The ABC’s of Hospitalization
by Talitha Stickler
THIS maze of medical mummery was conceived during a hospital convalescent period, and after long painstaking research and careful deliberation for at least 20 seconds, it was determined that the following bit of nutty nonsense would be beneficial in acquainting the novice with hospital procedures. We’re also tossing a little spoofing toward a group of individuals whose livelihood is sought in the infinite field of medicine.
Also, after many additional micromoments of deep concentration and exhausting mental gymnastics, it was further revealed with brainy brightness that – without hospitals – many people would not be… well!
A: Admittance. This is usually the first phase of your indoctrination towards becoming a hospital patient. This is the time when you are ushered into a tiny cubicle containing a desk piled high with papers, a telephone that rings incessantly and a harassed-looking Admittance Clerk who asks innumerable questions and then looks at you suspiciously when you can’t recall whether Great Aunt Tillie died of the gout or in a runaway buggy – nor the color of the horse.
Much of the foregoing activity may be eliminated by getting yourself hauled in as an emergency case, but it’s sneaky, and you miss many of the details – especially if you happen to be unconscious.
Next comes the big question: WHO is going to pay? After signing sufficient documentation to insure that your earthly possessions are now practically all hospital property comes the big moment when she slaps on the Identification Band in a manner similar to Eliot Ness locking the bracelets on Al Capone. You are now IN and much too precious and feeble to walk, so a wheelchair is shoved under you, and your suitcase, coat, tonight’s paper and a paper sack filled with nearly forgotten last minute articles, together with a newly acquired assortment of hospital literature, are all piled unceremoniously on top of you like a baggage truck at a freight depot, and you are whisked away from the outside world by some eager little teenage female wearing a huge “volunteer” sign on her blouse, which means she’s volunteering to practice her hot-rod driving technique while maneuvering you down the corridor to your destiny.
If you aren’t sick by now, you soon will be!
B: Bedpan. This device is more usefully designed to fit under an automobile crankcase to catch used oil, but is more frequently found around bedridden hospital patients – placed under one’s caudal aspect at a time when Mother Nature refuses to cooperate.
Would also make a “peachy keen” helmet for the “General” to wear when the kids are involved in a backyard or vacant lot “war.”
C: Catheter. A length of plumbing placed within one’s inwards for the purpose of dispensing certain body fluids and causing embarrassment in the presence of others. Also a good time-killer if you are alone and conveniently positioned to observe the accumulation form into drops.
D: Doctor. A ranking member of the Medical personnel of a Hospital Staff, who may or may not make himself known to you during your confinement. One identifying characteristic is a length of rubber tubing which may be found protruding from his ears, wrapped around his neck or coiled in his coat pocket. He is also known for his ability to converse in incomprehensible language known only to fellow medics, and to emit a series of guttural gobbledygook as he thumps numerous areas of one’s anatomy.
E: Enema. A compact tidal wave used for the purpose of creating more laundry business and a feeling of relief, followed by a short calm period of returning to normalcy and then frenzied efforts of control because you weren’t finished yet.
F: Fortunate. One who, because of his physical condition, has never required a great amount of medical assistance nor experienced the many fascinations of Hospitalization.
G: Gown. A breezy little, ill-fitting, shirt-like garment to be worn backward, equipped with tie bows in place of buttons, for securing; suitable for covering shoulders, chests and high navels.
H: Hospital. A large building full of people dressed in white, who speak a language known only to other members of the medical profession. Also a place where sick people are assessed liberally for services while the financial reports continually attest to being in the red.
I: IV or Intravenous, as it is also known. A method of adding certain liquids into one’s body by the use of a large hollow pipe thrust deep into one’s veins and securely fastened with adhesive tape, and having affixed a piece of tubing which is connected to an inverted bottle suspended a few feet above, the rate of flow being adjusted to the bare minimum so as to further amplify the recipient’s pain and discomfort. This activity is usually timed to coincide with either mealtime or a time when Mother Nature deems it necessary to carry out certain tasks.
J: Joy, That feeling of elation reserved to individuals who:
1. Won’t need the operation after all.
2. Can go home today.
3. Had enough insurance to take care of the bill.
Also that feeling of pride in accomplishment experienced by a dedicated servant of medicine who in some way contributed to the improvement of a patient’s health.
K: Keeping – a stiff upper lip. An old saying referring to facing destiny unafraid; difficult to do at times but guaranteed to make life and its many miseries easier to endure. Also helpful to a man who just spilled starch on his mustache.
L: Laboratory. An area full of people surrounded by numerous pieces of complicated-looking equipment. Many of the personnel are likely to go from room to room securing samples, specimens and other goodies from the patients. Their services are usually a noteworthy item on the Statement.
