Author Topic: Questions about House  (Read 4817 times)

lrobie

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Questions about House
« on: March 19, 2012, 02:19:01 pm »
I've heard some people say that St. Vincent's Hospital is in a bad area of Los Angeles.  Can this be better defined (I.E. a lot of crime)?  Can you stay at Seton upon arrival in LA or do you have to stay at a hotel until your surgery?  What are your thoughts on taking our very mature 11 year old son with us?  Is the room at Seton big enough?  Will my husband and son be able to do stuff while I'm on the mend?  Do most people buy round-trip or one-way airline tickets until they know when they can return home?

I have not decided to go with surgery at House, but these are just questions floating around in my mind.

Thanks for your help!

Lisa
6/2009 7mm x 4mm  W&W
8/2011 9.5mm x 5mm
2/2012 UPMC Follow-up , slight growth
Surgery on 7/18/12 w/Drs. Friedman & Schwartz (mid-fossa)
www.caringbridge.org/visit/lisarobie

mindyandy

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Re: Questions about House
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 03:47:19 pm »
Hi Lisa. I have to say that St Vincent is not in a good neighborhood. The hospital is older so its not like its an upscale neighborhood. Seton Hall is attached. You can walk outside to get to it or there is an underground tunnel to take. Its not a gunpoint hold up type neighborhood but not the best place to hang around. Seton Hall has a bed, pull out hidabed couch, refrigerator, and a tv with a dresser. Stand up shower with no bathroom fan. LOL It is an old dorm. Nothing fancy but a good place to recoop. Your son will be bored. I was very bored but I was there for surgery and to go home. I have to say the people at St Vincent from the security guards to the nurses and doctors were all fabulous. I did not care about the neighborhood or how old the place was. It was all about the care and etc. This is my opinion. When I 1st arrived there I was looking more for a fancy place...LOL I am pleased tho. LOL
14mm dx 9/07. CK done Seattle  1 year MRI showed some shrinkage. 4 year MRI 2mm growth nothing conclusive. Trigminal nerve involvment Retrosigmoid Friedmand/Schwartz HEI March 7,2012

CHD63

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Re: Questions about House
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2012, 04:22:46 pm »
Hi Lisa .....

I agree with everything Mindy said.  Actually Seton Hall is the former nunnery so it is not new.  However, it is very clean and comfortable.  Different rooms have different beds/accomodations.  Our room was like Mindy's ..... king sized bed, pull-out couch, etc.  You can ask about other bed arrangements if you call out there.

Just wanted to add that the tunnel is not a dark steam tunnel, but a carefully built, large well-lighted hallway underground that served as a good safe walking place to and from the cafeteria.  All of the staff warned us not to walk outside alone after 6:00, but we never saw nor heard any suspicious activity outside ..... unless you count the ice cream truck music suspicious.   ::)

The security was exceptionally tight.  You have a key to the building, a separate key for the elevator, and a key to your room.  We never once felt threatened or unsafe.  Your son will probably be bored unless he has video games, likes to watch TV, or read.  It would not be safe for him to go outside walking by himself.  However, if you rent a car, there are lots and lots of things to do within an easy drive.

On day 6 after my surgery we drove with another couple (he had AN surgery the same day I did ..... different doctors) to Newport Coast, CA and spent the night in a villa near the ocean ..... no problems whatsoever for either of us.

Other than that one night, we stayed at Seton the entire 17 days (we opted to go 4 days early for a pre-op vacation).  We made our round trip plane reservations to and from about a month before surgery, knowing that HEI had the forms needed for the airlines in the event we had to extend our stay (we did not, and came home as scheduled).

Hope that helps.

