Bobbie's Beat: A silver lining

“Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our spirits have trouble remembering how to fly.” (Author unknown)


I’m back (sort of) and here is why I have been out of commission for the past few weeks. 

The day after my New Year’s birthday, I had a burst of energy and decided to do something about a pile of empty cardboard boxes in the garage. While sorting the boxes, I felt something sting my left hand, but thought nothing of it until way later that night. By the next morning the hand was swollen, bright red and the pain made it clear I needed medical attention. 

A friend took me to Urgent Care and they sent us to ER, where I was given something for pain and a script for antibiotics. Two days later, back to the ER (with help from another friend) because the redness was now creeping up my arm and the pain was excruciating. The ER doctor decided to admit me in order to provide stronger IV meds. Of course I whined and protested, but also knew it was necessary. 

At times like this I am angry with my husband, Burt, for not being here to help me and offer words of sympathy. Then I get over it and deal with reality. I do think most members of “The W Club” feel this way when trouble strikes and their partner isn’t here to help.

 I was hospitalized for three days, and this is when it pays to look for a silver lining, or at least the good in a lousy situation. If you are actually a patient in a hospital as opposed to a visitor, you notice so much more than a visitor would. Even with my limited vision, I could see our existing hospital is way past its prime.

The walls, floors and ceiling all look as old and tired as they actually are. However, my high-tech bed was impressive. Not only did that bed weigh me to the most minute milometer, but there were very emphatic rules that you must ring for help before making the trek from bed to bathroom. I quickly found out the importance of pushing the “Help” button because if I even stood up from that bed to get a head start to the bathroom, bells went off and someone came running to supervise the journey to the john.

As a long-time resident of this community, I am excited about our shiny new hospital.  In the meantime, I am seeing a hand surgeon in Corvallis and must remain on moose-size antibiotic pills until the infection leaves my body.

 No, I don’t know what bit me because I never saw it. I do know now there are three different poisonous spiders that reside in Oregon: The black widow, the brown recluse and something called the Hobo.

The best advice I can pass on to you today is to wear long garden gloves and don’t put your hands where your eyes can’t see while poking around in boxes.  And, if stuck unexpectedly in a hospital, it helps to look for the silver lining and try to be a pleasant patient. Remember what your mother said: “You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”

I have nothing but raves for all the people who took such good care of me, and especially, a big thank you to the angel helpers who showed up to get me through this ordeal: Tammy, Nancy, Lin and Carey. For all those who asked about Purrfect, my friend Gina took care of the house and the cat. I am extremely blessed to have a village of friends who are so quick to step up and show up.

In an attempt to leave you with a chuckle I did a quick search for a short medical joke and this popped up: 

Man:  “Doctor, my hair keeps falling out. Do you have something to keep it in?”

Doctor: “What about a cardboard box?”

Seriously folks, a cardboard box? You can’t make this stuff up — and neither can I.


Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat Purrfect. Bobbie can be contacted at [email protected]


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