M: Medicine. Another item which is quite prominent on the Statement, but usually referred to as Drugs and at an exaggerated cost. Something quite necessary for the betterment or worsening of one’s condition. Comes in numerous forms such as pills, liquids, powders, balm, or liquid-filled darts, and its identity or purpose is a deep dark secret held securely by a pill cart custodian who dispenses the stuff, some of which packs a triple whammy wallop!
N: Nurse. A title often given by mistake to a general assortment of all sizes, types and shapes of females either directly or indirectly associated with the care and well-being of the patients.
Characterized by the ability to walk silently, to ignore all questions pertaining to one’s condition, to refuse all requests without an order, and to guard with utmost effort the reading of your clinical thermometer. Usually recognized by a head adornment of various creations affixed to the noggin by means of nails, glue, thread or some other anti-gravitational force. They must spend many off-duty hours sharpening cap points, learning evasive answers, and starching uniforms.
O: Orderly. A male member of the medical staff who could usually pass as a Doctor, except that he looks more worried. His function is to augment the nurses’ duties in the “beef” department, such as the 180 pound size who is called to quell the 200 pound rambunctious male while “Two Ton Tony” is delegated to sit on 97-year-old “Grandma Brittle-bones” because she caught the Head Nurse behind the ear with a well-directed spitball.
P: Patient. A necessary ingredient of all successfully operated Hospitals.
Q: Quarantine. A state of isolation where they should put people who make cracks about the Hospitals and people who work there.
R: RN or Registered Nurse. The Queen Bee of the Hive; the Exalted Grand Potentate of the Flossy Nightingalions. A female-type woman who spends several grueling years attending various nursing schools, and ends by being an expert with a hypo needle at ten paces, attempting to decipher doctors’ handwriting, processing untold stacks of paper work and red tape, and trying to maintain a placid attitude while her secret desire at times would be to trade places with a patient.
S: Student. A female-type teenager dressed immaculately in stiffly starched attire who introduces herself as Miss So-and-So, and she’s going to give you a bath! Whereupon she secures the necessary paraphernalia for the venture, carefully wraps the washcloth around her fingers, makes a few sudsy movements, and then seeks a hasty exit as she blushingly requests you to finish the remainder of your bath yourself.
T: Thermometer. A small, glass, tubular object which is thrust beneath one’s tongue (usually) to ascertain the intensity of combustion among one’s body chemicals. Also used as an alarm clock, and is a terrific conversation stopper.
U: Undertaker. One who seldom visits a patient in the Hospital, as his presence could be construed as a sinister way of drumming up future business.
V: Volunteers. A group of women, usually with perpetual smiles, who perform numerous tasks free of charge during their spare time, to assist in the many functions of running a Hospital. As yet their services are not included on the Statement of Charges rendered at the time of discharge.
W: Wail. A sound effect produced for various reasons, such as: someone stuck a needle in you; tore off some tape; hurt a sore spot; found something else wrong with you; or – presented you with your Statement!
X: X-Ray. A means of photographing one’s inner workings by the use of numerous pieces of expensive- looking equipment manned by a contingent of people who are experts at looking bored, reshuffling the waiting line, darting from room to room carrying slips of paper, and occasionally a mop, and who also serve one of the most vile-tasting milkshakes yet to be concocted.
Y: Yawn. Something that takes a little manipulation if you happen to have a clinical thermometer stuck in your face at the time.
Z: Zero Hour. A time for something to start happening (and Hospitals are full of them) such as: they are coming to take you to surgery… or they are bringing you back and you aren’t so cocky now… or roll over, Boney, it’s time for your shots… or hold still, this will hurt me worse than it will you (Oh Yes!)… or it’s time to get up for the first time (O-O-O-o-ouch!)… or (best of all) get your clothes on, you are going home!
AND – If this bit of Hospital Havoc and medical madness has been the least bit beneficial, or it has brought a jigger of jollies to you, the reader, then my name is Talitha Stickler – otherwise –
It’s Hymocker Goldfriedentz McSlosifinckerisk-yvitchenwald –
We don’t want to take any chances!
by Sandy Burns
Our deepest needs are
Until we try to define
To Emily Dickinson
by Dorothy H. MacAulay
You tapped the very heart of poetry;
Your pen the spile that made its juices flow.
You showed all common poets such as we,
What harvest waits beneath a season’s snow.
There in your lonely lamp-lit room at night,
You searched the shining forests of your mind,
And drilled for truths with augers shining bright…
Bequeathed this wealth to all your poet-kind.
While under your skilled hand the cauldron boiled,
Gray vapour rose and vanished in the sky.
In it the dross of excess verbiage coiled
To simplify the who, what, where, when, why.
We drink your words (our golden legacy)
And know we stem from aristocracy.
by Walter W. Hoffman
Rain beats a rapid dance on wall and window,
Light as the hurrying feet of a myriad elves.
