Friday, October 23, 2009


“Once, in Israel, God appeared in the doorway, and we were sore afraid.”
Annie Dillard

Let us now set aside
our profane belief
in corpus control
and embrace sacred humility
With yeast and egg
seed and must
Let us bow our will
to that power beyond our texts:
How our mucus membranes
will repair themselves
Flesh will knit
oxygen will
hop the metro of our corpuscles
It takes dozens of muscles
tiny or bovine, from may regions
to evacuate our bowels
an expertise we possess at birth
Let us mumble our ignorance
Of bile and synapse
Why some tumors are checked
How our watery sacs constantly
adjust valves to keep us
one step shy of liquid or
sicca again sayonara
We are deluded
We are sore afraid
Let us join fingertips
with the love we can only express
by life itself
which is another word for love.

© 2009 Maggie Jochild
October 23, 2009, 8:20 pm

Cross-posted at Meta Watershed and Group News Blog as dictated to Jesse by Maggie.


“This is Las Vegas. We have our own way, and we just let people be how they are.”

This statement was given to me by Grace, Nurse of Nurses, here in the PCU. To be honest, Grace, or Amazing Grace as we call her behind her back, is one of two Nurse of Nurses here. The other being Extraordinary Emily. But for today I am blessedly in the hands of Grace for a third day in a row, sandwiched between two nights under the care of Ray-Ray, Grace’s best friend and the kind of man you wish was your own best friend.

But I digress. Easy to do here in Vegas.

The PCU is a netherworld between ICU, where gossamer threads of mortality are nearly visible in the always florescent glare and must be brushed by as delicately as Shelob’s Lair, and “The Ward,” the rest of the hospital. (In my Tramadol soaked brain I just commented “Ward, I’m worried about my beaver,” cracking myself up.)

Here on the PCU we are one firm step up from the ICU toward the remainders of our days but still dealing 24/7 with heavy damage done to us by other human beings or organisms which lack negotiation skills. Grace tells me she has three patients besides me and I’m the only person on the entire floor who is coherent. Which makes me something of a road-side attraction. In the midst of my extremis I’m having some profoundly human connections here in Vegas.

I saw half my abdominal incision today, about four inches of it. It’s grotesque but I touched it gently and reminded my belly I love it, all will be well someday. I did that for my Mamma after her surgeries, and now must love my self without her here.

Except, of course, she never left me.

More stories to come but hydrocodone, heparin, Protonix, potassium, mag sulfate, and levaquin await.

Thank you for being mine out there.

This post is about Thursday, October 22, 2009. Cross-posted at Meta Watershed and Group News Blog as dictated to Jesse by Maggie.


One Week After Emergency Abdominal Surgery Maggie Jochild Is Still In Intensive Care

Donations Desperately Urgently Needed or
Maggie May Be Sent Home, Tough Luck
Instead Of Surgical Rehab As Needed

Bottom Line:
Maggie Desperately Needs
YOUR Donations Now
For Reals, No Kidding
This One's for All The Marbles

The alternative is Maggie may literally be kicked out of the hospital with a big surgical incision in her stomach which isn't anywhere near healed, unable to walk (even to the kitchen or the bathroom) and sent home. If this happens her surgical wound WILL split back open, become infected, and if we're really really lucky, the worst that will happen is Maggie will get sent back to the hospital where it will all get fixed.

Those of you whom remember Steve Gilliard remember that he was out of heart surgery, was talking and recovering, and then the hospital pushed his fat black poor ass out of its expensive ICU bed because he had no insurance, threw him to a non-monitored cheap-ass ward bed...where Gil promptly got a major infection which killed him, even after they returned him to the ICU and did surgery to try and save him again.

If the hospital had only kept Steve in the ICU for another week he'd likely have lived. If he'd had insurance -- if someone would have PAID for that expensive medical shit -- then Gil would for sure have been left on the ICU no problem. And in the ICU a) he likely wouldn't have caught the damn infection to start with, but if he had, b) they'd have been all over the damn thing within 3-6 hours of it starting and BOOM, knocked it on its ass right away. 'Cause that's what they do in ICU, catch 'em small and knock 'em down. Instead, Gilly was on the ward, they missed it for days, and by the time they caught it it'd spread all over his body, thus he died.

