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Hello once again.
It would be fun to say that I didn’t write a column for two weeks because a certain reader, Michelle, has complained to friends that she doesn’t read my column anymore because it is too long.
But, the truth is, my windows were pretty fogged up the past couple of weeks due to health issues. To make a long story short: 1. Having passed 44 kidney stones in a five-hour time period; 2. Being hospitalized at Pioneers Medical Center for three nights while the stones passed; 3. Meeting with a urologist at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction twice regarding the stones; 4. Meeting at Pioneers Medical Center with the doctor who is supposed to perform my first colonoscopy—such a rite of passage; and meeting a cardiac specialist at St. Mary’s Hospital for a second trip so she can check me out due to an increase in size in an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which will mean a heart stent in the next couple of months.
All that definitely fogged my windows—so much so I can say I am really happy to be back at work. Although the medical procedures lined up for me over the next two months don’t really set up a terrific outlook.
The good news is that hopefully the kidney stones are done with and that the colonoscopy and stent in the abdomen won’t keep me out of work except maybe a day or two at a time. Keep me in mind folks, during those morning and evening prayers—by golly it surely can’t hurt and it just might help.
But my focus of this column is the very clear first-hand impression I now have as a patient at Pioneers Medical Center in Meeker—in the new facility northeast of town.
I learned from a full admittance and two other out-patient procedures over five days and having spent three nights in an emergency room that there are truly some tremendous folks on duty around the clock there.
There was not a single instance where any of the many professionals on duty there were anything less than 100 percent professional; they were as polite, friendly and humorous as could be; and not a single time were they hesitant to respond to any kind of request. And I would admit that while I was a fairly good patient most of time, I would be lying if I said I was the easiest patient on earth.
Dr. Albert Krueger seemed to be around most of the time and, as my personal physician anyway, was there when I needed him; he was clear as a bell about what he wanted done for me by the hospital and clear as a bell to me what he expected of me.
I don’t want to mention the names of more than one person in the emergency room for fear of leaving a few names out.
The first person I ran into in the ER was Alice Chapman. She was there at the desk when I wandered in on the first night, and she did everything she could to comfort me during my excruciatingly painful bout with kidney stones, despite being overrun with patients and not having a vacant bed to put me in.
She got me settled in, got an IV set up and some painkillers going in less time than I was expecting.
Chapman was also on duty for most of the three days I was in the hospital so availability made her the captain on my team. Whether or not that is the case most of the time when she is on, I don’t know. But I do know she impressed me with the care given to me and also to the other patients in the area.
And while Chapman did appear to be my angel, there isn’t a single member of that emergency room squad, however much it changed in personnel during the three days, who didn’t give the feeling that they really did want to help and do whatever they could do to make my stay a comfortable (I won’t say fun) time.
Thanks to all. You do your medical profession a real service.
The new hospital is a beautiful facility. It is laid out in a way to be comfortable and convenient for the patients and their families; the furnishings are comfortable; all personnel outside the emergency area were pleasant, helpful and full of answers; and professionalism and true human care were exemplary.
Mr. Harmon, you have a good crew and should stand proud to have the professionals you employ at this small town hospital.
But I don’t want to return again soon, folks. I love y’all, but…
Not enough can be said either about those who stepped up and put out the Rio Blanco Herald Times in my absence.
It is tough enough to put out a paper once a week with only one full-time editorial person—me—while trying to cover two towns nearly 60 miles apart. It can’t be done alone.
It takes someone to edit all the copy and lay out the pages; it takes a number of freelance reporters/writers to help fill the pages; it takes several freelance photographers and volunteer photographers to take photos to fill in the news and sports stories; and it takes the graphics department to put it all together to produce the finished copy.
None of it is made any easier by an absent editor—particularly when it wasn’t known in advance that the editor would be absent or for how long the editor would be gone.
Considering everything, the papers came out, came out on time, were full of local news, and they were presented in an attractive and professional manner.
Perhaps a news item or two were missed, but if they were, I haven’t heard about it.
Thanks an enormous amount to owner/publisher Mitch Bettis, who edited, spearheaded and laid out the news from his office in Arkansas; to Niki Turner, who did all the computer work, advertisements and editorial layout from her remote site near Silt; to Bobby Gutierrez, who went above and beyond to help turn out two weeks of great sports pages; and to Caitlin Walker, who sells advertising along with Bobby and who always does some extra proofreading, error catching and some serious “little” jobs.
The reporters/writers/photographers also did a bang-up job in making certain there was enough copy to fill what turned out to be two large editions.
A big thanks goes also to Jen Hill, Reed Kelley, Matt Scoggins, Hallie Blunt, Heather Zadra, Doc Watson, René Harden, Beth Scoggins and Becky Hughes, who all seem to come through when needed.
A couple of those people may see me a heartless Son of a Gun (LOL) on occasion, but if that is true, I am at least a thankful SOG. Thank you all! Very much! You certainly helped to make my dismal two weeks more relaxing. Thanks again!
One of the few messages I did receive this past week was from a Rangely resident who was genuinely offended by my referring to the Denver Broncos as the “Cardiac Broncos” not just for years past but also this year.
Nothing is going to change my mind about the cardiac kids over the years, but if there was ever any doubt about the Broncos being kings of the cliffhangers, I would urge anyone who thinks otherwise to go back and watch the Broncos in the last two or three weeks—particularly this past Sunday against the Browns.
Go Broncos! Don’t know how you are 6-0 on the season, but whatever it is you keep doing (yeah for the defense), keep it up and maybe the offense will come alive one of these days…
It was a good week for Meeker Town Administrator Scott Meszaros.
The Meeker Town Board renewed his contract to lead the city onward as the town’s chief executive, including a pay increase. Scott and his wife, Stacey, also had the opportunity to sneak into Monroe, La., where daughter Lexie is a cheerleader at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Scott and Stacey were able to photo-bomb surprise Lexie at Saturday’s football game and spend a great weekend together.