Patient-Focused Care Sustained Her Spirits
Early in October 2012, Finette LaBoda woke up in the middle of the night in terrible pain.
“I went to bed absolutely fine,” Finette said, “and then, wham! It was 1:15 a.m. and I had a bad pain in my abdomen. I had no clue what was wrong.”
When she wasn’t getting better, her husband, Rick, drove her to MidMichigan Medical Center–Clare. The long-time Harrison resident was glad that her house in the woods on the river was less than 30 minutes from the Medical Center’s Emergency Department.
Finette’s problem was diverticulitis, an inflammation or infection in the intestine’s inner lining. At the ER, her condition was diagnosed with an ultrasound and a computed tomography (CT) scan. Pain medication helped her begin to feel better, and she was admitted for a four-day stay.
As sick as she felt, Finette valued not only the Medical Center’s expertise and technical capabilities, but also the clear and consistent focus on patient care.
“From the moment we arrived at the ER, the people were great,” she said. “It really, truly impressed me that every individual I met there was both professional and friendly. Every staff member I came in contact with held the same excellent standards. It was a positive atmosphere that helped me relax and feel comfortable, which is so important when you’re worried and in pain.”
Help With a Friendly Face
A Harrison Community Schools employee for more than 20 years, Finette was delighted to see former students among the staff who cared for her in the Emergency Department.
One was Jessica Lynch, R.N. “I’ve known her and her family since she was a little kid,” Finette said. “There I was in terrible pain, and my daughter and I were just talking with Jess like everything’s normal, like family and friends. It was calming and made me feel better in spite of everything.”
Once admitted, Finette was fed intravenously to give her digestive system complete rest. “It’s no fun, because you can’t have anything to eat or drink, even ice chips,” she said. “I did have a sponge on the end of a sucker stick to help with my dry mouth, which was better than nothing.”
But her nurses, including another former student, Robin Williams, R.N., helped ease the difficulty. “I could not have asked for more caring and knowledgeable professionals than Robin and her fellow nurses,” she said.
Taking Time to Care
Finette also felt she was in good hands when General Surgeon Robert Nunoo, M.D., came to talk about her condition and care.
“He is just a delightful man,” she said. “When I first met him, he had recently returned from doing a presentation on diverticulitis at a medical meeting in Australia. I felt very fortunate that I had an expert on my condition caring for me.”
Dr. Nunoo visited her daily, and she never felt like he was in a hurry. She appreciated that he walked in with a friendly smile, spoke to her and shook her hand. He gladly took the time to not only answer her questions, but also speak with Rick and their two adult daughters about their concerns for their wife and mom.
“He explained things very well. The girls became really engaged, and at one point they were firing questions at him. He was great at responding, and we all ended up laughing,” she said. As a bonus, her daughters learned from Dr. Nunoo how lifestyle decisions about diet and exercise could help them avoid their mom’s experience.
Finette followed up with Dr. Nunoo shortly after going home. “I appreciated being able to see Dr. Nunoo and have an outpatient procedure I needed right in Clare,” she said. “His office staff made things easy for me.”
Over the years, when Finette has needed hospital care for not only her bout with diverticulitis, but also knee surgery and foot surgery, she always decided on the Medical Center in Clare.
“When people are in pain, it helps to see a friendly face, and I’ve always had great experiences there,” she said. “It’s a wonderful medical facility close to home. To me, there’s really been no reason to go anywhere else.”
MidMichigan Medical Center–Clare provides 24-hour emergency room coverage, inpatient care, outpatient care and urgent care services. The Medical Center has a variety of specialized inpatient units and a wide range of outpatient services.