STELLAR Hospital

Well, I certainly never expected to be one of the 129 visitors taking advantage of the new Emergency Room during the opening week of Sonoma West Medical Center- but life is messy. After having a migraine for six days and not being able to keep anything down, I was very dehydrated. I had seen my doctor twice that week, and her partner said he had never seen me so dehydrated. They said if I was still dehydrated in 24 hours I would need to get an IV.

The next afternoon my migraine was only about a five down from a s
even, but I had stroke symptoms on my left side. That happens to me about once every six to eight weeks so I called the office to see if he could do the IV there. I was told I needed to go to the shiny new ER at, Sonoma West Medical Center. I really did NOT want to do that, but I went anyway.

Asian Handsome Man in bed with tablets and water suffering insomnia, hangover and headache

My experience was STELLAR. I was still in their electronic records from the old Palm Drive, so check-in was a breeze. A charming young nurse escorted me to a dark, “Migraine Room,” brought me a warm blanket, and gave me a pillow for under my knees.

My nurses were right on top of things. There was a small misunderstanding about an allergy drug, but because she double checked it before she put the arm band on, we caught it and she just made a new one with the right information- so no harm done.

Turns out, I needed TWO IV bags, so I was there for a long time. They gave me pain meds and Phenergan for the constant nausea. However, this time I didn’t have to get the shots in my hips, I got them in the portals of my IV so I didn’t feel a thing! We arrived there about 5:30 and left about 10:45. Instead of filling out all the forms at the front desk, I was back in my comfy dark room. I just had to initial and sign. It was quick and painless. None of the staff had their eye on the clock, none were sneaking French Fries before taking care of patients and all of them were 100% present. I have seen a number of ERs in my 71 years, and this one could give lessons in how it should be done.

Nobody wants to go to a hospital, but if the need arises, you can be assured that you will receive quality care at Sonoma West Medical Center. They have hired top notch physicians and nursing staff. The food is prepared using local, organic and seasonal products. They have a top- of-the-line Mammogram machine that takes the best pictures ever of breast tissue. It cuts way back on false positives, even in the densest breast tissue.

So, although you and yours may never need the services provided by SWMC, you should sleep much better tonight knowing that if you should have an emergency, this tiny facility is more than equipped to handle whatever comes up. They are truly a blessing for our community and I for one, am grateful to, Richard Powers MD, and Dan Smith, and so many others who have given so much to keep this dream alive and well. Congratulations one and all for a job well done!

Lib Morgan’s plan to stay in her home as long as possible

Go Fish

Photo of Lib Morgan on her 90th birthday, with her big fish.

My mom lives in rural North Carolina in the home she came to as a bride in 1949.  Since my father’s death eight years ago, she has lived there alone.  There are no neighbors within view and she loves the tranquility of that.  It is her fervent wish to stay put as long as possible.  This determination reinforces her practices of walking every day (indoors to Big Band music if the weather is bad,) eating well, and following her doctors’ commands.

The compounding losses and physical miseries that accompany the privilege of reaching the age of ninety affect my mom, yet she consciously refuses self-pity.  She is a realist with a strong faith in God and a ready sense of humor.  Her approach to daily life is infused with gratitude.  She notices the gifts that come her way without any rigid expectations that would set her up for disappointment.  On a daily basis, she expresses her deep joy in nature, pointing out a pileated woodpecker, a nesting barn swallow in her carport, deer tracks.  I cannot count the number of times she has paused and said to me, “Just look at that!  We are so blessed to live here!”

The other thing that sustains my mom consistently is her determination to make a contribution in whatever way she can. She thinks up thoughtful things she can do or say that would support or aid others and carries them out. There are many people who love my mom, but none more than her grandchildren.  She taught all ten to drive by accompanying them as they aimed between trees in her wooded yard.  Her overall attitude to life was probably summed up as she told each nervous teen, “Remember, I love you more than I love my car!”

P.Elise Morgan