The Power Of The Press……#247 (the 90’s)

Doctor “D”

The daily morning edition of the Wichita paper was provided by Dr. Marcia Drewry, Dr. “D” as she was better known, when she entered the clinic east door which was the hospital’s old ambulance entrance and adjacent to the kitchen backdoor in the morning.   Most mornings  along with the paper  she would deposit a box of donuts from Val’s donut shop on the picnic table that resided there for the non certified staff.  The Thursday edition of  the Wichita Eagle Beacon would include what was designated as a social page,  where a person could submit at no charge an introduction of themselves to the public, leaving a phone number for those of like interest to enjoin an introduction. The brief format mostly filled with men and women seeking a commencement for association.   On a lark,  seated at the picnic table during the morning break, Gary with help from Arvetta Starzyk in dietary, Judy Reed and her housekeeping staff during their morning break formulated a novel idea.  The assembly forthcoming  with Gary to post his social personality subsistence on the Eagle Beacon social page, Gary at first declining but on a lark giving in.  He would submit his interest in classical musical,  his hospital occupation not leaving out his Kansas Hospital Engineers Association Presidency and conclude with a brief physical description. Unfortunately the ladies would have no part of  his narrative, so he changed to mirror some of the other brief descriptive ad.  At home Gary placing a call to the Eagle Beacon society page editors number, a lady answered cordially taking the prescribed ad,  then posing a question, “how do you want it titled?”   Gary was somewhat perplexed at the unexpected question, hesitantly he replied he didn’t know, what do you think?,  the lady replying, “well, you sound like A Prince Charming, how about that”.  The week-long wait was finally over the Thursday morning paper arriving, there in bold print, the lady was true to her word.

Ad in the Wichita Eagle Beacon

 Gary’s answering machine having several messages from the opposite gender briefly introducing themselves leaving their number.  A response from a lady in Salina sparking Gary’s interest,  conveying she owned a ranch and raised horses,  in addition  owned a bail-bond business.  Gary was intrigued, but not enough to drive to Salina,  the two agreeing to meet  in Wichita for lunch on Saturday.   His new acquaintance to be,  Sally arriving in a new Cadillac, the two entertaining  lunch at a Carlos O’Kellys Mexican restaurant at Town East.  The afternoon finding the couple exploring the realm of Old Town, discovering the lady from Salina also was very familiar with Wichita, knowing the location of several thrift stores, explaining that this is where she did her bargain hunting when down this way.   Gary was somewhat taken aback,  her educational presentation and personality, a new car and  proclamation of business ownership all seemed appropriate,  but the thrift shop searching gave way to questions.   The Saturday afternoon coming to a conclusion, the lady extending an invitation to meet again only this time in Salina,  Gary acknowledging  he would have to reference the ambulance schedule and get back to her but it  was already questionable,  having doubts about driving over 3 hours to acquaint someone for lunch let alone start a 170 mile round-trip driving distance relationship.

Dr. Don Ransome

Prat Reginional Medical Center

Pratt Regional Medical Center

R.N. Patty McNamar

The following morning Gary awakened with excruciating abdominal pain,  at first attributing it to the Mexican food he had consumed Saturday afternoon but the pain was increasing in intensity he  recognizing it was something more serious deciding to drive the short distance to the  Hospital.  Entering he was greeted by a questioning  R.N.,  Patty McNamar, Gary briefly explaining his condition, Patty immediately notifying the on-call physician Dr. Stranathan.  Dr. Sid arriving, hesitant of making a diagnosis after Gary related that he had no appendix and that Dr. Ransom had recently done a colonoscopy and all look well.  Dr. Sid placing a call to Dr. Ransom in Medicine Lodge asking the surgeon if it might be best for him to come in.  Dr. Ransom suggesting because of the severity of the pain Gary should be immediately transported  to Pratt Medical Center for a CT Scan.  Dr. Sid telling Patty to notify the Ambulance but before she could Gary stopped her, noticing that Bob the newly acquired Lab Tech,  who resided in the same Price Apartments that Gary did  just happened to be at the hospital, Gary asking Bob if he would transport him to Pratt if he promised not to die on the way,  Bob agreeing, the two traveling in Gary’s Buick to the Pratt Regional Medical Center.   The Pratt Medical Center emergency room staff having been notified, with his arrival the pain just about incapacitating, Bob assisting  Gary filling out the paperwork,  the hospital staff immediately readying a CT Scan.  The last Gary remembered was a requirement to drink several glasses of some liquid and entering of the Scan.  Awakening three days later in ICU, the first thing he noticed was the sub cubicle IV’S, knowing their meaning from experience,  sub cubicle IV position was used for major surgical procedures but more often used for those with a life threatening prognosis.

R.N. Debbie Duvall

Removed from ICU to the surgical recovery floor,  the performing surgeon approaching Gary welcoming him back to the real world,  explaining that he had an acute colon rupture and he performed a conventional surgical colectomy.   The surgical procedure entailed  opening his lower cavity,  abstracting his colon and surgically removing 27 inches of the damaged area, doing a complete cavity cleansing so he would be free of any peritonitis infection.   The Doctor giving  further assurance relating he himself was the subject of  a similar operation years earlier without any complications.  Gary soon discovered a concern, he was having difficulty breathing,  the surgical anesthesiologist when visiting remarked that it was the result of having an adverse reaction to the anesthesia being the main reason for the time spent  in ICU and then added that he may not survive its use in another operation.   During his stay in the hospital, Gary having just two visits, Bob the lab tech and a two members of the Apostolic Christian Church, Huber and Tom Farney.   The eighth day in the hospital found Gary getting restless, the doctors still not wanting to release him, but as a hospital employee he knew the secret of how to extract an exit.  He had been walking the halls,  spending  time at the Nurses Station,  knowing they would convey this to the doctor and it wasn’t long,  his release was assured.   The timing was right, Gary placing a telephone call to the Kiowa Hospital at afternoon shift change time,  RN. Debbie Duvall answering,  Gary asking if she could talk someone into picking him up at the Pratt Hospital,  Debbie replying, she was on her way.

   With the return home Gary’s having two difficulties, the first was the irritation of the stitching and staples that form a tee across the length and width of his lower abdomen.  The second was one of more consequence, bowel control, with his colon having to be reconnected to his rectum, it presented some conflict when mother nature called.  The good news was that as time past the control problem would too.



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