Help! I’ve Fallen……

You know the feeling. You set your foot down….and you know immediately that it’s not gonna hold. And you find yourself on the ground. It was Wednesday night….I had just finished playing piano for the Holden Evening Prayer service at church. It had snow-squalled intermittently all day, and so I walked out of church, my arms full of music, coat, purse….and stepped off the curb. I landed on my left knee and right wrist, left Continue reading


It’s been almost exactly six months since Sue died. Today Mariel told me about a local man who had been re-arrested last week (after jumping bail)….and I was reminded of Sue’s very last words to me:   “He pled guilty, and you are excused! Isn’t that wonderful!!?” She was referring to a that same man who was originally arrested when he tried to fill a narcotics prescription written for his cancer-victim wife….who had been dead for Continue reading

It started with a Hammond….

I don’t remember who wanted it: mom or dad….but there it was one Christmas morning when I was about seventeen. A Hammond R full console concert organ with built-in drum machine, chimes, even brushes and cymbals!  I had never taken piano, voice or any other kind of music lessons, and other than music class in school, had never really been involved in “MUSIC!” But, I started playing the Hammond.  I learned on my own, learning Continue reading

All the way from there to here

We were married on July 9, 1976, on a blistering hot Friday night in Michigan, in an old (unairconditioned) Catholic church. I was a bit nervous, hadn’t eaten much that day, and was wearing a high-necked, long sleeved gown. On returning from the greeting of peace, I felt my head start to swim. I started to perspire. I saw lights flashing. When I came to, I was lying (spread eagle, no less) on the floor Continue reading


It started as just a ….wrong….sensation. Up there in the left upper jaw. It just felt kind of full. And then it was fullblown: abscessed tooth. The pain exploded night before last, so yesterday I hit the drug-sample cabinet first thing: ahh, antibiotics! Interesting thing about this particular antibiotic….it has a very rare side effect of causing spontaneous tendon rupture. The phenomenon has been reported in just a few people. And I’m one of them–but Continue reading

A brief history of anesthesia…..

Although various herbs and potions have been used since ancient times for the relief of pain, modern anesthesia really began in the mid 1800’s when laughing gas (nitrous oxide) was noted to induce an intoxicated state in which the gasee seemed to be impervious to pain. Ether was discovered to be an effective agent a few years later. The medical specialty of anesthesia has advanced markedly, making the removal (and sometimes addition…) of body parts Continue reading

This is a rant. This is only a rant……

It’s a given.  I spend a few minutes with a patient, taking his or her history, formulating a possible diagnosis in my mind, and I then proceed to examine the patient. Though s/he may have been reticent in providing details of his/her current illness, the patient SUDDENLY becomes positively garrulous the minute I place my stethoscope on his or her body. Have you ever worn earplugs?  They work very well at blocking out any ambient Continue reading

The Bull Moose

My fascination with moose started after a train excursion to British Columbia. The passengers on the train were encouraged to call out “moose on the right” or “bear on the left” when wildlife was spotted.  It built camaraderie among the passengers, and led to some good-natured competition: who could spot the most animals.   Well, it wasn’t me!  I never seemed to see the animals that were “called out.”  I was either on the wrong side Continue reading

The Designated Survivor

Nature or nurture?  It’s an age-old question. I don’t profess to know the answer, but after today’s walk around the lake…I at least have an opinion…. I grew up on Catfish Island on Lake St. Claire in Michigan. It was really just a point of land at the mouth of the Clinton River, separated from the mainland by a bridged canal. Our house was on the river side, across the street was the bay side, Continue reading

I Love A Parade!

I was watching the Hudson’s Thanksgiving Day Parade today.  (Well, it’s not REALLY “Hudson’s” parade anymore, but I’ll never think of it any differently….). While watching I was suddenly overwhelmed with memories.  I grew up in a Detroit suburb, and Hudson’s was THE store. It was a special occasion when Mom would dress up in her best sixties suit and gloves (I don’t ever remember her wearing a hat, though….) and we would make the Continue reading

I am a rock….

It was just a silly little children’s book. And it made me afraid. Very afraid. After my secretary, Sue, died suddenly two months ago, my pastor handed me the book, “Tear Soup.” She told me it may help me work through my grief. I thanked her, and then set the book aside. For the next six weeks, I would look at it as I walked out the door in the morning. I’d glance at it Continue reading

Doctor, Doctor

We sang together in a wedding band.  She and her husband, me and my husband. They eventually split, and we “got” Ann in the divorce.  She joined us at our church, sang with us in the choir, and was my closest confidant. We met for lunch one day in 1985. She listened while I kvetched. “Change, or quichyerbichin!”  Ann was never one to mince words, and she certainly didn’t mince any when she made it Continue reading