Tag Archives: Healthcare

An International Hospital Experience

7 Mar

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites




It was a beautiful clear January morning when DiVoran and I showed up at the Florida Hospital. I was there for Total Knee Replacement Surgery, and as you might guess, I was a little nervous. Our daughter and son had come to give us moral support and it was wonderful to have them there to keep DiVoran company during this procedure.



The first thing I had to do, once we got to the pre-op room, was to strip off everything down to my under shorts. They gave me this “Thermal Space Suit” to wear instead of the normal hospital gown. The nurse said it was designed. by my surgeon, to keep me warm during processing before they were ready for me in the operating room.



This was a first for me. During all my previous hospital visits the nurses had just piled blankets on me to keep me warm similar to the photo below. This is a marvelous light-weight invention that they said would also help keep my body temperature steady for the duration of the operation.



I no sooner finished dressing in my new fashionable space aged attire, when a flurry of nurses invaded my cubical, taking my vital signs and hooking me up to IVs and other noise producing machines. All of this while other assistants were in and out, asking me numerous questions, related to my general health since I was a child.

Right away I was impressed with this multicultural staff that was preparing me for surgery. I would love to have had the time to ask each of them all about how they ended up there in the trauma center, but they were coming and going so fast that I was lucky to get their names and generally where they were from. This started the quest, by me, to find out the staff members countries of origin.

A partial list of just those in the pre-op trauma center are as follows:


The nurse that brought me the thermal suit had a beautiful British accent, so I ask her where she was from. She said she was from Jamaica.



“Febby” told us she was from somewhere in the Indonesian area. No specifics.



“Naji” was from somewhere in the Middle East. No specifics.



“Tao” told us she was from Singapore.



“B…..” was from India. Here again, no specifics.



“Elyesse” said she was from somewhere in Florida.



However, one came in with his clipboard and introduced himself as “Duke.” DiVoran said, “Your name tag says Wellington. Why do people call you Duke?” He told her that he had been born and raised in Jamaica. Because of the island’s British influence, his mother named him after the Duke of Wellington, and the nickname stuck.



I have no idea where any of the operating room surgical staff hailed from, but I would not be surprised to learn that many of them are from foreign origins also. The above list does not include “Dr. Go” who was the hospital’s admitting physician and saw me as part of the hospital’s surgical release procedure. Dr. Go said he was from China. Here again, not specifics.


Finally, one of the anesthesiologists said he was going to give me a little something to calm me down. I don’t remember a lot after they gave me that “little something” until they rolled me into the hospital room on the seventh floor, where the International flavor associated with this hospital stay continued.


The male floor nurse the night after surgery was “Konrod” who was from Poland.




“Jeffie” brought me my breakfast the morning after surgery and she said she was  from Mississippi.



“Silpa” was the therapist who came in to visit me the morning after surgery, to see how well I could move my leg and knee, and I discovered she was from India.



We also discovered that this floor of the hospital had recently been totally renovated for surgical recovery patients, and had only opened for use the day before. So, here I was the first patient to use this beautiful new room with a wonderful view of Lake Estelle. DiVoran says she was also the first to use the bathroom in this new room. Where is Guinness, with their record book, when you need them?



You won’t believe this, but the International flavor associated with this knee surgery is continuing. When I showed up for my first day of out-patient therapy, my therapist was “Ehab” who is from Egypt, and knows the orthopedic surgeon (also from Egypt) who performed my first rotator cuff surgery back in 1996. It is my opinion that this world of ours is getting smaller every day.

—–The End—–

Old Age is Not For Sissies

6 Aug


My Take


 DiVoran Lites



Bette Davis, starring in movies from 1932 to 1989 said that. But, shh, let’s not talk about old age and maybe it will go away. How many of you do not want to grow old? You don’t. Really? Have you considered the alternative?


Because of insurance changes, I’ve recently been to a new doctor who is close to my son’s age. Taking a history, he asked if my parents were still living and when I said no, he asked how they died. I said Dad had an accident and Mother just faded away. After taking the history and reading me with his stethoscope, he said I appeared to be healthy. “Good for you,” he said.


“Boring for you,” I said.


“I’m not looking for sickness,” he said, “there’s plenty of that to go around.”


“You’ll probably die of a heart attack or a stroke,” It felt a like a curse and I’m afraid my face must have got, the look that can move mountains and make grown men cry. I didn’t mean to use it on the doc, but I figured I had when he backed off with, “Or you may just fade away as your mother did.”


Another doctor once wanted to project how I would die. She asked what I thought. What’s up with that? Do I have to choose right now? Okay, I’ll go with Ashley Montagu who said, “I will die young as late as possible.”


I like what Victor Hugo says about old age and dying too. “Why is my soul more luminous when my body powers begin to fail? Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart. I breathe at this hour the fragrance of the lilies, the violets and the roses as at twenty years. The nearer I approach the end the plainer I hear around me the immortal symphonies of the worlds that invite me. It is marvelous yet simple.”


Victor Hugo was in exile in Jersey, and latter...

Victor Hugo was in exile in Jersey, and latterly Guernsey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Yes, simple. I don’t want to grow old, but I don’t want to die either, so I’ll keep on keeping on and I sure hope I won’t be a sissy about it. I want to be one who hears, “the immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite me.”


I Corinthians 4:16




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