Early AM Impressions: One would call it morning, if one had a job and a place to perform. In a hospital room, it is merely dark, with a slight shading of anticipation -- or maybe that’s fear raising its standard on the daily battlefield.
I still feel as though poised on the edge of a sword, balanced against the awful coughing on one side and the gasping for air on the other. I desperately want to get better, and return home to a new pile of arcane bills from this place for series of fantastic tests and magical medical methodologies that discover the hidden reason I feel like I’m breathing from the bottom of a pickle barrel. Yet, my focus is drawn elsewhere...I remain fascinated by performance of staff here.
The efficiency of the new breed of medical personnel and their technology is frightening. Electronic sensors in my room detect if I have risen for any reason, and they can swoop in to gather their blood samples and status data quickly, all the while looking exceedingly cool and collected. The newbies are nervous and the long-suffering veterans appear resigned to the new paradigms. All is watched. All is measured. All is evaluated.
When they are not in the room, all is silent...
I sense that, underneath the nervous competition of the younger medical staff and nursing personnel, there remains something of the true calling I have found so evident in my conversations with, and in help from, veteran nurses and doctors in the past. Not everyone is altruistic, of course, but this is not a profession you choose because you want excessive free time, or a lot of money for your services. Oh, some doctors may do quite well, but for the most part have expenses to suck up all traces of salary and it takes time for the investment to pay off. Nurses, on the other hand, tend to be paid from the shallow end of the money pool.
As I was wheeled from the air ambulance into the local ambulance, I noted that the joviality of the fellows transporting me from Calumet to Rochester was not entirely shared by the transportation staff on the receiving end of my Hail Mary pass from Keweenaw to Mayo. The guys from Up North were garrulous and fun, yet ruthlessly professional. The guys from Gold Star were professionally pleasant, or maybe just professional.
As I was wheeled into the hospital, the images of the marching throngs once again saturated my view. Hundreds of staff, mostly young, were mostly dressed in either nursing uniforms or in the ubiquitous suits worn by doctors everywhere on campus. Mixed in with this wellspring of professionalism are the earnest faces of the lost ones. These people are patients and visitors with a purpose, but also a heavy dose of uncertainty. All look bewildered or bemused. Chief among the bewildered and bemused is yours truly, riding his magical gurney into uncertainty.
Thanks for the prayers and good thoughts...More to come...