THE WRITE PLACE…

to find Patti Singleton these days.


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Celebrate A New Book! Briana Vedsted Is HERE!

CORD-Flat

Come join the celebration and get Briana’s new book!

A Girl Named Cord by Briana Vedsted will be published on Amazon.com July 31st, 2013 as both a paperback and an eBook.

Book description: Cord had to work hard to earn her living as a cow puncher, and she was getting along just fine until a wealthy rancher moves into the county and threatens the lives of her and her friends. Cord rises up to meet every challenge, but the death of friends, both old and new, plague her at every turn. And just when everything seems like it is going to go back to being peacefully normal, a secret comes to light, putting Cord and her future family in danger. Will Cord let go of her sorrow filled past and revengeful wishes long enough to save her loved ones and pull her life back out of the bottomless pit it seems to be stuck in?
But let me tell you this: peace in the heart is much more comforting than blood in the sand.
Cover art by: Dirk Porsche at http://shiggyenterprises.wordpress.com/
Find out more about Briana on her blog, http://whenibecameanauthor.wordpress.com/
And check out Briana’s other books here:
and


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Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-5

Look at all these beauties! I think we saw a total of 5 bulls and one doe. Phall Photos 2013

Look at all these beauties! I think we saw a total of 5 bulls and one doe.
Phall Photos 2013

Did I really take another day off? No, but me and my friend drove the country back roads, the loooonnnnggg way to my destination, and I got some great shots in. Fantastic Elk pics and more.

Other notes:

Please see the Book Review on this main page (it’s in the right hand column on my screen–who knows where the hell it is on yours?).  I can’t recommend it enough.  You can buy it at Amazon.

I’ve dedicated my new photo site to my sister who died in 2012. I’ve added a page for my mother’s garden photos. She’s very good and grows an awesome garden every year in Eagle River, Alaska. Go on over and meet my mom, Rae Hall; you’ll like her! Phall Photo site here.

My son is sore but okay. Thanks for all of your well wishes to him.

Here is the 4th installment of the serialized version of a section of the memoir, Souvenirs from My heart; The Patient Patient Advocate.

cont. medical history document…

March 2006 Paul had a routine colonoscopy. The doctor that performed it said that Paul had 1 benign polyp that was removed, and suggested a follow up in 5 years. Paul’s PCP (his doctor) sent a letter saying that the “tubular adenoma” polyp was “pre-cancerous” and he wanted him re-checked in 18 months. Paul recovered quickly from the procedure, but was psychologically bruised :>) by the preparation for the procedure the night before. Being a former Marine, he had a few choice words to growl during that memorable evening. I still got him to laugh with my gross jokes about his “situation.” We were frustrated to get 2 different results and recommendations; one was a relief, while the other made us concerned.

Meanwhile, Paul was having issues with extremely sore hands and cramping–especially at night–in his upper arms. He never had aches and pains before, and we wondered if somehow the surgeries had something to do with it. Paul saw his PCP, who sent him to the surgeon that repaired his rotator cuffs …the surgeon had never heard of these kinds of side effects, and sent Paul for an arthritis test.

June 2006 Three months later, a diagnosis; arthritis in both hands, severe in thumb, but why the sudden onset? And this diagnosis still doesn’t address the soreness in his upper arms. Paul has always been very active and healthy, yet since around the time of his shoulder surgeries, he had been plagued with cramping arms, aching hands, night fevers & chills, fatigue, dental issues, and heartburn…he ate a lot of Tums.  Paul saw his PCP regularly (the months of 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 in 2006), but no diagnosis was made. His shoulders gave him no problems at all.

For the next 8 months, Paul had the same issues, but the crystal form of  MSM that I filled capsules with seemed to help the aches and pains.

Postcard 5:

Paul and I both had gut feelings about all these strange medical happenings. Follow your gut feelings. We did do the normal things that you do with medical concerns, but we didn’t go any further. Push harder; get a second opinion if you don’t get satisfactory answers. It is your health and life on the line, so don’t worry about hurting your doctor’s feelings.

Postcard 1 here.

Postcard 2 here.

Postcards 3 & 4 here.

Thanks you wonderful people!

Patti


29 Comments

Writer’s Journal and New Photo Site and Anticipation

Anticipation! Blackberries Phall Photo 2013

Anticipation!
Blackberries–CLICK TO ENLARGE
Phall Photo 2013

I finally did what I said I would and created a site for my photos. It is still new and challenging, but I hope you like it, you can find it here.  You can borrow or print my photos, just let me know in the comment section and attach my site address to any photo you take. I hope you have fun watching me progress as I get more experience. Still adding a photo with most posts here.

