Archive | March 2021

When my baby was hospitalized…

Going through old correspondence, I found a letter I wrote to UCLA Hospital (L.A.) in 1973. My son was 18 months old and had been very ill and a patient there. I was distressed at what I saw and experienced in the children’s ward. Parents were only allowed to be there during ‘visiting hours’. (Many of us disregarded this unless told to leave.)

When I was there, I changed my child’s diapers and soiled sheets, fed him when possible and if he awoke crying, hearing my voice, he’d wrap his little fingers around mine and fall asleep again. I recall laying on the floor for one or two nights to be there for him. (One night I counted eleven parents sleeping on the chairs in the waiting room — there were no sofas.)

I walked to the nurses station
He had to go to the bathroom

The boy next door was about six and attached to an IV. He called again and again for a nurse until I went over to ask what he needed. He had to go to the bathroom. I walked to the nurses station and forwarded his request, then got busy again with my own child.

When I heard anguished crying, I went to ask what happened. He had been unable to hold it any longer and had soiled himself in bed. He was embarrassed and traumatized. At his age I can only imagine how he felt.

With parents purposely kept away, other children were neglected. One little girl across the way cried from morning til night each day. No one attempted to comfort her. She spoke only Spanish. My letter, therefore, mainly requested they rescind their policy of not allowing parents to remain with their sick children.

I made copies of the letter and mailed it to six people in charge. I never had a reply. The letter, however, did create a reaction. My pediatrician was told that my child and I were BANNED from UCLA, which was very close to our home. After that I was required to drive across town each time my little boy was seriously ill — and he was.

My pediatrician was told I was BANNED

I am pleased that since then things have changed and now parents CAN be with their hospitalized children. Did I play a role in this change? I’d like to think so, but probably not.

What’s been your experience with your own children’s hospitalizations?


Kindness? Pass it on…

Weird things happen to me all the time, and yesterday was no exception. I had to register for my vaccine shot, but not until afternoon. I’d heard all the horror stories of those trying to book appointments and I was nervous. There had been mass confusion, so I put aside the whole afternoon for this task.

At 12:30 I dialed the number

At 12:30 p.m. I dialed the number I’d found online and, would you believe, Jennifer answered right away! I was so delighted, I told her so and we both happily completed the process. I carefully placed my identification card back into my wallet and pranced off (as much as I can prance) to treat myself to a well-earned ‘beauty’ nap. I’d been so nervous that morning, I hadn’t been able to sit still, so filled the time by taking a walk to renew my apartment insurance.

I tolled off for a second walk

When I awoke feeling and looking grand, (Ahem!) I toddled off for a second walk — to the fish store. I chose what I wanted, but when I looked for my wallet, realized I’d left the darn thing on my desk next to the phone.

I forgot my wallet

‘Oh, I’m so sorry,’ I mumbled, ‘I forgot my wallet at home.’ I explained what had happened, that I’d been excited and — feeling like a fool, admitted I couldn’t buy the small amount of fish the salesclerk had already weighed.

‘You can come back later,’ she suggested. The lady waiting behind me, whom I didn’t know, spoke: ‘I’ll pay for her purchase.’ I turned to look at her, a big question mark on my face.

‘You can pass it on,’ she told me with a smile. It was a small purchase, but what a lovely thing for her to do. I accepted with my own smile, thanked her and promised that indeed, of course I WOULD pass it on.

I thanked her and promised I’d pass it on

So, keep your eyes open and if you see me out and about one of these days, remember that I need to pass on this kindness. It’ll be my treat with pleasure.

To Celine: You asked for a post. Here it is. It is for you and really did happen yesterday. Thank you for being my friend and putting up with me. Love, Muriel

Multitasking. Who, me?

Have you ever wanted to do two things at once and not know which you SHOULD do? That’s how I felt yesterday. I wanted to write this post. I enjoy the writing, but it’s March and tax papers are showing up in my mailbox and I SHOULD start getting my act together tax-wise, right? I ended up procrastinating and accomplished — nothing!

The taxes are complicated and I’ve learned by costly experience that Canadian accountants don’t know what to do with U.S. income so I just do them myself. (Don’t do this unless you have experience with accounting. I do.)

If I weren’t so neurotic, I’d do the post and let the taxes wait. But, this gal ain’t wired that way. I won’t rest until I see some progress on the darned tax front.

Multitasking? I’m no good at this...

I managed to get my medical expenses in order and checked the 2020 US/CAN exchange rate. Well, that’s something! I also HAVE TO do my U.S. return before I can even start the Canadian one. (Yup. It’s complicated.)

The IRS is so muddled this year (due to COVID:19) they still owe me a refund for my 2019 return which they haven’t yet gotten to. I’m not sure if they’re too busy or broke. I call them monthly and they keep telling me to call again in a month? Maybe they just enjoy hearing from me. But it is distressing to be told each time they can’t find my return…

Yeah! I’m two skinny gals.

I’m a lousy multitasker. Maybe if I could slice myself in two I could write the post and work on my taxes at the same time? Ha, maybe then I’d be two THIN ladies. Yahoo! I’ve never been thin. And, what’s if that made each of me l/2 my present age? Wouldn’t that be a hoot? What fun. I could dye one me as a redhead and let the other me have dark hair. I’ve never had red hair. Ha, ha!

Wow! I’d make one of me a redhead.

Enough nonsense. Multitask? Maybe you can, but I sure can’t.