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August 20 2006 Painting Newsletter



Well, it has been an interesting couple of weeks, to say the least. My wife, Peggie (Breast Cancer Editor) was riding her motorcycle with some friends to see the Elk’s Camp in central Florida, when she hit some gravel and was thrown from the bike. Thankfully she and I both ride with full helmets and gear, so her injuries were limited to a shattered left shoulder and elbow (could have been much worse).
Anyway, after a couple of surgeries and 5 days in the hospital, I have come to the conclusion that hospitals, for all their high tech health care, know little about how to help a patient and their family deal with the stress of pre and post surgery.
Those of you who have ever been through the system know what I am talking about.
Three areas in particular need to be rethought: The pre-surgery holding areas; post-op recovery; and the family waiting areas.
All three areas suffer from the same three problems: Noise; light; and color.
Hard surfaces on the floors, walls and ceiling cause even the slightest noise (monitors, phone calls, etc) to bounce around the room and be amplified. There is a need, a priority need in fact, to have all surfaces capable of being cleaned, but more effort needs to be made to control ambient sound.
Most lights are florescent; even in the best of spaces, the light given off is harsh and glaring (And is always shining directly in your eyes as you are laying on the gurney).
And please tell me that there are other colors that can be used in hospitals besides dull teal and boring (read: dirty) rose pink. Color, the right color, can be a calming and soothing influence.
I have decided to begin work on a treatise to examine these problems, and try to develop alternative approaches.
If you have any experiences that you would like to share with me, you can e-mail me at pgsherry@earthlink.net.
Oh, and once rehab is over, my wife and I will be back on our bikes.
Glenwood

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