Packet Sea Foam: Little things at hospital make stay 'delightful'

July 18, 2011 

Thanks to Marge Holcombe of The Seabrook on Hilton Head Island for sharing her story about Hilton Head Hospital.

Marge, a longtime volunteer at the hospital, wrote a monthly humor column in The Packet for many years.

HOMETOWN TREATMENT

By Marge Holcombe

I recently spent a delightful few days in our Hilton Head Hospital. Lest you think that this ancient one has lost her few remaining marbles, let me explain:

My room, No. 214, and the matching wooden bed, were painted a soothing pale yellow. Although the room was always immaculate, a friendly young lady cleaned it thoroughly every day.

Then I met my certified nursing assistant, who, like most other CNAs, are working toward their nursing degrees from the excellent course offered by the University of South Carolina Beaufort. They are professional, knowledgeable and attentive. We are so fortunate to have the highest caliber of professional and non-professional employees on the staff.

The hospital also has the latest in technology -- you never have to leave your bed for an EKG, sonogram, blood work, etc. They come to you. Speaking of technology, the beds weigh you. The CNA posted my vital signs on the board, but I do think that the "Wow!" she wrote after the weight was a wee bit much.

When I mentioned to an aide that blue was my favorite color, in an moment she appeared with an adorable sky blue hospital gown, complete with discreet tiny bows on the back (that hid nothing) that I'm sure came from Victoria's Secret. I loved it.

I have saved the best till last, deservedly so. I hold the uncontested title, "The World's Best Worst Cook." My stove gets dusted.

About 20 years ago, I was sent to the hospital's emergency room and Dr. Paul Long was the doctor on duty. He apologized that he was going to admit me.

"That's OK," I answered. "I like hospital food."

"In that case, I'll order a brain scan," he said.

As I warned, it was blank; there was nothing there.

The hospital has outsourced the food service to a catering business. During this most recent trip to the hospital, promptly at meal times, a charming, petite and smartly uniformed young lady, bearing the best cuisine I have ever tasted, arrives. I have a choice of the special menus for heart patients and diabetic patients and, since I am both, I felt entitled to take the two meals. Hilton Head Hospital, could this be the start of take-outs?

There was a small glitch in my fun-and-games routine. The doctor and the aides wanted me to exercise -- to walk. Anxious not to jeopardize my six-meals-a-day routine, I gave up, fixed my Victoria's Secret hide-nothing tiny bows and thumped around the various nursing stations, a trip that felt like the New York Marathon.

One evening, I noticed that my nurses, Stacey and Carole, were being particularly solicitous and kept glancing at a sign above the bed in back of me that I'm certain read, "Be kind to Mrs. Holcombe, her marbles are missing. And don't reach for her hospital gown -- she bites."

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