Friday, October 16, 2009

Small town life

A month or so ago, I arrived at a local convenience store to purchase gas for our Buick. When I pulled in, I discovered that two lines had formed at the gas island. I have to admit that I was more than a bit perturbed when I learned that one of the vehicles parked at the gas island, wasn't even getting gas. The driver had just parked his vehicle there, went inside, purchased items and began shooting the breeze with whoever inside the store. Meanwhile, people couldn't get up to the pump next to his vehicle. And, yes, I know that he bought no fuel because his vehicle's gas tank was on the other side of his car!

A lady from Wichita had arrived at the store before me to buy gas. She had had to do some fancy driving to park her car at the pumps because of the inconsiderate driver. Eventually, the other driver got into his car and left. As soon as I had parked, I got out of my car and began fueling. The lady from Wichita and myself began visiting. I learned that she is a salesman for a well-known company that specializes in home decor. Part of her territory is in Western Kansas. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and would welcome the opportunity to do it again!

Many of us small town folk would relish having stores, restaurants more available to us. How many of us would be thrilled if we just had to drive a few minutes to the local Wal-Mart or major shopping center? It would be great! I found that she also loves being able to do just that. But, she is envious of us out here who are part of our rural life atmosphere.

We seem to know just about everyone whom we meet at the grocery store. People actually wave to each other as we pass on the streets. When our children come home from school and ask if they can go to a certain friend's home, we usually always know that friend's family, where they live and whether or not we want our child to be associated with that person. Those things are taken for granted here but not so in larger communities. The lady misses those things in Wichita.

I think that most people would agree with me that it is a good feeling to know that people are here to support one another in times of various stressful situations that life presents. One of those stressful times presented itself recently with our family. Our-7-year-old daughter, Abigayle, has been having some pretty major allergy problems recently. We took her to see our family's allergist. From that visit, we learned that most of her problems are caused by things such as pollens, weeds, etc. However, Abigayle was VERY alarmed when she was told that bloodwork would be necessary to rule out food allergies. Our allergist was very understanding and said that it would be just fine if the blood be drawn at our local hospital where Abi is familiar with the lab technicians.

A week ago, Leighlyn and I accompanied Abigayle to the hospital. Abigayle was totally dreading the experience ahead of her. Unfortunately, two lab techs did everything that they could possibly do to find her little tiny bloodveins to no avail. They had her lie on the x-ray table so that she would be more comfortable and could stretch her arms out easily. They were so kind and considerate of her. But, after an hour, no blood was found. They decided that we should give up for the day and come back later to try it again. By the time that we left, Abigayle was just devastated especially knowing that a return trip would be necesary.

As you know, Abigayle was extremely ill last week so we did not take her back in until today. This time, we were prepared. Abi brought her Barry the Bear. Leighlyn brought along 3 of Abi's favorite storybooks. We thought that the more we did to take Abi's mind off of the search for veins, the better off everyone would be.

The techs who were working today were Diane Nickelson and Martha Vallejo. They are so good! I think that they could probably find blood in a dried up russet potato if they needed to. They were the people who did their darnedest to find Abi's vein last week. If the truth were known, they were probably dreading what they had to do to Abigayle just as much as Abigayle was dreading it.

It brings tears to my eyes when I think of what all our techs had done to prepare for Abigayle today. They are always so very busy with their day-to-day work but yesterday was especially busy. They had two techs on duty and many more patients than normal because of all of the illnesses that are plaguing our little town's inhabitants right now. Even though that was the case, it did not stop them from trying to figure out what could be done to relieve a little girl's stresses when she came back in for her bloodwork. For those of you who do not know, Terry Laws is one of the newest techs in our lab. He fits the criteria for being on this particular team perfectly. He is very kind, thoughtful and dedicated to do the best job that can be done to provide doctors with the prompt and accurate results that are necessary so that the doctors can provide top quality care to patients.

Terry and Diane actually decorated the x-ray lab just for Abigayle! They were prepared to perform a puppet show for her so that she would be able to relax and actually find some joy in her visit to the hospital! Where else would people be that considerate and thoughtful in these same circumstances??? Large city hospital technicians probably wouldn't have even thought about it. I thank God for these special people at our hospital. Our nearest Wal-Mart may be an hour away but I thank God for letting me be a small part of such a WONDERFUL and loving community!!!


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