We talk (more or less privately) how Gilly's death was partially caused by racism. Let's be even more blunt. It was caused by classism. If Steve had been a black man with money, a fat black man with good health insurance and a decent job, he'd likely have lived. He died because the hospital was not being PAID to give a shit.

We are facing down the very same problem with Maggie. It's the money, stupid.

Maggie is alive.
And dead broke.
We need your help, for reals.

Maggie is in totally wonderfully amazingly health (with respect to her recovery that is; I'm not comparing her to an Olympic champion) in one of the best major surgical recoveries I've ever seen.

If you'd asked me two weeks ago if what has just happened could happen with Maggie would happen with Maggie, I'd have told you not only no but hell no, and listed 20 major problems which no doubt would go wrong during any major hospitalization/surgery time frame for Maggie. Yet here we are.

Two ways it all can go:

1. Get Maggie into a good Long Term Acute Care / Rehab facility.

a) This will require both a charity bed from the facility and/or donations from various sources in Austin. We have LOTS of sources working to make that happen. If any of you have high-level contacts in Austin who might be willing to help, please email me directly.

b) We'll also need SUBSCRIPTIONS & DONATIONS from y'all. Thousands and thousands of dollars both in ongoing monthly subscriptions and current immediate donations. Both are needed. If you need to choose, I'd prefer you choose to subscribe for a monthly lessor amount. How much you subscribe for monthly is your business.  The current highest monthly subscription Maggie receives is $200 month; two people currently subscribe to Maggie at that level. Furthermore, both of those people sometimes donate additional sums when money is short. Money goes to the very basic needs of life: food; Maggie's food budget is $160 per month. Rent. Water and electricity, Internet, cat food, medicines (prescription and OTC), clothing. The pure basics.

2. The bad route: Maggie gets sent home alone to heal.

a) In rehab yesterday (Thursday) it was a triumph when Maggie stood for ten minutes immediately next to her bed WITH TWO PEOPLE HELPING HER. She is unable to walk to the bathroom ten feet from her bed. (She uses a rolling toilet next to her bed with two attendants and a nurse with her at all times as she's backing out a big one. The attendant rolls away and cleans up the toilet afterward. As for peeing, she still has in a Foley cath.

Question: At home, when she can't get out of bed without help, how is she to crap, pee, cook food (when she can't stand), wipe her bum, keep her incision clean (no attendent is going to come to her home for a home health care visit; she has no insurance and no financial aid or support to get a home health aid.) And so on and on. She's recovering wonderfully but she will need massive support and assistance around the clock for the next 3-8 weeks depending. (I'm not yet clear myself, nor are the doctors. The best numbers I've been able to get are, three weeks to two months of FULL-TIME care depending on how she does, part-time support for several months afterward.

Bottom line: She either gets #1 above, the Charity Bed or she'll become a lying in her own sickness infection case and the only question will be, will she become to infected to quickly to dial 911 in time? As part of #1 above we'll need enough donations from y'all to keep her home handled, lights on, cat taken care of, all the basics. If we can manage the basics for her then we're good.

Moving on...

Even though it is way early, because there's such a concern about money, her surgical team is removing her surgical staples TODAY (Friday) while she's still in the ICU Stepdown with ICU Nurses 24/7, Internists and Surgeons doing rounds twice a day, the entire intensive care setup but with the focus on rehabilitation, not purely on critical care.

Maggie has a history of her abdominal surgical wound breaking wide-the-frack open -- technical term: dehiscence -- and taking months, infected, pain-filled, pus-dripping agonizing months to heal. *shudders* Throughout the last two weeks, much much more than dying, dehiscence and cancer have been Maggie's major fears.