Don’t tell anyone, because its not official yet, but I finished at Camp National Novel Writing Month! Don’t get too excited; I am still a long way from publishing. There is a lot more material to sort through, edit and edit again. Let’s not hold our breath on this one. Mom, it will happen, but great things take time:>)  (Said with much more confidence than I actually feel.)

I’m going to add a feature to my little home here and would like your help. I visit many blog sites each day to keep up with my new writing and photography friends, and I thought of something that would help new visitors.  I’m going to add a side bar feature for those who want to check out my site real quick, just to see if they want to follow it. I’ll call it something like,

“If You’re In A Hurry, Here’s the Best of Patti’s Site”

That’s why I need your help. Can  Will you take a few minutes and copy & paste, or just type a post title that you think best shows what I’m doing here? Or even your favorite post or page. Next to the title at the top of the main page, are “BIO” & such, and those are pages. So far, it looks like my bio and “Welcome to the Neighborhood” pages are the most popular. But you guys have been here awhile and know what would bring you back if you were new.

On a personal note (is anything personal these days? I mean, I saw my son in the hospital on Facebook!), yesterday my son swerved to avoid a head-on collision and ended up crashed into a river. He was alone and the car was totaled. Some passersby helped him get out and the ambulance was called. My daughter was near and rushed to his side and kept me informed. He is okay, as far as all the tests show. Banged up, a seat belt rash on his neck, a sore neck and back, but okay. It was a tense day, to say the least, which I will.

Stayed tuned for the next post…a fairy tale for bloggers/writers, but hopefully, amusing to the rest of you. I also owe you a new installment of the serialized memoir…also on its way.

Thanks for hanging in here with me—you are great! I think I have almost 600 followers and nearly 3000 hits. Not bad for the new girl on the block (who is clueless to how this all works).

Patti


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Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-Three and Four

Caspian Tern at Dinner Table.  John's River, WA PHALL PHOTO 2013

Caspian Tern at Dinner Table.
Johns River Dike Trail, outside of Aberdeen,WA
PHALL PHOTO 2013, click to enlarge

New Header photo. I love the sun rays that shoot down from the top. I took this through the Sweet Gum tree. Yes, that was a sweet gum seed pod/fruit in the post here. None of us ever figured out why it was so elongated. But after returning to investigate, I saw some were round, some were like the one in my photo.  Jon discovered that there are two completely different shaped leaves (pic below) on same tree?

Sweet Gum Tree leaves. The white feet of a cave dweller:>) PHALL PHOTO 2013

Sweet Gum Tree leaves. The white feet of a cave dweller. Painted nails & cool sandals courtesy of my daughter:>)
PHALL PHOTO 2013

This post  is part 3 of a serialized version from a portion of my memoir-in-progress. It varies slightly from the actual book, in that it is not a book, but a blog post! Smile. Below info is from the document I gave medical staff; theirs had a few more details (exact dates, etc), and no memoir narrative. The document also included Paul’s D.O.B. and his familial medical info, such as parent’s cause of death.

Abridged Medical History

August 2005 Surgery to repair left rotator cuff, non-hospital outpatient. (On the love story side of things, although I had met Paul 10+ years earlier, I became reacquainted with him a few weeks after this surgery. More of this in the first book in the memoir series)  

September 2005 Labs show low hemoglobin. Already, Paul has me tag along to all his appointments; an advocate is born (and no, I never got a cape or badge or anything).

October 2005 Paul went to the dentist for pain associated with impacted molar under a crown and gum problems. Molar removed, recovered quickly. Not to freak you out or anything, but leukemia patients often (Remember, I’m a stickler for no statistics) have dental issues months or even, as in Paul’s case, years before diagnosis.

Postcard 3:

Do you have a hard copy list of the current names and numbers of your friends and family? Why not just go ahead and start a file for your answers to these postcards? Then, if a crisis happens, you’ll be that much closer to being prepared. Add a star by those you want contacted first. Tell your closest family member where the file is kept.  

November 2005 Labs show iron/folates a little low.  

December 2005 Surgery to repair right rotator cuff, non-hospital outpatient. Paul recovered very quickly from both surgeries and followed through with several months of physical therapy. (Love story notes: I had just sold my house, so it seemed like a perfect time to move in with Paul and help with his recovery. Smile. His personal caregiver is born. Again, no cape, but I do get to be his chauffeur in a brand-spanking new Thunderbird!) Smile.