In windy night and clouded darkness
Sprites of dream-enshrouded past reveal themselves.
Near, then far away, the wind calls;
Branches sway, the music rises and falls,
And ebbs away.
This night a sad deep music sounds out of a past
Ever more distant, more cloud overcast;
Images rise and flicker with wind and the rain;
What once there was can never be again.
Deep stream of life flows; deeply it knows
The joy there is in just to be;
Flows ever onward to the dawn-gray sea.
Bringin’ The Dogie In
by Harry Slocum Tordoff
Twas a bitter cold night, and the snow was a-blowin’
But my tally was short, and I had t’ be knowin’
Just how that lone dogie I’d missed at the station
Was a-farin’ out there in that desolation.
So I saddled Ol’ Star and, with coat buttoned tight,
We ventured out into that cold snowy night.
I carried a lantern to help find my way,
And hoped ’twould be seen by that poor frozen stray.
We searched in the crannies, we searched in the brush,
The cold sinkin’ in, wind refusin’ to hush.
The minutes seemed hours; the hours, full days,
But still no calf could we find in that haze.
I’d about decided t’ head back for home
When I heard, quite distinctly, a low, tremblin’ moan;
Ol’ Star, he took me, through drivin’ snow,
To where she’d got tangled in brush somehow.
She was almost froze when I stepped down
And cut the brush that had her bound.
I rubbed her hide and limbered her legs;
She tried to stand – they were like four pegs –
But I finally got her blood circulatin’
And headed for home without any more waitin’.
Each step she took seemed t’ be more free,
As we battled the storm—Ol’ Star, she and me.
It seemed a long way t’ that home feedin’ station,
A-fightin’ the snow, and the wind, and frustration;
But we finally made it. God helped us along.
He gave us the strength t’ battle that storm;
And I thank Him for guidin’ us all through the night
And leadin’ us home by lantern light.
Comments on the Bundle
by Joseph F. Bradburn
The poems on pages 9 and 10 of this issue came from the manuscript bureau, now under Lenore Harris Hughes. I was greatly pleased at the prompt response to my request for a few poems to accompany the prose articles I already had. She sent me a representative selection of items in the bureau, explained what she is trying to accomplish this year, and even prepared a questionnaire so she can better understand and meet the needs of the publishers. Let’s try to cooperate in making her term of office successful.
Sincere thanks also to new Official Editor Ernie Witte, for the detailed coverage of the recent NAPA convention. For those like me who did not attend, the brief mention of issues discussed in various individual papers served more to puzzle than to enlighten, but the September official organ was well worth waiting for.
In Ripples from the Brookstone Press No. 4, James W. Beaudry has achieved a cohesive presentation of poem, artwork and presswork to express an idea. No doubt he would find it more difficult if he had to adapt the same scheme to someone else’s poem.
Welcome to new publisher Laurence Hines and Proofs and Pulls from Private Press. Although new to the NAPA, he is not new to amateur printing, as he mentions his boyhood experiences with a small Sigwalt press and one font of type. This neat four-page effort printed in two colors shows good comprehension of the hobby and the association.
Louise Lincoln sounds off in The Kitchen Stove about newspaper reporters and other opinion-makers who try to tell her what she should read, or think. She insists that, in this case, she’d much rather do it herself!
In The Scarlet Cockerel 65, Ralph Babcock seems to have gathered a number of opinions on various subjects that have accumulated over a period of time, giving him a chance to let off steam. He leads off with some comments and description on Jack Hageman’s shop, where they teamed up on a supplement to The National Amateur. Even Ralph found something new, when he used Jack’s ink that was covered by a layer of water to prevent drying. The Linotype machine proved once again its capacity for frustrating the best-conceived plans of printers, whether amateur or professional.
Next Ralph explains his attempts to complete the series on ex-presidents of the association for inclusion in the official organ, a project which has demanded quite a bit of his time over the years. The final section of the issue is devoted to comparisons by L. V. P. Johnson of the writings of Samuel Johnson and some of the writings of Thomas Jefferson, and indicating points of similarity.
Also presented in this issue are various comments by Ray A. Albert, Lee Hawes and Ralph himself on the sometimes tedious process of voting at NAPA conventions, as well as the general lack of response to printed efforts distributed by the members. It is suggested that elections could be by mail, with the time thus freed devoted to livelier pursuits. It seems this would still leave the problem of finding able candidates.
FIVE HUNDRED COPIES of this amateur journal are being printed, featuring some material from the NAPA Manuscript Bureau. To satisfy postal requirements, be it noted that this journal is distributed to members of the National Amateur Press Association through the monthly bundle. Other copies may be sent first or third class by the publisher-member, who is Joseph F. Bradburn, La Plata, Md. 20646. This journal is handset, and printed on an 8×12 C. & P. press.