The good news is Maggie had Cancer. Because she was accidentally taken to the rich people's hospital in Austin -- the indigent people's hospital was on ER bypass when she called 911 -- she got the best surgical, anesthesiology & OR Team in Austin in what is without question the best hospital in Austin. And the #1 surgical etc. team (as I just said) decided her case was interesting enough to take it on themselves.

Came the day before her surgery when her surgeon asked her if she wanted a "surgical weave" to hold the abdominal organs in place afterward or not. The benefit would be it would allow him to do an appendectomy as well; the problem is, it would cost an extra twenty-thousand dollars. Maggie told me "I looked him dead in the face and said, 'Use the surgical weave and do the appendectomy. That's one less possible emergency abdominal surgery I'll never have to have. As for the $20 grand, it's fine. I'm dead broke and am never going to be able to pay for any of this anyway.'"

"The surgeon blinked for a moment, then started laughing, caught himself -- it was as if he admired my guts -- and said, 'Alright, we'll use the weave and do the appendectomy.' And walked out of the room."

The surgery happened. Along with all the stuff which saved her life, an utterly routine appendectomy took place. In addition, an utterly routine D&C took place, as Maggie's had long-lasting issues with cervical cysts rupturing. The question for 20 years has been, should she get a total hysterectomy to avoid the substantial risk of cervical cancer. One of the major questions considered in this surgery was, 'Should we do a full hysterectomy?' A GYN/Oncologist was brought in on the case precisely to answer that question. After doing a full work-up on Maggie, talking with the primary surgeon about the seriousness of the primary surgery -- it was a MAJOR threat to her life and time-of-surgery, e.g.: how long she was under anesthesia, as well as length-of-incision, e.g.: if a total hysterectomy had been done the surgical incision required would have been triple its current size, the dehiscence Maggie is worried about (which has not yet happened) would have been flat-out unavoidable, infection would have set in, rehab would have been measured in six months to a year... and that is if she had lived to get off the table, given the longer OR time and the additional insult to her already badly damaged system.

Maggie and I decided against it. Her surgeon, and her GYN/Oncologist recommended against it. What they did suggest instead was a full D&C during the surgery along with a biopsy, as well as an examination of the uterus and other reproductive organs, visually (if possible), by touch, and through biopsy.

What you need to understand is Maggie has had cervical cysts rupturing every few weeks/months for decades. The pain is a 9 out of 10 with 10 being screaming then dropping to the floor writhing banging your head trying to knock yourself out. Nine is just short of that, all you can do NOT to totally lose it.

I speak as someone who has gone all the way to 10 more than once. Dropping to the floor, first screaming, then sobbing in agony. Almost everyone around me getting away from me. One good friend came over and helped me to my car; I drove myself, somehow, to my doctor's office where I stumbled in (without an appointment; ha!) and they instantly took me back where I was seen within 90-120 seconds. Hours later I was in the hospital being admitted by a neurosurgeon for the next four days, emergency neurosurgery two-three times, morphine drip, unable to form words of more than two syllables or speak past a four-year old level...for four days due to the pain.

THAT is a 10 (in case you're ever asked how bad it hurts 1-10.) If you can talk about the pain while you're in the pain, it ain't no 10. *smiles*

Maggie's been living with a 9 for 2 to 3 days every few weeks to a month for the last 10-20 years. Plus the fear of cervical cancer. With no health insurance, she's had NO way to find out; she's simply had to ride out the pain with Advil, and ride out her fears alone.

The physical examination during surgery was unremarkable. Which is good. Of course, it's the biopsy that tells the story. Two days ago (Wednesday) the biopsy of Maggie's D&C came back. Nada. Nothing. Clean. Her GYN/Oncologist came by and explained... as Maggie told me, he said this means because Maggie is in menopause, she in no longer a cervical cancer risk. She made it through the danger zone and out the other side. Done, complete, fini.

The biopsy results also came back Wednesday from the appendectomy. Remember, the routine appendectomy that almost didn't get done and only happened because Maggie insisted they spend an extra $20,000.00? Cancer. Malignant cancer. The Oncologist came by... as Maggie told me, he said you got lucky. The margins on the cancer were clean. That means we got ALL of the cancer. It didn't spread anywhere. It was just growing there in your appendix. Because we took out your appendix, the cancer is all gone. You don't need any special treatment, any checkups, nothing. It's handled.

Maggie told me, "I pushed for being treated like a rich person. 'Twenty-thousand dollar weave & an appendectomy.' That's the price-tag on my life. Well, one of them."

Had Maggie NOT had this surgery, she would have died, three different ways that I am SURE of, and that's just so far. My guess is, by the time this all gets sorted out, between her doctors, nurses, rehab team and myself (as a retired paramedic) we'll come up with six to seven certain issues which would have killed Maggie for sure over the next five years, another five to ten which might have killed her over the next five years, plus another ten ranging from would have for sure to probably to would have/might have got around to killing her 5-25 years if the other shit didn't get her first. *smiles sweetly*

Shorter me: Rich people live longer than poor people. Maggie Jochild is a brutal demonstration. She would have been DEAD RIGHT NOW (within a week of when she called 911) in an ugly, ugly way... from gangrene/peritonitis of the bowel/abdomen. Followed by lots of other crap shortly thereafter, ranging from heart to appendix to cancer of the appendix to other abdominal organs being strangled to hernia's rupturing to the stomach literally exploding to intestines dying to kidneys dying.

Maggie was a dead woman who could barely even walk. Now she's going to a Nursing Rehab facility IF someone gives her CHARITY, if y'all can cover her personal expenses so she still has a home and a cat to come home to afterwards.

They treated Maggie like a Rich Person (she says; I say, like someone in the middle to upper class), someone like me or Sara or Evan or Jen, someone with INSURANCE.

If they'd treated Maggie like someone with no insurance she'd be dead right now. If she'd waited one more day (maybe), two more days (for sure) to dial 911, she'd be dead.

If she had insurance she'd have been seeing her doctor all along and ALL this crap would have been caught 8-10 months ago and NONE of this would have happened. Or to the extent that it did happen at all it would have been caught early on, the surgeries would have been done early, and Maggie's life would never have been at risk. As it was when they put her under last week, there was a VERY real chance she was not going to wake up. I placed the odds at 80% survival which means there was a 1 out of 5 chance of on-the-table mortality. If she'd not been in a Rich People's hospital -- simply because the poor people's hospital by the grace of the Gods was on ER diversion that night -- I'd have given her 60/40 maybe even 40/60 odds depending on who was operating and who was doing anesthesia. As it was, instead of a 60% chance (3 out of 5) of dying on the table, it was 4 out of 5 of her making it in the Rich Person's hospital, and she wouldn't have even had that risk, not anywhere close, perhaps 1-100, if she'd had health insurance all along and had been being treated properly from the jump.

But Maggie's dirt poor. So she's screwed. What she needs now, desperately, is money. Her food budget for an entire MONTH is $160. Seriously. Her entire MONTHLY budget, rent, medicine, cat foot, electric, phone, water, everything...comes to $1200 bucks per month -- and she doesn't always hit that. When she misses and me and her other close friends can't make it up, she goes hungry. Yes, you know someone who goes without food on a routine basis because she has no money. And yes, she almost just died because she didn't have the money to see a doctor.

About half of her monthly income comes from GNB/Meta Watershed donations, the rest from her work as a Medical Transcriptionist. Due to her many disabilities, working from home very part time is all she's been able to do for quite some time. (And yes, I am working on the design of a company in which Maggie would be able to be able to make a real living, have insurance... but starting a start-up is tough anytime; it's especially hard at the moment when I'm wiped out physically myself. *sighs*) For the next 4-10 weeks here, she won't have any income from her work. We need to raise roughly $2-3K (obviously more would be better) to fill in the gap; the extra goes for extra medicines she must have, plus additional medical supplies, and healthier foods during the healing process.

Any donations or monthly PayPal subscriptions anyone is willing to make to help us support Maggie Jochild, are most gratefully appreciated. (None of the donations go for administrative expenses with the exception of PayPal transfer fees and the like. All of us supporting Maggie are donating our time and efforts completely, our phone costs and so on. We're not recovering costs.) Like many of the completely poor Maggie has no one else whom to turn; we are her insurance, we are her support system.

Please help as much as you can. The hospital has saved her life. Now let us help her financially so that she still has an apartment to return to when she gets out of rehab, so that her cat has food to eat, so that her electricity is still on and the water still flows. The doctors and nurses have taken care of Maggie's internal organs. It is up to us to finance her voice.

Study links 45,000 U.S. deaths to lack of insurance

Not Being Insured Will Probably Kill You

1. A post from Maggie will go up by Saturday morning.

2. Here's a poem Maggie "wrote" days ago, working on passing gas:

Forgive me
For not eating the plums
That were in the refrigerator

They looked so cold
And delicious

But if I had
My stomach would have exploded.

     Apologies to
     William Carlos Williams

Go to Meta Watershed and SUBSCRIBE or DONATE for Maggie.
Do this now.

Cross-posted at Meta Watershed and Group News Blog.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Maggie Jochild Sunday Weekend Update

Subscriptions & Donations Absolutely Still Needed

Maggie is doing really well, even better than yesterday.

I have a full report from both the morning, swing, and overnight shifts for Saturday/Sunday morning. Just took the Sunday morning report minutes ago at 5:10 am CT/3:10 am PT. (I'm on PT out here in Seattle.) As of right now, all of Maggie's vital's are fine. Her oxygen is 96% (compared to 92% a day ago.) Her BUN and Creat are also fine. She's peeing (which she wasn't a day ago, or only barely) at about 30ml's an hour v. input of 150ml's IV fluids.

Maggie was VERY dehydrated when she came in. Folks -- including myself -- were perhaps a touch slow in figuring that out, only getting clear about it yesterday in ICU Stepdown. Makes sense however, as her damn bowels were all caught up and strangulated off in the hernias. So no matter what she poured in, only some fraction of it was able to get through to her body, resulting in dehydration. As I said, she'd lost 87 pounds. That should have rung loud bells for all of us but didn't. We were all busy thinking about the surgery and her vitals were inside normal limits. Well, it caught up with us yesterday. NOT to say that her vitals are off; they are not. However she's taking in 150ml of IV fluids an hour and didn't start peeing till swing shift Saturday which is when they increased her to 150ml/hr from where they had her. Before then not only was her input less, but the lack of pee was perhaps justified due to anesthesia. Afterward everyone -- and by everyone I mean the internal medicine/ICU doctor -- woke up and figured out the dehydration, upped her fluid input, and "poof", till she started getting above 30ml/hr which is "acceptable" output. Which means her kidneys are working okay, which is always one of the first big steps after any surgery and for sure after major surgery such as this where the bowel and everything in the abdomen was involved.

Maggie is getting unlimited ice chips for comfort (as the inside of her mouth is still very dehydrated) and will be till she can start drinking. She won't be allowed to drink till the NG tube comes out, and that isn't going to happen till her bowel opens up which hasn't happened yet at all, not even passing any gas. This is normal after surgical shock. I remember after my recent colonoscopy where my colon was completely clean ('cause of all the cleansing stuff I had to drink prior to the procedure) my colon was quiet for at least 24 hours and perhaps as much as two to three days before starting to come back towards normal. And that was after something simple, just a fiber-optic scoping of the bowel, not something where the entire abdominal cavity was opened and the bowel was actual run through the surgeon's fingers and inspected, repaired as needed, and packed back in place with mesh to hold everything where he put it. *smiles* Point being, anyone's bowel would likely be quiet for a few days after such treatment and this is to be expected. I expect to start hearing some bowel action within the next 48 hours.

The abdominal drain is almost done now, very little still coming out and no signs of infection. Her lungs are absolutely clear. She's been sleeping both when I called in during swing shift and on the over-night, which is really super good. The more sleep the better.

The nurses are quite content with her progress and are not worried about anything.