Late winter/early spring 2005/2006 Paul had periods of 1-2 weeks where he had a fever (no recorded temp, but skin was extremely hot to touch), and wracking chills at night. I would wrap my body around him trying to warm him up and calm the chills. He was fatigued and pale during the day, but continued to work, with more rests in between, and at a slower pace. We self-treated with aspirin and anti-inflammatory OTC drugs, rest, and cool rags for the fever. Something was going on, but his doctor had no idea what. These are more statistic-free indications of leukemia.

Postcard 4:

Have you followed through on Postcard 3 yet? Please add a page of basic family (parents, grandparents, and sibs) medical info. Big time-saver: your doctor’s office has this (part of your initial medical questionnaire)  on file. If stopping by doesn’t work, call and have them send you a medical release form. Fill it out, mail it back, and they will mail what you ask for. Some folks with huge files, can often request, and get a medical file summary.

Postcard 1 here.

Postcard 2 here.  

Hope you find something useful in these posts. Please let me know with a comment?

Thank you,

Patti


8 Comments

Writing Be Damned; A Photo Tour of My World

Sculpted Sands at low tide PHALL PHOTO 2013

Sculpted Sands at low tide
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Sculpted Sand Pool

Sculpted Sand Pool PHALL PHOTO 2013

Architecture as Art

Architecture as Art, a piece of an old bldg being used as city art, Aberdeen, WA                                        PHALL PHOTO 2013

 

 

"Captured" downtown Aberdeen, WA PHALL PHOTO 2013

“Captured” downtown art Aberdeen, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2013


32 Comments

Writer’s Journal; Missing Alaska, My Home Away From Home

Calm evening, Peterson Bay, Homer, Alaska PHALL PHOTO 2011

Calm, cloudy evening, Peterson Bay, Homer, Alaska
PHALL PHOTO 2011

A soothing place for a morning cup of coffee. The Peterson Bay home of sis Sharon & Captain Honey.
A soothing place for a morning cup of coffee.
The Peterson Bay blueberry haven of sis Sharon & Captain Honey. PHALL PHOTO 2011

Homesick for Alaska and my peeps there.

I am writing! Get off me:>) If FB was never invented I would be writing more, but I am writing.

* Shared children’s stories w/new blog friend and we cross-edited. Done

* Read blog friend’s published book and will write up review this week.

*Promoting my blog site and “gutsy story” all over social media. Ongoing.

*Wrote essay for Chicken Soup submission. Being edited by two friends. Re-Write in progress.

*Socially involved with an incredible group of writers on WP blogs and commenting on many others.

*In the itchy-finger stage of writing for pay, on a site I was invited to join.

*Oh, yay, and 11 days left of Camp NNWM and am confident I will finish, although need to work harder at the shaping.

* Posting serial of Postcards on this site.

* My head is overflowing with stories, poetry and ideas for memoir series.

*Mr. I.V. Poley immortalized by inclusion in a story here: http://neverendingstorydepository.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/ionia-the-super-hero/

There must be more, but I need a nap now.

Stay tuned,

Patti


18 Comments

Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-Two

Butterfly on Flower in my friend's garden. Phall Photo 2013

Butterfly on flower in my friend’s garden.
Phall Photo 2013

First, I want to thank those of you who read and commented on my essay, “Runaway Writer Found on Beach, Heart Broken, but Alive!” It will be up at http://www.gutsyliving.com for the rest of the month, then voted on August 1-14, and winner announced August 15th.

Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-Two

“Leukemia and other cancers do not seem to strike sick people.” This is a direct quote by me, with no qualifications whatsoever. Yes, this is only my personal conclusion from anecdotal evidence. (Remember, no statistics here.)

My conclusion comes from the hundreds of stories and memoirs I’ve read in the last five years. It comes from the many patients and caregivers that I met during our year in and out of hospitals and clinics. Instead of being unhealthy, most cancer victims were like my husband; healthy, non-smokers who got plenty of exercise. Many ate healthy diets and logged daily hours running, biking or working out at a gym.

Cancer can happen to anyone, at any time. Sure, there are high risk groups for some cancers, like those caused by smoking, and those passed down through genetic inheritance. Sadly, I’ve heard and read repeatedly, “But she/he was so healthy.”

