Treasures, Treasuries, and Thoughts

I swore I would never do a blog! So much for swearing. I didn't think that I would have much to say or share. I was wrong! I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, loyal friends, sharing colleagues, and the support from so many that I will never run out of topics to write about.

I have opened an on-line store at a place called Etsy (rhymes with Betsy). The items on the left are available for purchase there. These will change from week to week to show you my latest creations. The link to the store is in the upper left corner of this page.

I also have items for sale listed on Art Fire. The link to my Art Fire Studio is

I hope you will visit this blog, my Flickr page ( and my Etsy and/or Art Fire stores often. (

So come along on my Trail of Treasures! It will be a Spirit Journey for me and I invite you to join me on the trip.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What An Experience….Why Is Health Care Such A Mess?

What an experience I had last night.

I left Bethany Lutheran Home in Council Bluffs, IA around 4:30 to drive home. I was in the far right lane headed west on Dodge Street in Omaha and had made it 70th Street. At that point, much to my amazement a car was coming at me from my left, having crossed two lanes of traffic, and careened into my car.

I was shoved off of the road and had the store to the right not had a “Sale” sign posted on the corner, the results may have been very different.

That sign stopped my car! Once stopped, I began to get out of the car.

Two young men were there in an instant to see if I was all right. They had witnessed the accident and after checking on me, they phoned the police and rescue squad. While waiting, one of them insisted that I sit in his car with his young son to stay warm and relax. He then dialed my home so that I could let my husband and son know about the accident.

Though I was pretty shaken up and my chest hurt, I was pretty sure that I hadn’t sustained any serious injury. Nor did it appear that the woman who hit me had been injured.

The rescue squad took us both to Nebraska Methodist Hospital’s Emergency Room to have us checked out.

A policeman came to the hospital with my driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration. He also let me know that the woman who hit me was cited for the accident.
Upon arrival in the Emergency Room, a nurse took my date of birth, address, phone number. He asked my height and weight and took my blood pressure and entered it into a computer terminal.

About 30 minutes later, another individual took the same information and entered into his computer terminal. He then decided to have me move to the waiting room.

While in the waiting room, I phoned home again to let Warren and Patrick know where I was. By that time, my son Scott had been phoned and was at our house. Scott and Patrick came directly to the hospital and found me still waiting.

Just as they arrived, another individual with a computer terminal came to me and asked my age…I told her an hour older than when the last person had asked me. She then wanted to know my phone number and address. I told her than unless my husband had changed something in the last hour, I still lived at the same address I had given the two other people and my phone number was also the same. It seemed that my date of birth, address, and phone number were of far greater importance than my physical well being as I had now been there over two hours and no one had examined me past taking my blood pressure.

Then she gave me a document titled “NeHII-Sharing Information For Better Health Care. This is a program that shares your medical information with other health care providers unless you opt out. The irony is that the computer systems at Nebraska Methodist evidently don’t even share information from one of their own computers to another. If they did, why in the course of two hours was it necessary to ask and enter my date of birth, address, and phone number three times?  I think I will "opt out"!

Finally I was taken to an examination room and left there to put on a hospital gown. There was a clock on the wall that one hour ahead of the real time. Evidently no one had changed it when the time changed recently. There was a black board that said “Mike” was the person in charge. I never saw a “Mike”. The board and signs in the corridors touted “Fast Track”.

If what I was experiencing was Fast Track….I would hate to see slow!

Eventually, a nurse practitioner came into the room and introduced another women with her as a student. She gave me some commands and examined my chest but aside from that, never had any conversation with me. Her only comments were directed to the “student”. She didn’t ask what had happened. She didn’t tell me what she was checking for. She then said we are going to do an X-ray.

I asked how long that would take as I was exhausted and fairly sure that nothing was broken. She said 15 minutes.

Now I’m sitting in a cold room with a hospital gown on, no blankets in evidence or offered. After 30 minutes had gone by I put on my clothes and told the nurse I was leaving.

The nurse practitioner and her student were sitting in a nearby office with an open door. A nurse who I will call “B” asked me what my problem was. I told her and she said that I should stay and she would have the X-ray people there in next 15 minutes. So I went back to the cold room and put on the gown again. The nurse practitioner continued to chat with her student.

After 40 minutes went by and no one had checked on me or no X-ray tech had appeared, I dressed again and told the nurse once again that I was leaving.

She told me that they had gone to the wrong room and was very understanding and apologetic.

Now I realize that Emergency Rooms are intended to triage patients and certainly I was not in a life or death circumstance, but what I experienced was a truly pathetic and apathetic!

I also understand the needs of teaching programs having been a teaching health care professional since 1961. In addition, my husband, Professor Emeritus in Cell Biology and Anatomy, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center has been teaching medical and allied health students for 42 years. But I have never seen the patient left out of the teaching opportunity. I certainly was last night.