Last on the medical report, Saturday day her GYN/Oncology doctor (whom Maggie used to work for many years ago) came in. He was in the surgery and said, after making crystal clear that it's the biopsy that matters and everything he's saying here ultimately doesn't matter worth a damn if the biopsy comes back with different results. That said however, he reports that during surgery Maggie's uterus and ovaries looked and felt absolutely unremarkable. And, again he emphasized, while that is all good and wonderful, we don't know anything till we have the biopsy results.

My point of view: I agree with him completely about the biopsy ruling everything. That said, in my experience with someone with Maggie's history of LACK of medical care, I suspect we'd have seen gross abnormalities if she had cancer. I guess it's possible she could be just getting cancer but I find it unlikely she could a) get cancer, b) get this abdominal problem and have it get so bad she has to have emergency surgery, and c) both at once while the cancer is not able to be detected visually or by touch in any way. I mean, I guess it could happen. Just don't think it's statistically at all likely. And of course, we'll wait for the biopsy results because as the doc says, the biopsy results truly are everything.

Thus ends the medical report. Shorter me: She's doing great. Really and truly great, and progressing very very well. How she is doing greatly exceeds my wildest expectations for her post-operative course to date. I keep adjusting my expectations upward and she keeps exceeding them. She's doing GREAT.

(Stories to follow. Good ones.)

Financially however she is not yet doing great. Let me be really blunt. She's going to be out of work at least a month, maybe six to eight weeks as she recovers. Yes, we've received some donations, even some very generous donations and both Maggie and I appreciate them more than I can say. However it's not going to be enough. Maggie is going to run out of money two weeks from now, three if she's very lucky. We need to raise thousands and thousands of dollars at least.

We're working to see about Federal aid, but even if we manage it -- which is NOT at all a sure thing -- it will take a while, and it isn't so much for financial aid as I understand it, but to get her a Medicaid card so she can have Health Insurance.

Bottom line: Maggie needs people to subscribe, to make monthly commitments of $200, $100, or $50. If you can't make a monthly commitment then please donate as much as you can afford even if it stretches you. It'll be good for your soul. *smiles* Really, it will be. Do unto others; helping the sick and poor; every spiritual discipline and religion says to take care of the sick, the poor, and has a version of the Golden Rule. And this is Maggie. She needs YOUR help. I don't care if it's $5, $50, or $500. I want everyone to donate something. It's for Maggie. Seriously.

Maggie's in the ICU Stepdown with at least five tubes in her. (She's been calling herself "Tube-Girl".) She will be out for at least 4-6 weeks. Like most working poor she has zero reserves. More accurately, WE are her reserves. PLEASE Subscribe to Maggie's Ongoing Well-Being (or at least Donate generously.)

Someone asked in comments if they could have Maggie's hospital info so they could send cash. Um, no, sorry. I spoke with Maggie about that specifically today -- she sends you her love and thanks you for your offer. To send Maggie cash please send a Check or Money Order made payable to Group News Blog, to Group News Blog, PO Box 809, Bellevue, WA 98009. In the MEMO field write: Maggie Jochild. Please do NOT make it out to Maggie. She has no way to get to the bank and, for now at least, we're not set up for items made payable directly to Maggie. Stuff for GNB we can transfer via PayPal to Maggie in moments and then transfer directly to her bank account. (The ideal method is PayPal donation direct to Maggie but whatever works for y'all.) At the moment we're assuming ALL donations to GNB are for Maggie (so even if someone forgets to fill in the memo field it'll still get transferred to her PayPal account.)

Okay, story time and some stuff Maggie asked me to pass on.

First, I've now read to Maggie every post and every comment (through Saturday am) posted at Meta, GNB, and DTWOF. Maggie asked me to tell you very specifically how much she appreciates your comments, she loves you all -- she's talking to you, yes you -- and that she IS hearing what you have to say. From me: she loves, loves, loves hearing from you. It is the highlight of her day. Even if you've already commented two or three times, don't hesitate to comment and to comment multiple times, to leave LONG comments telling how your day is going and what's happening. Talk as if you were sending her an email or writing to her. I will read them to her (depending on how she's doing.) I assure you that y'all are an enormous part of what is having her recover so fast. So comment, comment, comment away.

