Thoughts from a brand-new dad

To the editor:

At 9 p.m. on May 26, wearing scrubs that I had nearly sweated through and on the verge of passing out, I was nervously pacing the hallways of the OB unit at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. A little more than a half-hour later, I was holding my firstborn daughter in the operating room, the sweat on my face now replaced with tears of utter euphoria.

That feeling of becoming a dad hits hard. It is a rush of joy that I had never felt — not in finishing Ironman, trekking to Everest, or even getting married. It is a feeling every dad feels, but somehow that instant happiness was mine and unique — never before replicated by others. Instantly, nine months of worry and planning were eroded, and I could just breathe.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Adirondack Health community for their excellent care and service to my daughter and wife over our four-day stay. Whether janitor or anesthesiologist, receptionist or nurse, every interaction we had was positive and patient centered. The OB staff specifically was beyond incredible; the decades of experience between nurses translated to excellent care that was recognizable. I’m sure they often handle anxious dads, but I would venture that I was more interesting.

I would also like to point out a need of this community. Regardless where you stand politically, women’s, reproductive and pre-natal health care are imperative. The care provided by the women’s health clinic at Adirondack Medical Center is amazing. The staff strikes a balance of judging medical necessity with weighing patients’ desires for their own care. We are lucky to have such talented and loving professionals in a small community.

Sadly, the women’s health clinic shares a space with the bariatric center and rehabilitation department, both of which also provide quality care themselves. It is unfair for either of the three departments or clinics to share such a small space between so many staff and patients. It also likely borders of privacy infringements and violates other points outlined in the Patient’s Bill of Rights.

Adirondack Health needs to awaken to this realty and afford the women’s health clinic (and the bariatric care center) their own private space. Logically, if they recognize the importance of prenatal care, they must provide a safe space for that care. Because we live in small community, with access to specialty care centers relatively limited, we rely on care we trust. If that trust is eroded or that space is not safe, care can just as easily be provided elsewhere.

Again, thank you to Adirondack Health, and we truly hope this appeal is heard.

Lee Kyler, proud new dad

Saranac Lake