My husband just had triple heart-bypass surgery. It started when a nuclear stress test indicated a blockage in an artery. An attempt at putting in a stent was aborted when the doctor found that not one but three arteries were significantly blocked. Scary, right?

After six days in the ICU—nine days in the hospital—Kevin came through it all with flying colors. I can’t thank the health-care professionals who tended to him enough. Their jobs are hard…their days are long…yet they were always kind.

I learned a lot during this ordeal—you will read about much of it in future issues of Bottom Line. But most important is how necessary it is to have an advocate in the hospital—someone to monitor all the information impacting a loved one.

Just one example: When I walked into the ICU one day, Kevin was distraught. He said a doctor—whose name he couldn’t remember—had explained that Kevin was now at high risk for an aneurysm and stroke. No one had ever mentioned that before or after the surgery! So I put on my Bottom Line hat and asked his nurse to explain. What really happened: A physician’s assistant told Kevin that a step had been taken during his surgery to prevent aneurysm. Kevin—muddled by medication—heard only the words “aneurysm” and “stroke.”

One of our writers said to me—If I were in the hospital, I’d want the editor of Bottom Line to be my advocate! Well, that’s my job—for all of you. I ask questions…do my research…and sift through what the health-care and financial professionals tell me so I can make sense of it all for you. Thank you for letting me wear that hat!

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