Description of Your Relationship with Tufts Medical Center and/or Tufts Children's Hospital:
I have been a patient at Tufts MC for almost 24 years after first coming here at age 11.
How did you come to receive care at Tufts MC or Tufts Children's Hospital?
I was diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA) at age 11 and was immediately referred to another children’s hospital. The rheumatologist that I saw there told my parents that there was almost nothing that could be done for me, and that I should begin using a wheelchair so that I could adapt to being disabled. My parents wanted a second opinion, and fortunately a family friend of ours was an adult Rheumatologist who had attended school with Dr. Laurie Miller who would become my doctor here at Tufts. She was able to help us get connected with Dr. Miller and I’ve been a patient here ever since.
What advice would you offer patients and/or their families who are receiving care at Tufts Medical Center (or Tufts Children's Hospital) to make their stay easier/most comfortable?
Bring comfort items from home to help minimize some of the stress of being in the hospital. During a recent inpatient stay, I brought my heating pad and memory foam pillow to help me sleep more comfortably. If you’re not sure if an item is OK, just ask!
What helped you most during your stay/your family member’s stay at Tufts Medical Center (or Tufts Children's Hospital)?
The nurses here are truly outstanding. I really hate asking for help or feeling like a nuisance, but everyone here is so warm and genuine that it makes it easier to rely on them and not feel like I have be strong when I’m really feeling overwhelmed by what’s happening to me.
What area amenities (stores, restaurants, etc.) did you/your family find helpful:
Being so close to the stores at downtown crossing has proven helpful – especially TJ Maxx. My family has been able to run there quickly to get random items I’ve forgotten to pack like soft PJ pants or comfortable socks.
What is one piece of advice you would like to give potential patients or families?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – whether you need directions getting around the hospital or help scheduling a test or if you need more information to help you understand your diagnosis. There are so many people here on staff that can help you with these things and other so that you’ll feel less overwhelmed and can focus on the most important thing – healing.