Tuesday, June 30, 2009


As some know from my post on Sunday, a member of my support group is in the hospital in Conway and three of us were making the trip there to visit with her on Monday. We were all quite concerned for Melinda is suffering from brain cancer and the reason for her hospitalization appeared to be grim. She was having mini strokes and severe pain. We approached her room with a lot of trepidation.

A nurse outside her door instructed us to put on disposable gowns and gloves. The gowns were bright yellow and the gloves a brilliant blue. We did a rather good impression of a trio of canaries with cold hands. Wish I had brought my camera for we were really quite strange looking. Can honestly say the get up flattered none of us. This precaution, we understood,was not to protect Melinda from our germs, but to protect us from possible MRSA which is the dreaded hospital super bug. Not a comfortable feeling to know why you are all dressed in yellow. I am not a germaphobe but could learn to be .

We were thrilled to find Melinda in wonderful spirits and feeling good. It seems there was a medication mix up which caused the pain and strokes. Medicine can save our lives but it can just as easily screw them up. With the medicine problem straightened out, she was bright, alert and full of good spirits. She is not home free but the change was almost miraculous. Too bad they hadn't found this out so she could have enjoyed her daughter's wedding pain free. Medical treatment is too often a crap shoot.

I mentioned Sunday that our group is laugh addicted and three of the worst offenders were in that room. Melinda however is a serious fourth on the laugh chart. What we didn't know was that the hospitals now days have noise level meters.

As long as the noise level stays in the green zone, all is well. Yellow is warning and red is "get out of here." We should probably should carry one of these with us when we eat out.

It seems we were dangerously close to sending the meter deep into the red zone and being expelled from the hospital. Now I totally understand the need for this. I have been a patient before and sometimes it seemed like a party was going on in the next room. Not very nice when you are feeling awful.

Visitors, often out of nervous relief and the compulsion to entertain the sick, laugh and talk too loudly. This need to make a patient laugh I feel intensifies in direct proportion to how many abdominal stitches they have. The more stitches, the greater the need to a cause a deep belly laugh. Oh, have I been there.

Luckily Melinda had no stitches but we were guilty of the need to entertain anyway. It would have been a new low for us to have been kicked out of a hospital in violation of a noise ordinance. Fortunately, we were able to keep our enthusiasm down and the meter in the "green" with occasional trips into the "yellow zone." It was a struggle though.

Good news is that if the tests that day went well, she could come home on Tuesday. Correction, not good news, but wonderful news. I want to thank all of you who offered prayers and good wishes. You are the best.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your post, Patti! A delightfully humorous account of the day –you are an exceptional writer! A picture of the three canaries would have been icing on the cake (we must remember to bring our cameras next time).

    It was a joy to see Melinda doing so well and to spend the day with you and Arliss!

    How is Mighty today? Brandy is back to her usual lovey-dovey self – rather glad she doesn’t know I will be leaving her again today to visit family.

  2. I'm glad your friend is feeling better. Loved your description of the yellow canaries. Also glad to learn about the noise meter. Not a bad idea.

  3. Great post, Patti. Made me smile!!!! LAUGHTER is the cure of anything I think!!!! I'm sure that you all helped Melinda more than you'll know.

    Glad it was a 'medicine' problem with her. Hopefully she will have many, many more years to live and be healthy!!!!

    Meds scare me... BUT--we have to have them to live.. What we don't want is for them to kill us... GADS!!!!

    Have a wonderful day,

  4. Patti, what a blessing that you write, your friend is feeling better, and you can do the Canary!

  5. I am so glad that Melinda is feeling better. Great the the canary trio went to visit. That is truly the best medicine of all. Can I just say a "grrrr" for medication mix-ups. That's just the worst thing in the face of everything else she's experiencing.

  6. I bet the "singing" canaries were to best music for Melinda's day. Laughter is good medicine, too.

    Being directly involved in medications for many years, I fully understand mix-up. I hope it wasn't a dosage or incapability, and not an outright error.

    I do wish you had your camera, but then hospital might not have allowed it--who knows.

