Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Visitation

This has been such an eventful week that I wonder where to begin my my narrative. So I will begin at the beginning. As you know we started out last week with the most wonderful news, the birth of our grandson Edgar Lawrence McBride. The day was not the best for me healthwise, but heartwise it was wonderful. After learning that I had cellulitis in my right foot and began treatment, on Wednesday the problem was no better, in fact worse. Mac bundled me into the truck and we headed to the Emergency Room Department at Carolina Pines in Hartsville (SC). I was seen by a surgeon who admitted me immediately. On Thursday I went into surgery where they did cleanout of the affected area. When I came out of recovery I knew from Mac's face that the news was not good. The surgeon came in and spoke to us and told us that the partial amputation of my right foot was not only indicated, it was imperative. I agreed and the surgery was set for Friday. I did not sleep much Thursday night, I was not worried, only anxious. I was told how much of my foot was to go, and I knew I had to live with it. But still sleep eluded me. Friday at 6 am they came to take me to surgery. I was so glad that it would start early, knowing that it would be well underway if not a finished procedure by the time Mac arrived at the hospital. When I came to, as they rolled me into my room I was suddenly surrounded by my family and love. The day moved on in slow motion it seemed. I had yet to cry. I am not a big cryer. Friday night, after my family had all gone home and as I lay on the hard framed hospital bed, I lay curled up on my side and drifted in and out of a half sleep. The tv played in the background, something on HGTV, when the first Spirit arrived. The swirling of a warm mist, the face of my mother peered down at me. She was saying something I could not understand, but her gentle hands caressed my face and as she moved away I saw another spirit ready to move in and my grandmother's hands took the place of my mothers and her voice spoke straight to my heart reassuring me that I was not alone, then my mother in law was there, her face brightly lit her hands caressing and loving and she was speaking to me. Finally the fourth spirit moved over me and soft sweet hands stroked my face and neck. I was not asleep. I was wide awake. The Visitation lasted all night. I felt rocked and cuddled in loving arms. arms of the strongest women in my life experience. At six am I fell into a deep and healing sleep. I am well on the road to recovery and the medical staff is amazed at how little pain medication I have had to take. The doctor told me today that they are calling me the Wonder Patient. He says that I will heal better since I am not having to take so much pain medication. So that is what happened to me Friday night. I would not give anything for the experience. God is good.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Dr. Valverde Day

The town of Ruby declared July 5th 2014 Dr. Michael Valverde Day, and it dawned clear and cool. It was to be the official retirement for the Doctor who most everyone called “Dr. Mike.” He had prepared a speech he wanted to give (sans notes) and practiced on his children. He kept asking us it sounded alright. Of course we told him it sounded fine, because it came straight from his heart. Saturday he was anxious and even before his children arrived at the house he had already shaved, combed and dressed in his best suit. He was ready for the day to be underway and we understood his feelings. To him, it was saying goodbye to a lifetime of work, a lifetime of study. It was saying goodbye to his patients and friends. Finally at 1:45 we left to head to the Town Community Center. It was once the work shop of a dear friend of Dr. Mike and his wife Ms. Grace. Buck Gulledge had been my parents spiritual adviser for many years. His death not to long ago brought tears to us all. Now here we stood, the mayor Keith Bailey, the council members and friend-patients, and of course family, around us. Mr. Mayor addressed the group, explained why we were all there, shook Dr. Mike’s hand and handed over the assembled crowd to the Doctor’s tender mercies. My father is always at home when he has the floor. He spoke slowly and thoughtfully about our arrival in Ruby. “One day,” he told us all, “my wife called me at the large hospital (DC General) where I worked. She told me that since we had sold the house (a necessity since the interstate highway was about to run through our living room) Daddy Dwight was coming with the big farm truck to move us to Chesterfield. I spoke to the Hospital Director and told him that we would be moving and there was no trouble leaving. The truck arrived and the packing completed we moved to what I now call my home town. I had been invited by my wife’s Uncle Gary (Douglas) and Mr Lloyd Baker, to tour the new building that they wanted to be the Doctor’s Office. I agreed to make my practice here. What it means to be a Doctor, it is many years of study, then it is internship, but you are still not a Doctor. When I called myself a Doctor was when I had patients of my own to care for. I remember one of the first patients I had was an elderly man with cancer. There was nothing I could do for him at that stage, but his wife asked if I would come see him. He was my first House Call. I went to see him many times before his death, checking his vital signs and talking to him calmly and assuring him that I would be there as long as he needed me to be. I was paid for each visit with a piece of cake and a cup of coffee. It was enough. And now I say to you that I have loved being your Doctor, for you are the ones who made me one. I will go home and rest, my legs don’t work well anymore, my back is not strong anymore, somewhere, somehow, I got old. Now I am the one who needs the Doctor, and I can not treat myself. I say to you, goodbye. I will be at home. In Ruby.” There may have been a dry eye in the house. They weren’t mine.