One woman's view

Contributing writer

Scoff at clichés if you will, but they often contain a grain of truth. A couple of my recent experiences have proved that at least some clouds have silver linings. I don't know about every one; I can only speak from my own experience.

In mid-November, I was admitted to the Kansas Heart Hospital for an expected two-day stay. After catching a staph infection, I spent 15 days in the hospital, partly at Wichita and partly at Hillsboro. By the way, if anyone felt seriously deprived when there was no column in November, now you know why.

While this was hardly the happiest fortnight of my life, I saw a shining silver lining. I got acquainted with excellent health care professionals in both hospitals. It was almost (not quite) worth the ordeal to be introduced to Dr. Thomas Moore, the infectious disease doctor, who was warm, charming, and extremely funny, as well as being one of the best doctors in his field. Perhaps my favorite Moore quip came when he was trying to remove the scab from my infection site. "Of course, I could never allow you to do this yourself," he said. "It takes a highly technical medical education to pick scabs."

Dr. Moore even allowed me to contribute to his general education. I decided anyone sharing the name of the great Irish poet should know more about him. Almost every time he came in my room I gave him a Moore poem to read. I even told him the story behind "Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms."

The heart hospital even provided an excellent view for female patients. A young man who is a student nurse at Butler Community College was gorgeous. I may be pushing 70, but I still know a hunk when I see one.

I appreciated the chance to touch base with relatives and friends in Wichita. I had good phone chats with a couple of cousins, and several friends visited me and sometimes ran errands and brought care packages at both hospitals. A couple of my heart children were real troopers about furnishing transportation.

I was about recovered from that ordeal when the ice storm hit and I spent eight days without electricity. That was a major dark cloud, again with beautiful silver lining.

Although I had no lights and no heat at my house, I had friends who took me in from the cold. It was heartwarming to see how the more able-bodied and better equipped in my community went more than the extra mile to take care of the rest of us. Thank God for good neighbors.

And have you ever seen anything more breathtakingly beautiful than the scene when the sun came out and shone on the ice-covered trees? We were living in a fantasy land. Maybe that was worth doing without light, heat, refrigerators, and washing machines. Or maybe not! I didn't say the clouds are obliterated by the silver linings. I only said they have them.