  7. I am so glad your friend, Melinda, is doing better. It is a shame she went through such agony before learning it was the meds.

    I would like to extend an invitation to you for Spirit Jump. We are a non-profit that lifts the spirits of people with cancer and other debilitating diseases by sending them cards and gifts. If you do not wish to join, please consider submitting Melinda for a "jump". You can find more information here: www.spiritjump.com

    As always, thanks for visiting me.

  8. My wife's brother's wife has brain cancer and now it is in her spin. Prognosis is not good, but the things they do nowadays is different from those old days I recall when friends and family and doctors threw their hands up and shook their heads when somebody had any kind of cancer.

  9. Great post Patti! I am glad that Melinda was much better. You are a great group of girls! Laughing and making jokes. That's the best thing you could have done for Melinda!

  10. Oh Patti, and I am glad you read "the Hidingplace" about Corrie ten Boom. She was incredible, wasn't she?!

  11. Jewels,
    Wasn't it wonderful to see Melinda in such good spirits. She out laughed us and that is going some.
    Mighty was fine.
    I still think it funny that your dog gives you the cold shoulder after she has been left alone.

    Thanks Linda and I do agree about the noise meters.Sometimes it is hard to keep a lid on fun and the meter helps to remind us.

    You and I went to the same school on the benefits of laughter. Didn't some guy cure himself of heart disease watching funny movies? It is cheaper than flowers but much more effective.

    Thanks, you would not believe just how bright a yellow those gowns. were. Who ever ordered supplies at that hospital had a sense of humor.

    Thank you robin and you are so right. She is going through enough without something like that adding to her load to carry.

    The mix up was in instructions. The doctor was not clear on his instructions and Melinda did not understand. I think for as complex a set of medicines as she has to take, he should write out the proceedures. Simple and would have saved her a world of grief.

    Thank you so much for the link to spiritjump. Sounds like a wonderful idea and I will check them out. Thanks again.

    I am so sorry about your brother-in-law. They are making great strides every day so there is always hope.
    Thank you.

    Reader Wil,
    Thank you Wil. We sometimes have more fun than should be allowed but I do believe laughter helps the whole body.
    I have put Corrie Ten Boom on my list of people I would love to spent the day with, living or dead.
    I liked her book much more than the movie. I missed her thinking process in the movie.

  12. Quite a moving couple of posts Patti. I have read them with gladness and sadness all mixed together. You are such a fine group of people, and never far from my thoughts. P.

  13. How nice to know that she is getting better. My next-door neighbor has been in the hospital 3-4 times in the last 2-3 months. She had a hip replacement and came home, only to be carted back to the hospital that night. She was having hallucinations and delusion, and the consensus of opinion is that it was a build-up of pain meds in her body, and a combination of meds that didn't work so well. As you said, meds can be wonderful, but they can also be deadly.

  14. Peter,
    Thank you so much Peter for your continued thoughts.
    I sure hope your exhibition went swimmingly.

    I am so sorry about your friend Judy and I hope they have straightened her out now. I am ever so grateful that at this moment, I am taking no meds to sustain me. Good grief, even Tylonol is no longer a safe med.

  15. I as told I'd enjoy your blog.

    Guess what?

    I did!

  16. Thank you David and welcome to TNS. I just checked your site and was thrilled with the recognition. What a neat idea. I will be back.

  17. I'm so happy Patti that it was a meds mixup rather than a progression! Anyone who can bring cheer to a hospital is a Magician in my book! So, congrats on Post of the Day from David and keep your magical sense of humor flowing...the world needs you

  18. You have a great blog here. I came over from David's authorblog. Congrats on the Post of the Day mention. I'm so happy your friend is going much better. Laughter is the best medicine! enJOY your day!

  19. Great new about your friend indeed. I enjoyed your post and congrats on the POTD from David.


  20. Sandi
    Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comment. POTD was a wonderful surprise.

    Thank you big time for stopping by from Dave's blog. Really made my day.

    Really appreciate your stopping by and commenting. This was all a fun surprise. Thank you.