Sherryl is feeling much, much better. The abdominal pain is gone, and she is resting comfortably with the help of an IV to restore hydration and a little bit of medication for pain. She is alert and talkative, and has more energy than she had just 24 hours ago. At this point, doctors believe the lower abdominal pain is the result of an antibiotic Sherryl took a few weeks ago to ward off a fever. She is uncertain of specifics planned for tomorrow, but more tests may be performed to definitively diagnose, treat, and eliminate the pain.
Sherryl's appetite is well on its way back, and the haze that robs her of energy in the few days post-chemotherapy is once again lifting. Sherryl is in good spirits; in fact, she's in rare form. She described to us a nurse who is particularly noteworthy. While Sherryl has loved most of her nurses, this one is not a favorite for justified reasons. Sherryl has nicknamed her "the town clown." There were several stories that surfaced during this individual's 8-hour shift today and Sherryl won't mind if this particular hospital employee does not return to work tomorrow.
In Sherryl's hospital room, and in most patient rooms in many hospitals, is a white board. The purpose of the white board is to keep the patient informed on a daily basis of the room number, date, the name of the nurse by shift, and the name of the doctor. All slots were completed on Sherryl's white board this morning except for the name of the doctor. Since this white board is located on the wall directly opposite the bed, it is straight in the line of Sherryl's vision. If you know RaRa even a little bit, you know that the space where the doctor's name was to be inserted invited significant creative thinking.
When Arleen was visiting Sherryl tonight, they laughed about the ideas that had occurred to Sherryl throughout the day. Then, without warning, Sherryl began to emerge from her hospital bed. She asked Arleen to help her move the IV pole as she started to make her way to the white board. In the interest of maintaining the quality of Sherryl's care, as well as the integrity of IV apparatus (!), Arleen insisted Sherryl stay in bed. It should be stated here that Arleen has never been known to be highly or even moderately mischievous. Plus she works in administration at a medical center, so she understands fully the purpose of the white board in patient rooms and how they are revered as a key component for measuring patient satisfaction in the areas of communication and service. That said, in full consciousness, Arleen executed Sherryl's choice of creative expression onto the white board. She also saved the evidence by snapping a photo of it with her camera phone. Nadine was home with a cold and unable to join in the fun, but the photo was emailed to her immediately for her full, real-time enjoyment.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you The White Board.