blaring — 35 miles to the cath lab at Salem Hospital.

My mind was flooded with the impossible and devastating thought of losing her.

The angiogram discovered seven blockages in three arteries, and Thursday she had successful open heart surgery. I credit the quick and professional response at our community hospital and the excellent surgeons at Salem Hospital for saving her life.

Doing little else

She’s doing well, and our lives are beginning the gradual flow back to normal. But swallowed up in the emergency of it all, connecting with family and friends, making sure that we were making all the right decisions, I did little else. And rightly so.

Only now do I feel free to write about it. And I’m much more comfortable writing than tweeting. I didn’t even think about posting it on my personal Facebook page, and I’m still sorting out what that means.

I err on the side of caution in social media. I’m much more likely to carefully weigh what I say than to impulsively throw something out there. I suppose that’s neither right nor wrong, but a matter of personal choice in this tell-all social media world.

Confident that my mother-in-law is in good hands, and at my wife’s insistence, I’m writing this in flight on my way to the Mayo Ragan Third Annual Healthcare Social Media Summit. I’m looking forward to meeting many of the tweeple I’ve been following this past year and hearing some remarkable presentations.

I’ll be blogging about the conference each day, enjoying the upbeat nature of such conferences. But even as I do I’ll be remembering that what we do in healthcare is deeply serious. Everything can change in an instant.

Disclosure: I am part-time director of marketing for Willamette Valley Medical Center. Read why.  


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