I realize there is a lot of huzzah and hurrah out there about the e-Patient — especially among those who have the skill or leisure to be well-connected to social media. At times, I believe I’m one of the empowered, engaged fold. But what about the f-Patient? The well-meaning, diligent user of social media who finds herself inexplicably … well, the most accurate way to put it is … “f’d” by the health care system?

In a one-night stay at my beloved local hospital, I found myself – seasoned cardiac patient that I am – misconstrued as a narcotics monger, migraine patient, and generalized neurotic, gaseous female.

I had my smart phone. But, no charger. As the hours progressed into double digits and I realized my predicament, the best use of my phone was to call my internist and cardio, because no one at the hospital had bothered to do so. I suppose I could have accessed the Internet at some point and drained battery, but to what end? Would it have furthered my progress? Doubtful. And besides, I was preoccupied with my roommate’s ongoing constipation/diarrhea issues on the other side of the curtain.

So, I battled my way through that hospital stay by enlisting the nurse, technician, charge nurse, and eventually, the cardiologists, to get some attention and eventual data. Upon returning home, bruised, battered, and covered in residual EKG/telemetry stick’em, I realized my truth: f-Patient. Or at least until I was charged up and had time on my hands to google, facebook and tweet.

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