Clarice

Right MVD for trigeminal neuralgia, 1994, Pittsburgh, PA
Left retrosigmoid 2.6 cm AN removal, February, 2008, Duke U
Tumor regrew to 1.3 cm in February, 2011
Translab AN removal, May, 2011 at HEI, Friedman & Schwartz
Oticon Ponto Pro abutment implant at same time; processor added August, 2011

jaylogs

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Re: Questions about House
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 04:49:12 pm »
I just wanted to add that Seton Hall, in its simplicity and perhaps 3 star accomodations, lies the beauty of its proximity to St. Vincents and of course, the atmosphere of being with people who are in your shoes. It was nice to be able to wonder the halls at night post-op and running into other people doing the same thing...some having the same exact stitches on their heads like you do! I am not a terribly vane person, but it was nice to not worry about me out and about in pj's and a robe on, with a massive scar on the side of my head! :)  Plus the price was right, compared to other hotels in the area.  That tunnel does indeed help, especially during times of inclimate weather as I had experienced.  So that is my .02 cents worth! Good luck as you continue to explore your options!
Jay
8.1mm x 7.8mm x 8.2mm AN, Left Ear, Middle Fossa surgery performed on 12/9/09 at House by Drs. Brackmann/Schwartz. Some hearing left, but got BAHA 2/25/11 (Ponto Pro) To see how I did through my Middle Fossa surgery, click here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jaylogston

JerseyGirl2

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Re: Questions about House
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 09:00:36 pm »
I very much agree with all that's been posted here re: Seton Hall. My husband and I rented a car (picked it up when we landed at LAX), and feel that we could not have managed without it. Parking is quite reasonable at the hospital -- something like $14 per week with unlimited departures/returns. The immediate neighborhood, while not absolutely terrible, is probably not one you'd care to have your son walking through. I believe that Seton Hall was formerly used as a dorm for nursing students (back in the day when St. Vincent's had a nursing school). As folks have posted, there's nothing remotely luxurious about it, but it's clean and adequate ... and its proximity to House and the hospital makes up for everything it lacks!!

There are so very many fun things to do and see in Los Angeles! Getty Art Museum is a must, and it was fun walking around a bit in Hollywood. The highlight of the trip for me (in addition to a successful operation  :) ) was attending a taping of Jeopardy! six days after my surgery. Culver City (site of the Sony Studios where Jeopardy! is taped) is a quick 30-minute drive from the hospital.

We bought round-trip tickets, with the assumption (which proved to be correct) that I'd be good to go ten days after surgery. I think you can easily get a "doctor's note" for the airline if the determination is made that you need to stay a bit  longer than anticipated. I don't know how long your flight would be, but if it's fairly lengthy (mine was Los Angeles to New Jersey) you might want to consider upgrading to first-class for your return flight. It was absolutely worth every frequent-flyer mile I "spent."
Best wishes,

Catherine (JerseyGirl 2)
Translab surgery and BAHA implant: House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, 1/2008
Drs. J. House, Schwartz, Wilkinson, and Stefan
BAHA Intenso, 6/2008
no facial, balance, or vision problems either before or after surgery ... just hearing loss
Monmouth County, NJ

lrobie

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Re: Questions about House
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2012, 01:18:58 pm »
Thank you all for your responses.  It really helps to have these questions answered.  I live in Erie, PA, so my flight would be almost as long as yours was, JerseyGirl2.

Thanks again and please feel free to add more.

Lisa
6/2009 7mm x 4mm  W&W
8/2011 9.5mm x 5mm
2/2012 UPMC Follow-up , slight growth
Surgery on 7/18/12 w/Drs. Friedman & Schwartz (mid-fossa)
www.caringbridge.org/visit/lisarobie