So at Nebraska Methodist, time means nothing as evidenced by clocks that aren’t set correctly and patients that are allowed to linger without care or attention. There is enough staff to take intake information three times but not enough to examine or care for patients.

Fast Track? I didn’t see Fast…I didn’t even witness a sense of urgency anywhere. In a facility where fast is not even close, it would be better off not to bombard people with a “Fast Track” motto. It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

My car was towed to the impound lot and the policeman said it was probably totaled. We will deal with that today.

My chest hurts but while I will probably have bumps and bruises, I’m alive…..thanks to the grace of God and no thanks to any care received from the hospital.

Medicare and/or the insurance company of the woman who hit me will probably have to pay big bucks for my dismal experience at Nebraska Methodist Emergency Room.

The two young men who came to my aid at the accident scene were remarkable. I’m sure that they would have rather been on their way home for dinner than tending to me. They did more to care for me than anyone at the hospital. They gave the information that they witnessed to the police. One made sure I was safe. He introduced me to his son and let his son know that I was going to sit in the car with him to stay warm until the police came.

What an example of both citizenship and parenting!

He is my hero without a name at the moment. The police said that his name would be in the accident report and I will certainly let him know how much I appreciate what he did.

It is interesting that a rank stranger on the street demonstrated more concern and compassion than an entire staff of hospital professionals!

If this is what we get now for health care now, spare me from what it will become if Obama care becomes reality! Health care is a mess!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Annual Thanksgiving Request

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is growing near?  November is also National Native American Heritage Month.  This is third year that I have made this November/Thanksgiving request on my blog. It is the only time of the year that I solicit monetary donations from my friends.  It is for a cause that I truly support and I am so very thankful to those of you who contributed in 2009 and 2010. 

As many of you know, I have the distinct honor and priviledge of beading bracelets from the logo of Eve's Fund. Eve’s Fund is a Native American Health Initiative that promotes programs to help Native Americans.
It was established in 2005 by Dr. Robert M. Crowell, a retired neurosurgeon and Eve’s mother, Barbara Crowell Roy . This fund is named in memory of their daughter, Eve Erin Crowell, who died tragically in February of that year. Eve’s Fund is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization incorporated in New Mexico.

While I support this organization year round, I actively solicit donations for their children’s literacy program during November. It is a part of my personal celebration of National Native American Heritage Month and a way of expressing my thankfulness for the blessings of literacy. Literacy is taken for granted by most of us.

Three years ago, Eve’s Fund’s website posted an article that got my full and undivided attention. It reminded me of all that I have to be thankful for. I was shocked by the fact that there are so many Native children who do not own a single book of their own!

Can you imagine your growing up without owning a single book? Can you imagine your Grandchildren not owning a single book? But it is true that many Native children don't have the luxury of book ownership. I find this fact to be very sad and I am so thankful that Eve's Fund is playing an active role in promoting literacy by providing children with books of their very own.

Last year, Eve’s Fund partnered with Betty Metz. Betty Metz is a remarkable person and the founder of Books-a-Go Go. Betty’s organization is a not-for-profit group that gives away books to needy kids. Fortunately, for Eve’s Fund, Betty has pledged to donate books to Navajo children. In May of 2009, the first shipment of 2,000 books arrived at Red Mesa Arizona. Last year Books-a-Go Go donated another 3,200 books (2,600 pounds worth) to Navajo schools in New Mexico and Arizona. As Betty says, “it’s all for the kids,” and she has certainly touched a great many of them. Betty’s mission is to give books to children from low-income families and thus pave the way to education and more fulfilling lives.

For a mere $5.00 donation, Eve's Fund will ship a book to each of five Native children.

I remember the pleasures of reading books to my three grandchildren and in purchasing books for them. Each year I designate a donation to this literary program and have books shipped to Native children in the names of my three grandchildren, Sydney, Mason and Olivia. Will you join me in doing the same this year?

We take so much for granted! We forget how blessed we are that someone taught us to read! We had our very own books! And even in these troubled economic times, we can a difference with even a modest donation.

If you would like to make a similar Thanksgiving gift in the names of your children or grandchildren, it is very simple. Go to this site.

There are several options as to how you can help. Click on "Donate".

You can designate the way you want your donation to be applied. In the purpose, I wrote "Ship books in the names of Sydney, Mason, and Olivia Stinson."

You can pay with Paypal.

Or if you prefer, you can send a check to:

Eve’s Fund/ThinkFirst Navajo
c/o Robert M. Crowell, MD, President
180 Elm Street, Suite 1, PMB 168
Pittsfield, MA 01201

What a simple way to give "Thanks" for all the pleasure books have given you over the years and to provide that experience for another child.  Please join me in giving at least five Native American children the pleasure of book ownership this Thanksgiving.