Letter to the Editor: A Sister’s Tribute

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Laura Palcisko, RN, APNC; Janice M. Beitz, PhD, RN, CS, CNOR, CWOCN, CRNP, FAAN

  With regard to the article: Beitz J. Clinician challenges in providing health care for a morbidly obese family member: a bariatric case study. Ostomy Wound Manage. 2015;61(1):42–46: A reader sent a thank you stating, “The highest form of wisdom is kindness” (a quote from the Talmud) and the following:

  Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing such a heartfelt story. I work as a CNP in an acute care setting; if I were a nursing instructor, your article would be on my required reading list. Your first-person account of both kindness and shortcomings is very powerful. I will share your article with those I precept and my nursing colleagues; I expect they will find it of great value for their students.

  I anticipate many will benefit from your article. I know when I am faced with frustration or fatigue while caring for someone who is morbidly obese, I now will think of Theresa’s story and draw inspiration to be more and do more.

Laura Palcisko, RN, APNC
Cleveland, OH

Reply

  I am so happy the article is meaningful for your clinical practice and teaching. My sister Theresa would be thrilled to know the story of her experiences in the health care system in the last years of her life would help improve care for somebody else. That was the kind of giving person she was.

  Writing the article gave me time to reflect on what Tess and I experienced when trying to obtain informed care. Many of the clinicians we encountered were wonderful: caring, intelligent, energetic, emotionally uplifting. However, shortcomings, ignorance, and apathy were unfortunately in good supply, too. At some deep level, I understand the dread of caring for the morbidly obese person because it requires extra time, energy, and special equipment (which may or may not be easily available). Conversely, it provides the opportunity to demonstrate one’s best work at the bedside. One thing I hope for is that the nurses, physicians, and others who provided unsatisfactory care will read Tess’s story and perhaps resolve to change for the better.

  Receiving your letter is inspiring to me to continue writing about crucial patient care issues. It tells me others are listening about how challenging patient care situations can be, and it motivates me to keep advocating for safe, effective care for the morbidly obese patient.

Janice M. Beitz, PhD, RN, CS, CNOR, CWOCN, CRNP, FAAN

This article was not subject to the Ostomy Wound Management peer-review process.