Being prepared might speed up your treatment, it might help make an accurate diagnosis, it could even save your life. If you can’t do what it takes to be prepared for yourself, do it for the ones you love. The ones who will have to go through piles of paperwork, make a lot of phone calls, and piece together the vitally important information that medical staff will need to help you.

Postcard 2:  Please don’t live as if you were immune to bad things happening. I don’t believe that being prepared will bring the universe down against you. Being prepared is a loving thing we do for others, not especially for ourselves. Are all your current medications listed in one place, like your purse or wallet? Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a copy, then add vitamins and other over the counter medicines or supplements that you take to the list

///

To read SMH; Postcards-One go here. This is serialized version of a section of my memoir. It’s kind of serious huh? Hopefully readers will find enough value in the information I provide here, that they will hang in for the lighter sections.

Thank you for reading, please let me know what you think.

Patti


23 Comments

Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-One

CASPIAN TERNS & A LOST SEAGULL Ready-Set-Take Off!!

CASPIAN TERNS & A LOST SEAGULL
Ready-Set-Take Off!!

First, please go see my “gutsy story” at http://www.gutsyliving.com  You can make a comment at the very bottom of the page.

The post title conveys that this is part 1 of a serialized version from a portion of my memoir-in-progress. It varies slightly from the actual book, in that it is not a book, but a blog post. Smile. My intention is to keep my writing focused on the memoir project, including blog posts here on The Write Place. If I bore the socks off you, then my new intention will be to move to a deserted island and never write again. Either that, or rewrite the damn thing, I mean, the host object of all my worldly dreams.  So, on with it!

This post could be about you or someone you love.

The contents of this post don’t come with citations, statistics, links, or expert opinions. You get souvenir postcards, instead.

The words within come from my heart; these are not happy souvenirs from my heart, but practical souvenirs, with bits of humor to buffer the fear, pain and sadness. (Plus Paul and I really loved to laugh)

These souvenirs were collected along our travels through many hospital stays. My late husband, Paul, and I gathered ways to help others who would be fighting for their lives, like we were fighting for his at the time.

We wiled away many hours in the hospital and temporary housing, talking about the physical clues we may have missed. I made a few notes about what we could put in a book for people in our situation. Paul’s first suggestion about our future book was to include his health information, from a few years before, right up to the day he was diagnosed with cancer.

That part was easy; I had already dug through doctor bills, lab reports and even our family wall calendar. My mission had been to make a document, specific to Paul’s health, for the millions of times doctors, nurses, administrators and others asked about Paul’s medical history.

I’m giving you the nitty-gritty truth here; even if you hand them a copy of the medical history, they will still want to hear it from the patient. In our case, Paul had made me his unofficial health advocate right after we became a couple, so he would defer their questions to me. I just read the answers from our copy of the document, or used it as a reminder of dates, lab values and other details. It did take months for me to think of making the document, but it sure saved our brain power once I had it completed.

Postcard 1: Make a written health history for yourself and family members, BEFORE it is needed, like now. Okay, maybe wait until you finish reading this post.

To be continued…

See, I told you it would be short, but that also means I had to cut it off sometime.

Watch for Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-Two with another beautiful picture that has nothing to do with the post.

As usual, I am happy to read your comments, questions, and critiques. However, mind reading isn’t my forte, so you’ll have to actually click on the button and write me a note. I’m so happy if you “like” this post, but why do you like it?

If you can’t “comment” or “like” because of technical difficulties, send me an email at 1writeplacewordpress at symbol gmail dot com. Weird, but that is so spammies can’t glom onto me. Please use the blog post title in the subject line.

Thanks ever so much,

Patti


19 Comments

Writer’s Journal; Thanks, Writer’s Group, Gutsy, Memoir

Kite Festival on a marine layer morn. Grayland Beach, WA Phall Photo 2013

Kite Festival on a marine layer morn. Grayland Beach, WA
Phall Photo 2013

Photo has nothing whatsoever to do with this post :>) I just wanted some color.

Things are moving along so quickly. You know the sayings, “feast or famine,” and “when it rains, it pours”? That’s the situation I am in right now—a soaking wet feast of activity. There are umbrellas in that antique coat rack by the door; better grab one :<) Sure it’s raining in here, but coffee, tea, cookies and fruit are on the buffet by the window, help yourself.

Kudos to You!

You, my old and new friends, are the best and have been incredibly responsive in this little community at The Write Place. So many connections are being made, and friendships being forged here. You are not just supporting me, but you are spreading that support to each other, all over the web. Thank you.