Mei Mei

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Re: Questions about House
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2012, 04:34:22 pm »
I, unfortunately did not go to HEI for surgery but did go to Univ. of California at Irvine back in 1989 for repairing my nerve that moves the vocal cord to the nerve that moves the tongue.   I had a cervical laminectomy the year before and the vocal cord was and still is paralyzed.   I've been back to the area several times since and had to stay in the Irvine dorms for 10 before going home.   The bus transportation is extremely good and I took a public bus to Newport Beach several times and most importantly Balboa Beach and Balboa Island.   With each visit I go back to Balboa and walk down the pier to a small chain hamburger place called Ruby's to either have breakfast or lunch with a milkshake.  You take it up to the roof and sit on a folding chair...before you lies the ocean with nothing else because this place is jutting out into the ocean.   There is also in the distance Catalina Island.   If I were you I would have the hubby take your son over to Catalina for a few days.    There's a nature center there with naturalists giving classes on identification of all sorts of beach things.    I had the AAA in Irvine plan my trip for three days.    No cars are allowed on the island and each house is sold with a golf cart to go with it.   I met a grandma on the beach with her grandkids and she said they took a trip to LA one time...it was their first time riding in a car and they were very timid.   Such a life they have there.   I would take a trip to HEI as an opportunity to explore a wonderful place.
Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

davecz

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Re: Questions about House
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2012, 02:04:45 am »
Hello Lisa,

I was at Seton one month ago and just wanted to add a few more things. As most have posted, Seton is a very adequate place to stay. It has pretty much everything you'll need while you recover. Yes, the neighborhood doesn't appear to be all that safe, but you really can avoid those areas. I felt very safe there and would have had no problem bringing my younger daughter. I'd have to say the best part of staying there was how safe I felt being close to the hospital. If anything happens, you're right there if an emergency occurs. You wouldn't have that if you stayed at a hotel in the area.

I don't think you will have the peace and quiet that Seton offers if you stay in a hotel. Everyone there seemed to respect each other and kept things quiet. It really was nice to meet other House patients at Seton too. I looked forward to meeting new patients as I roamed the halls each day to get my exercise. I checked in two days before surgery, so you shouldn't have a problem arriving early. I gave them all my arrival info prior to getting there, so I had reservations from start to finish.

Hope this helps you out. Good luck with your decision regarding House as your surgery team. I'll never regret going there. The most memorable part of my experience there was when Dr. Friedman told me he was trained by the best neurosurgeon on the "planet". I didn't have too many questions after that.

Good luck!

Dave
Diagnosed 11/23/2011, R-AN, 3.0cm, Age: 51, very
athletic, symptoms; Sudden hearing loss R Ear, balance
 issues, fatigue, tinnitus. Surgery HEI, 04/27/2012, Dr.
Friedman & Swartz. Post op, translab, 100% tumor removal,
Facial nerve intact, no balance issues, released 3 days post op,
Doing grea

schmidtkat

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Re: Questions about House
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2012, 08:04:40 pm »
Hi Lisa,
My response may sound like an echo in the mountains, or another 2 cents worth...I was at the HEI for my AN surgery on Sept. 2, 2011. The Seton Hall accomodations were a blessing not only for me but for my family. My 2 teenagers accompanied my husband and me. My mother-in-law, twin sister and an uncle also flew out, all from Iowa. As many of you read this it may appear quite odd to have such a flock in flight. It all seemed quite okay at the time. My husband's presence is probably not too challenging to explain. Our children wanted to be there for the surgery and then return shortly thereafter. My mother-in-law wanted to be there to support all of us. My twin and I are extremely close and my uncle was willing to be a driver in LA. Sooo..long story short it all worked out well. Prior to my surgery we had an extra hotel room for the guys and the gals stayed with me at Seton. By the time I was released from St. Vincent all of my family except my husband had flown home. While I had my pre-op day the rest of the family took in LA.

The positives and negatives already shared about Seton would be the same for me. Convenience, peace of mind being close to the hospital, cost and proximity to other AN patients was priceless. During the day it was a beautiful location with the garden space in front. At night I would not recommend venturing out. The tunnel underground connecting Seton to St. Vincent was secure.

I do have lots of photos of Seton. If you would like to see some just PM me and I will gladly share.

Thoughts  and prayers for you ~

Kathy

 


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