Wednesday, January 07, 2009


While the skies wept over chilly Kentucky, I spent my morning writing my journals, having chapel time and rewriting a paragraph in my UPI article on Chris Jordan to include more places to see his photographic images. Then I had an early lunch, as at 1:00 p.m. I was due downtown at Norton’s Hospital for a new procedure to me, an epidural in which anti-inflammatory medicine is placed directly into the neck area. I have recently had a good deal of nerve pain in that area and down my shoulders and arms.

Unfortunately I thought that the procedure was to take place at The Spine Institute, and I arrived there and waited for half an hour before the receptionist realized that my doctor was not at the Institute today. She called me up to investigate and I told her that I was there for an epidural. She said that they did not give them there but at a hospital. A record search showed that the appointment had been made at Norton’s. They kindly called over to Norton’s for me to explain the foul-up to them and Mick and I searched out the place I was to go in the rambling Norton’s campus. Thank heavens for wheel chairs! I would never have made the long trek on foot.

Once there the nurse spent time getting my health history – it is complicated and lengthy – and prepping me for the epidural. The procedure went well and I liked Dr. Morris, who has been doing this procedure for 19 years with a perfect record. The problem came when my blood pressure would not go back down after the procedure. Morris sent me to Norton Hospital's emergency room. By now it was after 3:00.

It was a wet and sloppy day on Louisville streets, and one ambulance after another rolled in while Mick and I waited. All of these cases were more urgent than mine, and so they went in ahead of us. Hours sauntered slowly by. It got dark. Eventually I suggested that we get something to eat, since once I was called back for treatment, food would not be allowed. Mick got a cafeteria meal for us both.

At 7:30 the nurse said that he had prepared a bed for me in the aisle of the treatment rooms, because he hated to see me in the waiting room so long. Back Mick and I went. We had a great view of the action of a downtown ER. For each patient, a different piece of ungainly equipment rolled by and was used. Each machine sounded a different tune, one like a harmonica playing a five-note tune, another dinging, another clanging. We spent time speculating on the nature of each pile of metal bells and whistles.

My favorite patient during this period was a very large, older woman of color whose opulent flesh overflowed her treatment bed. She had a marvelously fashioned, highly bouffant wig on, or mostly on. When she moved her head, the wig stayed where it was. The effect was fetching!

The ER doctors kept me until 10:00 p.m., giving me oxygen and medicine to lower the blood pressure that had landed me there and taking my blood pressure again and again. It came down from 230 to 200, and they finally agreed that I could go home as long as I made an appointment to follow up with my family doctor.

I already have an appointment with Dr. Aboud, my GP, on January 20th, and it is likely that I could not get an earlier appointment than that, so I easily agreed. It was never so sweet to see Camelot. Our Christmas lights were up for one last night as the Feast of Epiphany comes and Christmas’s twelve days end.

Mick and I offered the Gaia Meditation there in the ER hallway, since that’s where we were at 9:00. However the prayer was never completed at the close, because suddenly there was a rumpus in one of the treatment rooms with a foul-mouthed woman screaming her lungs out, demanding that she not be touched and accusing the staff of improprieties. Mick and I opened our eyes, looked at each other and, over the din, said, “Peace!”

I prayed, "Holly, I thank you for the gift of this day. When it is convenient, I would love to know the nature of this gift! Lay it on me!" The attitude of gratitude always makes things better, and I look forward to Holly's eventual explanation!