Coming up next is the fourth part to Diane Richardson's story "When I Met My Hubby." But first, a message about health and safety.
The good news is that when it comes to COVID, the deaths, hospitalizations and new cases are fairly low right now. Low enough for businesses, restaurants, venues and other public places to relax their safety restrictions. The bad news is that the nororvirus/stomach virus is spreading due to those relaxed guidelines. This spread resulted in me hosting Best Day from home this Tuesday out of safety, and it has me thinking of health related stories in general. I personally am always interested in hospital stories, not for the medical details, but because the reasons why people end up in hospitals (surgeries, pregnancies, fevers, broken leg) and how their hospital stays were can tell you a lot about a person. For instance, here's older bud Gloria's gallbladder story
My All-Day Surgery
On August 28, 1997, my friend Aliyya and I had lunch at the Jamaican Jerk Hut on South Street near 15th Street. The food is wonderfully spicy. My friend and I would often splurge on lunches. As a working mother of four I had few splurges until there were out of the house. But my lunches on pay days was one of them. After eating that spicy meal, I felt really bad for the rest of the day and all night.
On Friday 8/29 I went to work and survived the day. After I got home, I told my husband that I had to go to the hospital. St. Agnes at Broad and McKean Streets was the closest (only 5 blocks from my home.) I thought this was a small problem. They would give me a prescription and I would be right back home. I was seen by a person in the Emergency Room and then Dr. James Tayoun. He said I would be admitted for a few days before my gall bladder surgery. He said he “did not operate on them while they were hot.”
I felt like a prisoner. I had expected a prescription and a few days rest at home. I was admitted and placed on a liquid diet. I was visited by my doctor and his students (there must have been six of them) every day. My fever came down and I felt better. On the night before my surgery, I asked a nurse for permission to take a bath. I lounged in the tub for what seemed like a half hour before the nurse came to get me out.
My surgery was scheduled for the morning of September 3, 1997. One of the student doctors came in and asked for permission to witness my surgery. I said yes. A short time later a young man came and asked the same thing. I said yes. And then after maybe six “visitors” my doctor came to say his students had asked to observe. I asked, “will you be there?” He answered, “I never leave the OR during surgery.” I said, “I don’t care who watches, I’ll be asleep.”
Surgery went well, after 6 hours on the table. My doctor did keyhole surgery. He said he didn’t open me up because he had said he would not (my request since I didn’t want a scar). I should have been opened up, but the students learned a lot. My sister Joan and my niece Eileen were really pissed. They had spent the whole day worrying because of the time it took.
We now return to our continuing story, "When I Met My Hubby" by Diane Richardson:
When I Met My Hubby Part 4
So, our first date at the cabaret went well. I enjoyed being able to teach his co-worker how to dance. We had a great time. Shortly after the Cabaret he invited me to his aunt’s surprise party (his mother’s sister). I accepted and attended; it was a very nice affair.
I met a lot of his family members including his mother. His mother said I must be very special to him for him to bring me to a family affair. I said I’d like to think so. We conversed and got to know each other a little. She told me her and two of her sisters went to A.C. twice a week to gamble, and would I like to come along some time. I explained to her that I don’t gamble, she said no problem. Just come along and enjoy my comps. She said free suites, free room service, free shows, free everything. She was indeed a high roller.
So, she picked me up the next Saturday with two of her sisters who were also high rollers. She has a nice new van, and we had a nice comfortable ride to A.C. We arrived at the Casino Valet Parking where the valet attendants rushed over to her car saying, “Good Afternoon, Pearlie Mae. How are you today, Pearlie Mae?” Then the doorman says the same.
She goes to the check in counter and the same thing. “How may I help you today, Pearlie Mae?” She says, “I’ll have a suite for my daughter in law.” She says, “Of course Pearlie Mae, how long will her stay be?” She says, “Indefinitely an also tickets to any shows.” So, she gives me the key to the suite along with the coupons and vouchers to everything. “Would you like me to make reservations for you next week?” She looked at me, I said “Not at this time.” So, Pearlie Mae went off to gamble and I went to my suite.
I ordered everything from room service then went to a couple of restaurants to order a bunch of take out when it was time to leave I had so many bags to take home it was a good thing she had a van. I had cakes, pies, seafood platters, surf and turf, lobster, shrimp, scallops, bottled champagne, bottled cognac, everything. After that day Joe and I would go to the casino often to enjoy the perks. He didn’t gamble either.
Pearlie would pick me up every Saturday and take me with her and her sisters. I started bringing large shopping bags with me for all my stuff. She would say “It’s free so you might as well get it.” I’m so glad I met her.
To Be Continued…
If you want to transcribe for Best Day, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also share our older buds' adventures by donating to Best Day, subscribing to our newsletter, sending a note to our older buds, or following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And if you or the older buds have hospital or health stories, then you or they can submit stories through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds, but we're always looking for stories from older buds of color, older buds with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ older buds, older buds of any gender or sex, older buds of any religion, and older buds who just plain break the mold.
And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri