A few days ago I overheard a conversation between two people. I wasn’t being nosy, but I was standing just feet away when one person told the other they won’t go to the doctor or hospital in Page.
They said they have never received good care here so they drive to Flagstaff to see the doctor.
Hearing that was quite surprising because my experience has been the exact opposite.
I would love to be able to sit here writing this and tell you my family hasn’t seen the doctor or been to the hospital since we’ve been in Page, but unfortunately that isn’t true. In fact, we’ve been to the doctor more in Page than at any time in our lives. Oh, the joys of growing older.
We have been to Canyonlands, Encompass and Page Hospital multiple times and have never had a bad experience. The doctors we’ve met with have been patient, kind and they all took as much time as we needed to answer questions and give advice.
Personally, since I’ve been in Page over the last 18 months I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. I now take medicine every day. As someone who is almost never sick, I didn’t like hearing the news, but the doctor was right and he explained thoroughly everything that was going on in my body and what the medicine would do to help. And he was right.
My blood pressure is now better than it has been since probably high school and my blood sugar is under control. I feel better than I have in years.
My wife has had even more issues. For more than six years she has struggled with kidney issues. We have seen doctors in three states and all of them claimed to know how to fix the problem, but they never did. They also had another thing in common — they absolutely refused to let her go to a specialist. For some reason, these doctors — two families doctors and one OB doc — insisted they could do it all on their own.
But not in Page. Our family doctor here — Raymond Holsten — did what he could, ordered a lot of tests and tried several medications. But when that didn’t fix the problem, he referred her to a specialist. And I must admit it is nice to have a doctor who is willing to admit he can’t fix everything.
The funny thing is the biggest problems we have had have been with that specialist — one of those Flagstaff doctors. Maybe we were spoiled in Page, but it has been frustrating having a doctor who doesn’t explain what he’s thinking, doesn’t take the time to listen and has seemingly confused not only us but himself.
If I had my choice, I would trust Donna’s care with our family doctor over this specialist. But unfortunately, we have to trust him even if trust is not something he’s earned yet.
As far as the hospital, I think the awards it has received recently speak for themselves. Page Hospital is small and therefore there are things the hospital can’t do, but when it comes to patient care, few hospitals do it better.
My wife and my son have each visited the emergency room at the hospital. Both times we came away raving by the level of service we received. We never had to wait long, the doctors and nurses took a lot of time asking questions and giving answers. And best of all, they got it right and fixed the problem.
Ultimately that is the goal when you go see medical professionals. Get it right. Our experience in Page is the doctors do just that.
If you disagree, you are certainly welcome to drive to Flagstaff or anywhere else. But I am pretty happy I can get good care right here at home.