South Beach Writer’s Group (WA not CA, silly)

I just got back from the monthly writer’s meeting at the local library. Our group is called South Beach Writer’s Group and I’m going to do my part by building a website for us. Yes, I know, I’m new at this. I do have the time though (sort of), and that’s a prized commodity in any group. Okay, so you think they’re just desperate? No, no, no, no, I volunteered to do it in order to build our group. Win/win (they hope).

Today I presented my poster-board mind map. I’m using it to stay focused on what goes where as I put together my memoir. Then I passed around my original mind map from my writer’s journal. Gwen would have been proud; see my previous mind map post here. I was amazed that only one of them had heard of mind maps, but that made for a lot of questions and a productive conversation.

I also talked about our community here at The Write Place, and building a writer’s platform. The rest of the meeting was spent listening to each other’s latest work, critiquing and commenting. We have folks from all different age groups (from seniors in high school to seniors in life). We are writing across many genres, with a variety of writing goals. It was a well-spent two hours. Here is a link to one site that helps you find or form local groups of all kinds. These are in-person groups and the topics include any reason under the sun that people want to meet in a group.

Finally, the Exciting News

My “Gutsy Story” about running away to the beach is being posted on a very popular and busy site Monday!

Every Monday, Sonia Marsh chooses and posts one story on her site Gutsy Living. At the end of each month people come to the site and vote for the best of the four stories. Sonia has some great writing- related sponsors who award a prize to the winner. She also spreads the news of each author, resulting in more visitors to the author’s web site and social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc).

She has compiled a wonderful anthology of “gutsy” stories that I have been reading to write a review on. She also wrote a book about her incredible family’s “gutsy” story.  My hope is that you will go to the site here on Monday, read my story and vote at the end of the month. (For me, please)

Odds and Ends

I am doing more book reviews and WIP (work-in-progress) readings for writers I have met through The Write Place. One of them just finished a critique for one of my children’s story. As soon as I finish them, I will add the reviews to the review page here.

New serial posts from part of my memoir draft starting Monday morning.  I will post short pieces, in order, until the whole section is complete.

Again, thank you, peeps,

Patti


7 Comments

Memoir; Packing and Unpacking for Life in the Fast Lane

Many of my F/F may remember this post from that year in and out of hospitals. I caught it while working on the memoir and thought it was a good one to show what our lives were like.  I cleaned it up a bit and will find a spot for it in The Patient Patient Advocate.

Posted on Care Pages Dec 10, 2008 about our Thanksgiving scare.

Three hospitals, three temporary apartments, and numerous quick trips home in 5 months…

First, you pack to go to your “real” home to spend a cozy, quiet Thanksgiving. Finally allowed a few days away from the big city. Our own bed, woods, peace and quiet. You unpack and settle in. You delve into the secret gift room to see what goodies you can find among the gifts chosen over the year. The pool table becomes the gift table. So glad you bought for people when you saw good deals, or just the right thing for someone. Have to make this quick; don’t know how long you will have at home, or if you will get back before Christmas.

Fever takes hold.

You quickly re-pack to rush to the hospital; holiday traffic, 90 miles away. You forget all the things that you were going to bring back to the temporary home. You abandon the holiday meal, the fridge full of food.

First, you think, maybe a few days at the hospital. When you find out different, you make a run to the temporary apartment to do laundry, get some clothes, clean out the fridge there, and pack for an extended stay at the hospital. Bills to pay, notes and Christmas cards, appointments to cancel, appointments to make. Who can you call to clean out the fridge at home and take all the food?

At the same time, every minute, you worry about sepsis, this infection of unknown origin. He goes through 3 different antibiotics before they can get it under control. Make more notes in the medical journal.

You read, you knit, unravel mistakes, knit and repeat. It would be nice to unravel this cancer, to unravel a lifetime of regrets and mistakes. To knit over and around the anger, fear and deep sadness.

You have lugged enough stuff from the apartment, to the 7th floor, to try and make his stay here as good and comfortable as possible. Never enough.

Then, you re-pack; his body has performed more miracles, gave the doctors the numbers they needed in order to release him back to the temporary home. You lug it all back down to the hospital garage, load it up—barely room for him.

