Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady



Laying in a Hospital Bed

An inward sucking noise

An outward swooshing

Over and Over

The ventilator keeps perfect time

The incessant beeping

When the IV bag is empty

“Someone” please turn it off

Where is everyone

Now a fall-alarm is blaring

My adrenalin rushes but

I hear no one running in response

Don’t they care

Too busy to answer call buttons

But I can hear them talking

How many people are working

Where is my friendly nurse

The meal-cart wheels squeak

Compartment doors slam

The tube prevents eating

My mind says I’m hungry

My God, it’s finally quiet

It’s peaceful

Am I dead

Written in response to Charli Mills August 13, 2021, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story, using cacophony. You can use the word or show discordant sound inaction. How can you create literary cacophony with your words? This one might be of interest to poets as a literary device. Go where the prompt leads!

Too Bad It’s True – flash fiction

Dear Diary, They say pasta is a comfort food. I’m choosing to believe that and plan to make a serving every Saturday from here to forever because it seems I end up at one hospital or another on Sunday. A few months ago I sat with my sister while she and her husband decided whether kidney dialysis was worth the extra time on earth for him. Two weeks ago it was my daughter fighting sepsis (she won) and this Sunday it was my son with a smashed shoulder. The wine is gone tonight, the yummy red sauce pasta awaits.

In response to Charli Mills September 13, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes pasta. It can be spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, or any variety. It can be a meal or a work of art. Go where the prompt leads.

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.


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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