Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady



Not Just for the Professionals

It’s National Care Givers Day. According to the National Day of calendar this day is set aside to acknowledge, thank, and give credit to professional care givers. Amen to that! Where would we be without our nurses, doctors, technicians, and even the cleaning and cafeteria crews at a hospital; or the staff in our doctor’s office? These people are there when we need them, hopefully it isn’t too often. Note: they get to go home at the end of their shift.

Let’s take this a step further. After a loved one has a knee replaced, with a hospital stay of only two nights, now who is the caregiver? If someone is going through chemo treatments, with rides needed, meals prepared, the house cleaned, and a gentle touch; now who is the caregiver? If someone is in an auto accident that shakes their security to the core, who is their caregiver? You got it, usually it is a family member or friend.

In my circle, I am known as the hospital sitter. I don’t mind sitting quietly, for hours if necessary, in a hospital room, or waiting room, knowing that I am making the patient just a bit calmer. I’ve done it for my husband, the neighbor, my boss, other family members, and a  fellow Harley rider after a terrible accident that left him in a wheelchair. I’m not looking for praise, it’s a way I can calmly give back. There is a down side. On the odd day I’m needing a boost myself, it’s a little too easy to ask, who is taking care of me? Thankfully that thought doesn’t happen often, or last long.

Currently in the U.S. it is socially acceptable and even suggested to tell a military veteran thank you for their service. It’s about time. May I suggest, if you know a caregiver, especially the stay-at-home type, add them to the list of people to say thank you to. By acknowledging the person that needs the care and the caregiver, you let them know you are concerned for both of them. It will mean a lot as the stay-at-home caregiver often doesn’t have an escape like a professional does.


It’s National Women Physicians Day. According to the National Day of Calendar, 35% of physicians are women and they still earn 8% less than their male counterparts. This day is set aside to honor lady doctors, the strides they have made and bring awareness that those numbers could use some improvement.

I had to think about the fact there are still two male doctors to every one female. I know most of the women I am familiar enough with to talk about our doctors, prefer a woman.  I like the lady Physicians Assistant I go to much better than I like the male doctor she works along side. She has more patience (no pun intended), listens to and hears what I say, and makes me feel like she cares about me as a person. She has empathy.

My husband’s niece is the program director for the Cleveland Clinic’s internal medicine residency program. She has many of letters after her name. She says, “That just means I went to school a lot.” Now, with the current travel ban from certain countries, she is fighting to get one of her doctors back into the U.S.. We are very proud of our Dr. Abby Spencer who is regularly getting awards for her work. When we visit her at home, she’s a loving mother, wife and daughter. I would love to shadow her at work one day. I’m sure I couldn’t keep up with the pace she goes and I know I would have no idea what she was talking about when it came to medical lingo. I do know she likes lots of frosting on her cupcakes!

The very long novel I wrote, that I keep mentioning, has a stern older man doctor in it and his protegé is his great-niece. I have plans to give her a personality much like our Dr. Abby’s. It’s easier to write when you write what you know. Hats off to all women physicians.


An Apple A Day

I just spent a whole lot of time with my sister and her husband helping out after she had a knee replacement. It was a pleasure to be able to do it. During one breakfast we talked about our Christmas Stockings when we were kids. The toe usually held an orange or an apple. We looked forward to that piece of fruit almost more than the other small gifts from Santa.

When I was in grade school, I got a box of apples in the mail at Christmas time. They were from the man who was the postmaster in our little one block town. They were each nestled in fake straw in a cardboard thing that looked like a huge egg carton. My sisters and parents shared the apples and the shiny red ones were always eaten first.

Currently, I make a salad each morning for my husband’s lunch. When we can get fresh Empire apples he gets one of those for his afternoon snack. There’s nothing else like the first bite into a juicy red apple.

Back to my sister; her doctor’s name is David Grimm. My friend, Mary, always makes about ten different types of cookies at Christmas time and she passes out tins of them as gifts. When she delivers to Dr. Grimm’s office, because he did her knee too, she includes an apple for Dr. Grimm because he prefers it. Me, I’ll take the cookies.

Today is also National Pie Day. I recommend Apple, that way, no matter what, you can eat an apple today. Enjoy!

Pediatric Nurses Day

The picture has the correct name for this day; National Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day.  I truly hope no one in your family or circle of friends ever needs to get to know one of these very special people, but we know life isn’t always fair.

My daughter had major surgery when she was 3 1/2 to fix problems in her urinary tract.  I’m thankful it wasn’t cancer or a blood disorder.  Luckily she hasn’t needed more surgery as she ages.  That Doc did a great job.  Where, you might ask.  At Chanute Air Force Base Hospital in Rantoul, Illinois.  That was way back in 1978.  The base isn’t open anymore.

As a young mother, away from home, with two children and an Air Force husband, that was not an easy time in my life.  If you haven’t had any connection with a branch of the U. S. military, I will tell you they are a brotherhood.  In base housing, your neighbors are generally immediate friends, because they are away from home, just like you.  There is a bond produced by understanding that a military member’s life is not his/her own.  When the government of the country the member has signed their life away to, says jump. you jump.  It’s not a question, or a I’ll think about it, it’s how it is.  The families bond together just like the active duty members do because it’s necessary.  (I’m not complaining, just trying to explain.  I do digress.)

The nurses, techs, room cleaners, and doctors in a military hospital are all active duty military members, or they were in 1978, maybe it’s different now.  Anyway, I admire them highly.  Taking care of someone you can communicate with is one thing, caring for a baby is another.  Taking care of a child or teen that wants no part of a stranger can be trying too.  I have noticed that sick children seem to be calmer than non-sick.  My daughter’s surgeon said she didn’t feel good enough to be a brat, until he fixed her.  It was worth it.

I am an emotional person.  I cry at things in movies that others don’t even see as poignant. I cry when I’m happy, when I’m sad, and when I’m frustrated.  So, again, I admire any nurse that can care for a child, do their best, comfort the parent, then watch them walk out of their lives as quickly as they appeared.  Maybe it’s the quick come and go that makes it easier for them.  I couldn’t do their job without getting attached.

I’ll repeat, I pray you never have to know one of these caring, capable, super-human nurses.  I’m thankful they exist.



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