When Healthcare Actually Works Right

We get so down on the healthcare system that sometimes it’s nice to hear a story of it working just the way it should.

It all started last Friday at midnight. I’d been having what seemed like a sinus infection and maybe even a mild eye infection for a couple of days. 

But all hell broke loose after the stroke of midnight. It hurt. A lot. And it looked like it was getting worse. I was popping Extra Strength Tylenol like candy and tossing and turning.

Dawn came – and with it clarity: the ER. Now.

The Odyssey Begins

So my husband drove me in and I was lucky to have as my care team a doctor who had had a retinal detachment and a nurse who had had an eye tumor. To say these people were concerned would be an understatement.

After a few tests, they gave me a prescription – and an appointment. The doc told me, “You need to see a specialist. I made you an appointment with the best eye doctor in the city. Can you make it Monday morning?”

“You made an appointment for me? For Monday? Um, wow. Yes, Yes I can make that appointment. Thank you.”

Monday morning comes – after two days of antibiotics. Except things had gotten worse, although my outer eye looked better. I now had extreme light sensitivity, was seeing double, and my field of vision was reduced to a rectangle near my feet. My husband had to lead me around as I hung on to his elbow. And the pain was much worse.

So believe me when I say I had literally been counting the minutes all weekend until this appointment.

Luckily, the provider was awesome – I could see why the ER doc spoke so highly of the clinic. He is calm, kind – and then he says, “You need to see an orbit specialist.”

“Okay. What am I supposed to do about my eye in the meantime?”

“No, I mean, you need to see him now. They’re waiting for you. Now. Can you get there?”

“Wow, yes.”

We get to the orbit specialist. They are also incredibly kind.

The doctor takes a peek at my eye and says, “You need to go to the ER to get a CT scan. Now. You need to go now. I’ll meet you there.”

And off we went.

Something is Clearly Wrong

Except, I’m no idiot – this was amazing service but it didn’t bode well. Nobody pulls strings like this for pinkeye, I knew that much.

Still, their obvious compassion kept me calm.

We get to the next ER. Got the scan. Another great physician does a full exam. He’s extremely liberal with the pain relief drops and I consider falling in love with him. My husband would understand.

The orbit guy comes in with the verdict – and I find out that he was worried about far more than I even knew to be worried about. I figured maybe a tumor – and he was wondering that, too. But he was also worried about blood clots.

Luckily, none of that proved to be the case. It was some crazy inflammation of the eye muscle – and the next step was a huge bolus of prednisone and a prescription to keep it going.

A New Dawn

Come Tuesday, I woke up to a new world.

I could open my eyes in the sunshine. The pain was gone. I was still seeing double but I could see everywhere, not just at my feet.

Of course, my left eye was now pointing squarely at my nose, which was new. But all in all, I happily popped my morning pills and figured out how to work with my newly crossed eyes.

The Power of a Personal Story

So this is a story of just how awesome our healthcare system can be when it works the way it’s supposed to.

But it’s also a personal story. And I share it with you because I believe the best way to forge connections – especially online – is to open up. To be vulnerable.

Because that shows our most authentic selves – and people trust people who are open and authentic.

Which is why I would encourage you to think of the stories you have in your organization. Maybe it’s your Founder’s story. Maybe it’s yours. Maybe it’s a customer story. But the more you share, the more you will feel real to your audience and the more they will feel a real connection to you.

And that’s the best marketing advice I can give you.

Keep well – and enjoy the sunshine!

Photo by Anders Jildén on Unsplash