You stop at the store to pick over the shelves, the deli, to find tantalizing bits of food to entice him to eat. There are the 20 pounds he left behind, after 11 days at the hospital–about as much he has lost in the last 5 months! Time to pack on the pounds; fatten him up for transplant in 29 days. Stay away from people, cringe at the  stray cough or sneeze from workers and other shoppers. You want a force field so you don’t carry these germs back to him.

You shove the grocery bags in between the hospital luggage. Have to get  him “home” and tucked in as soon as possible. Haul groceries and hospital luggage  up the long sagging set of stairs, through the gate, then 5 sturdy steps to the porch, which damn key is it and  back to the temporary home! Safe, at last.

He feels guilty and says he thinks he can make another trip to the truck. You tell him to sit. You can do it. He sits. In his mind, you are sitting; he is hauling up the groceries and luggage, then parking the truck on the street and walking up the alley to the sagging stairs and the last five to the porch.

Unpacking is on a sporadic, as needed basis, for maybe a day or two. Where are those slippers? those pills? the phone number for the social worker? the addresses for the thank-you notes? the paper with our clinic appointment on it?—you know it’s in here somewhere??? He has his heated blanket, his favorite pillows, his snacks, thermometer, his water and his TV remote—ahhhh, he’s settled for the evening.

As you put it all away, you are reminded of your first pregnancy…always ready to go to the hospital at a moment’s notice. You don’t want to think about another emergency trip to the hospital, but, just in case, you start packing again…

Thank you for stopping by–I’m heading for the beach,

Patti


22 Comments

Memoir Excerpt Draft; Living in Hospitals and Mr. I.V. Poley

Living in hospitals was a unique experience for my husband and, in a way, for me too. In 1969 I spent over two-and-a-half months in an Anchorage, Alaska hospital with a broken arm in traction. The family story is that one of my sisters walked into my hospital room and said something to me about my arm hanging from a screw through the elbow. She got the wrath of mom for it; apparently they were keeping that tidbit from me. I don’t have much memory of my stay—maybe she did traumatize me? :>)

I had health issues through most of my younger years, so I have been in and out of hospitals quite a bit. The last time was in 1983, in a Seattle area hospital with a high fever that wouldn’t lower for days. High fevers mess with your brain and I don’t have much recollection of that stay either. My parents were there from Oregon and I don’t even remember seeing them.

I also spent a good part of two weeks in another Seattle hospital when my first grandchild was born in 2006. I’ve hung out in hospitals for days with friends and family during labor and birth, and spent hours in the ER with my children, okay, mostly my son. None of that hospital experience prepared me for what my husband, Paul, and I went through during our year-long fight for his life.

Paul had never been a patient in a hospital; he had never had any serious injury or illness. He did have two shoulder surgeries in an outpatient clinic, that he bounced right back from. So, along with the shock of being diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer, the shock of living in the hospital environment shook him to his core.

During 2008 and 2009 we were in three hospitals, although the first one was only overnight. In June of 2009 we were residing at a Seattle hospital which, like me, was celebrating its 50th birthday. It was not a time of celebration for us, so it was almost irritating to see the birthday banners and bunting hanging everywhere. Celebrations were for the maternity section of the hospital; the rest of us were just not in the mood.

We were on the cancer floor, where we learned months before, that if you got transferred upstairs, it usually meant you weren’t going to make it. None of us actually knew that, but we never saw those patients and their caregivers again. We knew when other patients were getting worse, from our walking circuit. These were hard blows for us. It would have been relatively easy to find out where they went, but it was one of many times that we chose the fragment of hope, by not knowing the full story.

Walking the 7th floor circuit, as nurses and doctors encouraged patients to do; we met most of the other patients and caregivers on our floor. Some, we stopped and chatted with, others we just nodded our heads and smiled at. I became close to some of the other caregivers in the family room, where we made meals, took showers and did our laundry. The social aspects of the walking circuits and the family room were the highlights of many days and nights.

Meet Mr. I.V. Poley

Meet Mr. I.V. Poley

Paul had so many medications, fluids, pumps and other life-saving concoctions on his I.V. pole that it felt like three of us walking those halls together, not two. We eventually humanized him by naming him Mr. I. V. Poley and then we gave him a sign with his name on it (it is at top of pole and not in the photo). He was sometimes even more heavily laden with equipment than he is in the photo. I often introduced him to others, just to put a smile on their face. Even the doctors and nurses called him by name; most of them jumped on any levity they could find. Bringing Mr. I V. Poley to life was one of the ways we dealt with the upheaval of living in hospitals.

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Patti