The night Maggie went into the hospital before she called me (moments before she called 911) she wasn't sure what to do. The pain'd been getting worse and worse for days but, well, she'd been through pain SO many times before and it'd always, eventually, gotten better. This pain however just kept getting worse. The question was, was it bad enough? She didn't know. So we're clear, we're talking pain so bad most people'd call it torture. Or'd be screaming. Or'd be unconscious already 'cause their body simply knocked them out. Maggie on the other hand, was debating if the pain was bad enough to go to the hospital. 

THIS is what not having health insurance does to people. Both Maggie and I agree that if she'd had health insurance, if there was health insurance available for her, she'd have been seen and treated eight months ago and none of this would have happened. But I digress.

So there Maggie is last Wednesday night, in pain so brutal that she, a woman who routinely lives with pain so intense it sends her to bed for days, is now, finally, after days of unremitting and ever-increasing pain, is finally considering calling for help.

She does ask for help. She prays.

Maggie prayed and asked her Mamma -- Mary Jo Atkins Barnett (1927-1984) -- "Mamma, what should I do?"

"Instantly", Maggie told me, "instantly, the pain became intense, so intense there was no question at all, none."

"Mamma, you didn't need to shout."

Maggie picked up the phone, called me, called 911, left two weeks food and water for Dinah. Time for a hospital trip.


Two hours later I was talking with her in the hospital; she was telling me how polite and wonderful the paramedics were with her. Go Austin medics go! (I used to be a paramedic in Houston. Back in 1980. Scary damn place to medic.)

For those of you wondering, no, Maggie hasn't written any poetry that I know of since the operation, however contrary to all appearances, I don't always know. I heard her demanding a notebook -- which had gotten misplaced during the migration from her on-Ward bed pre-surgery to her ICU-Stepdown bed and where was her notebook?! Eventually someone brought her a couple of pieces of paper and promptly stuck her ice-chip glass full of slushy water and ice-chips six-inches up above her eyes on a tray over her. She found that completely unacceptable and was not a happy camper at all. All this yesterday in the hours immediately post-op when she was just getting settled in.

Maggie loves the nurses and they adore her. That said, it's worth one's life (or at least health) to tear one out on the nurses in a hospital. They literally hold your life in their hands. (Maggie has my permission to use me whenever she needs to dump an emotional upset.) Making friends with the nurses, telling them how wonderful they are, being genuinely blown-away by who they are... all these are obvious survival strategies (for someone who needs strategy.) For both Maggie and myself -- I say this for future Googlers -- it is plain and simply the truth. We (myself as a former medic) and at the moment, she as a patient, are simply blown away by whom Nurses are. They rock; they roll. They rule hospitals. Doctors breeze in and breeze out and yeah, they work their asses off in a different way. But it's nurses working double shifts while also raising three kids as single parents and supporting the Union and advocating for patient care and trying to get a special program off the ground for this, that, or the other thing. Nurses were two of the four instructors in my paramedic program and ran ALL the critical classes. They are amazing human beings and great people to have in your corner.

So I don't know if Maggie's writing at all. Don't think so. Don't think she has a notebook. She does love her nurses though.

There's this one nurse on the night shift, both Friday and Saturday night. (Night shift goes from 11pm - 7am.) The woman is in her late twenties, early thirties, part Cherokee and all East Texas with this beautiful lilting Texas twang in her voice. She keeps calling Maggie "Baby Doll" and "Baby Girl". Maggie LOVES it; cracks her UP. Every time I talk with either this nurse or Maggie now I'm dropping into my own southern accent from the seven years I lived in the South. Cracks me up also. 


We be having a GOOD time.

That's it for now. We do need your subscriptions/donations to Maggie's financial well-being, really and truly we do.

That said, Maggie's good. Her health is on track. The nurses are great and cracking Maggie up. We be having a GOOD time.

*hugs* to all and please COMMENT, comment, comment for Maggie.

Thanks, y'all.

Cross-posted at Meta Watershed and Group News Blog.