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Shakespeare didn’t do this

RD Armstrong Archive

RD Armstrong

Here Comes Santi Claus

December 26th, 2008
by RD Armstrong

LONG BEACH, CA-

I haven’t really celebrated Christmas seriously for about eight years or so.  Granted, a few years back I got the urge to give presents to a few special people, but it was a passing fancy and soon passed.  I always figured that Christmas had become another tool to bolster the economy (like Valentine’s Day - a date created to enhance florists, confectioners and jewelers) and, as such, was moving away from the spirit of the holiday… a time for giving and remembering the teachings of Jesus.

I was raised Unitarian, by the way. I never really understood the precepts of the Unitarian church - I just figured it was for people who didn’t really believe in God but went to church, just in case. So, Christmas was never a religious time, per se. It was mostly a family time, where you got gifts and had special meals. Later, when I was an adult, it was a time for gifts that didn’t have much to do with you, or what you’d grown to become, and special meals with people you weren’t all that close to, anymore.

By the time I hit my fifties, the sham and pretense of Christmas (more…)


RD Armstrong

The Sisters of Mercy

December 20th, 2008
by RD Armstrong

LONG BEACH, CA-

In the hospital, the bulk of the work gets done by the nurses and at Rancho there seemed to be an army of nurses and nurse’s aids scurrying about delivering trays of food (at least that’s what they called it), checking vitals, taking blood cultures, checking blood sugar, administering Insulin and changing IVs.  That’s the technical side of their job. Some did their jobs well; some gave the minimum effort knowing that there was very little the patients could do about it. Nobody did a crappy job.  I guess they left that up to the doctors, who were seldom seen and usually with bad news.

The guy next to me in bed B had been in the Ranch for twenty-two days.  He’d come in from a homeless shelter (his home being in Mexico) and they kept telling him he would be going home soon.  Unfortunately he was going back to the shelter with one less foot… (more…)


RD Armstrong

Fountain of Life

December 12th, 2008
by RD Armstrong

LONG BEACH, CA-

My further adventures in the hospital…

After hobbling around the ward favoring my right leg and being on the number 7 pain express for a week or so, a doctor from Orthopedics came by my bed to look at the reddish-brown dome that my knee had become.  Even with a week’s worth of antibiotics in me it had failed to go down.  The doctor assured me (as almost every doctor before him had) that the infection was on the surface of my knee, not in the bone.  That was reassuring to hear but it didn’t explain the new wrinkle that had developed over the last few days: my swollen knee had a gossamer-like blister on it…a delicate thing that I wouldn’t have even noticed except that I was sitting up to observe the nurse treating my ulcerated heel one morning.  He asked if anyone had mentioned draining my knee and I replied (more…)


RD Armstrong

You Have Two Options…

December 11th, 2008
by RD Armstrong

LONG BEACH, CA-

It all began rather innocently; at least that’s how I saw it in my befuddled brain. I had a blister on my foot which, for some reason, was taking its own sweet time healing. In actuality, the blister was more like a crater, a quarter inch deep and a little bit bigger across than a quarter. It kept oozing pus and blood, no matter how much Neosporin I put on it. As I was working on a job, and couldn’t afford to stop, I just kept changing the dressing and hobbled around on my toes, hoping it would get better.

(more…)