The art of letter writing is dead, and it makes me sad. Whenever I read history or biography, I think of the loss to mankind and to history of all of the letters we never exchange — emails aren’t the same. And even still, it is likely that only Hillary Clinton’s emails will be kept.
Greeting cards are few and far between too. I used to love to spend time searching stores for just the right one with just the right message. Today, though, good ones are hard to find, and it just never seems that I can get to one of the three stores left in the continental U.S. that sells good ones when I need one.
Thank you cards too. I once read that the key to George H.W. Bush’s success was that he always sent thank you notes. But nobody ever sends those any more.
Or so I thought. But today I go this in the mail:
A thank you card from the hospital where I let them shove tools up my butt. Inside it thanks me for letting me have them abuse my body. (Or something like that.) Not something you hear of every day.
You see, on Wednesday, I had my annual tuneup, a sigmoidoscopy, performed in the hospital so that Dr. C can check out the plumbing. They aren’t really so bad, and they give me good drugs so I’m asleep and wake up refreshed. I usually feel quite good afterwards in fact.
This time I felt even better, though. Because my doctor told me that she thinks I’m in remission! That means no active disease! Whoo-hoo. Even without a poop transplant or drinking worm larvae. Cool.
As a professional patient, I deal with nurses regularly. And believe it or not, just yesterday when I was having something embarrassing done to my butt, I remembered to say thank you to the nurses who helped me. Well, except for the one who was there when I woke up from anesthesia. I think I said something weird to her, but I don’t think she’ll recognize me with my pants on.
Anyway, it’s National Nurses Week. Say thanks, now while you’re feeling good. Because usually when they’re helping you, you don’t feel so good.
And I’m rerunning this post. Because I can. And to say thanks, again.
Nurses, The Beauty of Seamless Teamwork
Naturally, I was just settling down in my recliner for a nap when the commotion started.
Yesterday I had my Remicade infusion in the outpatient infusion center at the hospital. I was in one of my favorite spots — near the nurses station and the bathroom. The room is a bay of about 15 vinyl recliners designed for easy cleaning. Unfortunately, once the leg rests are up, getting out is nearly impossible. That’s why I like being by both the nurses’ station and the bathroom. No need for a change of clothes.
Anyway, as I was settling down for my nap with my curtain partially drawn when another patient walked towards me from the other end of the corridor. As she neared the nurses’ station, she looked up at the ceiling, and I saw her legs buckle, her arms flap out birdlike, and in slow motion she started to faint.
Luckily for Mrs. Smith, a nurse was there to catch her. That nurse, Brittany, called out for help, and I then witnessed one of the most professional exhibitions of teamwork I’ve ever seen.
Immediately, Molly, my nurse ran to help, calling out, calmly for assistance, and specifying the location. Brittany and Molly gently lowered Mrs. Smith to the floor, with Molly saying “Mrs. Smith, open your eyes,” repeatedly
Other nurses went different directions towards strategically located equipment which was quickly and efficiently brought to the aid of Mrs. Smith.
Within 1 minute, Mrs. Smith had 6 nurses as well as equipment protecting her privacy surrounding her. Each nurse had a role. Molly got Mrs. Smith to open her eyes, then to squeeze her hand, then to speak. Another nurse contacted the ER to send EMTs with a gurney to get Mrs. Smith to the ER. Another started her on a fluid IV while still another nurse took an EKG and yet another set up and constantly monitored vital signs, calling them out to the team.
Within 4 minutes, Mrs. Smith, awake and groggy, was wheeled out to the ER with Brittany, the nurse who originally caught her fall, holding her hand and walking with her.
I can honestly say as an expert patient, that being sick sucks. Often we grouse at our doctors and nurses and other caretakers. We bitch about the hospitals, the costs, everything. Because we don’t want to need these services.
But, like Mrs. Smith (not her real name), I’ve been in need of help before. And when it’s you on the receiving end, it’s hard to appreciate the artistry.
I saw a the most amazing demonstration well-trained staff of caring professionals. I have a lot of faith in my healthcare professionals, but it was fascinating and wonderful watching when I’m not on the receiving end.
It’s all been said already. The GOP bill, TrumpDoesn’tCare, sucks. And frankly, I am unable to find the funny in the fact that the current leaders just sold us down the River Styx, on our way to hell.
I feel it personally, deeply. I honestly fear for the future of myself and everybody like me with a preexisting condition. Everybody with a chronic condition that requires expensive medicine. Mine costs $26K every six weeks. Over the 5 years of the “pool” the GOP added to the AHCA, I’ll use $1 million just by myself. Because of poop problems.
Folks keep telling me that I’m over-reacting, that this bill will never pass the Senate. And that’s true. But I have no faith that the Senate version will be much better, only different. After all, it is run by the folks who literally stole a supreme court seat. Does anybody really believe that these guys will do the right thing?
So clearly there is only one response that I have to Donald Trump and the House GOP.
If you hear about somebody doing this at the White House or on Capitol Hill, just pretend you don’t know me.
Today is Duncan’s birthday — his 3rd! He is a wonderful dog. Sweet, relatively obedient, and incredibly lovable.
But I went a bit overboard with doggie treats for this good boy this year. So I figured I’d share them with his friends at the park. In a way that would be good for the earth. In a way that positively shouts “DOG!” I made doggie goodie bags!
OK, in the stupidest way possible. I used biodegradable dog poop bags, and filled them full of delicious brown dog treats. That way, if I missed any of the morning friends Duncan and I usually walk with, I could leave one on their car.
A dog poop bag filled with brown stuff, left on a car. What could possibly go wrong?
Luckily for me, we saw his friends, and they and their parents were delighted by the goodie bags. They didn’t think me weird for
- Making doggie goodie bags,
- Using poop bags for party bags; or
- Expecting that if they found one of these on their car that they would open it up and feed it to their dog.