1940s, Culture, Funny, History, Humor, Music, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Vintage

Let Me Soothe You With My Chorded Zither

Time Life “The Good Old Days’

It’s WWII. An injured soldier tolerates appreciates the twang of a skilled Red Cross Gray Lady, plucking the strings of an autoharp. Why Gray Lady, you ask? Because she has gray hair? No. Gray Ladies were volunteers who performed non-medical services to sick, injured, or disabled patients. They were not nurses, but they could read to patients,  write letters home for them, or in this case, perform talents worthy of an appearance on Star Search. My question is: why isn’t he donning an open-backed hospital gown? Instead, he sports a Chinese stand collar, frog button jacket, as though he is dressed for his shift at The Golden Tiger. I don’t get it.

Photography, Pics

Partial Eclipse Of The Heart

For the last week, all my family has thought about is hearts.

all gifs from giphy.com

My husband lost 20 lbs this year by controlling his diet, and we took to taking daily walks during quarantine to continue the trend, boost our lung health, and stave off any ‘rona respiratory issues. By minute 10, he often felt a chest tightness, would stop for a few seconds, and then continue on the walk. By minute 20, he would need to return home, and off I would jog for another 30.

Hearts are important. I urged him to see his primary (which was no easy task in full corona mode in early April), who referred him to a cardiologist, who suggested a catheter procedure to check for any blockages. This could have been done the next day in our “old normal.” But not now. First, he had to go through a drive-through COVID testing spot, have an 8″ swab shoved through his nostril into his brain, then go into a mandatory 7 day quarantine, meaning yet another missed week of work.

Eight days later, off we went (masked up with handy bottle of Purell at our side) into the hospital. Doc said they’d check the blood flow, throw in some stents if necessary, and send him home that afternoon. But that wasn’t how it went down. They found three blockages, and within 24 hours, my husband would be recovering from a triple bypass surgery–and still several years away from age 50. It all happened so quickly–so many tests and terms and rotating nurses and blood and stitches and pills, fevers and chills, difficulty breathing, nausea, and pain the likes of which I’d never witnessed in him. I was so grateful for the skill of all those folks in keeping him alive.

But now he’s home, and we have a “new new normal” of life on the recliner, surrounded by the myriad items one needs at the ready, in order to prevent both pneumonia and blood clots as a “cabbage” patient (coronary artery bypass graft or CABG, pronounced “cabbage“). And I am the exhausted servant of mon petit chou.

2020 has been unpredictable and anxiety-producing and we’re not even halfway done yet. But God has hand His hand on us, and we will march right through this, just as we all have during these decades of life we spend here. Another day, another blessing.

 

1950s, 1970s, Culture, History, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Texas, Vintage

Boxes And Boxes Of Babies

all images from “Houston 175”

Today we continue in our appreciation for the medical field, who has been streeeeetched to their limits during these past several weeks, and will probably all be suffering from PTSD for the rest of their lives. But back in July of 1970, high-haired Connie Wharton and Jean Davis were keeping it casual and lowkey while lifting newborns out of stork/kitten/kangaroo boxes at Jefferson Davis Hospital, the first publicly-owned Houston hospital to accept low-income patients.

Fun fact Friday: the hospital was largely abandoned in the 80s, thought to be full of ghosts, named a city landmark, and then destroyed renovated into artist lofts for the rich and crafty. Plus, everyone knows buildings cannot be named after a former president of the Confederate States; we’re too busy erasing history to make everything PC.

This next image shows nurses and patients at Houston’s St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in the Fifth Ward in March of 1959. Nobody likes to be barefoot, donning a hospital gown, but some encouragement, attention, and a fire truck can go a long way toward healing.

Our final Houston-based medical subject is Dr. Katharine Hsu, a pediatric doctor who came to America from China in 1948. She served as Chief Resident Physician in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital in Shanghai, but when the Japanese invaded the city in l94l, she fled through enemy lines and joined her husband at Chung Cheng Medical College as Head of Pediatrics. Here she takes vitals of a shirtless youngster in July of 1953 at–you guessed it–Jefferson Davis Hospital.

Fun Fact Friday: After tuberculosis took the lives of her brother and sister, she made it her goal to stop the spread. She established a one-room, one-nurse pediatric TB facility which later expanded into the Children’s TB Clinic and Hospital, where she worked from 1953 to 1969.

Per her obituary in 2007, she died at the age of 93.

When the use of the drug Isoniazid proved beneficial in treating TB patients, Katharine envisioned using it as a preventive against the disease. Since her extensive testing and studies proved overwhelmingly successful, the preventive treatment was adopted worldwide…The International Biographical Center of Cambridge named her International Woman of the Year in l996-l997 for her contributions to medicine, research, and education.

Today we salute the men and women in past and present medical fields, doing their best to keep the rest of us alive, with all the skills to treat and diagnose when we are helpless and vulnerable.

Cremona, Italy ICU 3/13/20 by Paolo Miranda