BACK TO CALIFORNIA
The West bound plane left Willow Run at 11:45 a.m., Sept. 14, on time, stopping
only at Chicago on the flight to Los Angeles. There were 60 passengers aboard this time and the usual efficient crew, captain, 1st officer, flight engineer, and two stewardesses, with all of whom I had good informative conversations. Lovely day with visibility unlimited, and I enjoyed every minute of the trip. I certainly commend American Airlines for service, speed, and comfort. It suggests that most long distance travel in the future will be via this sort of transportation.
Plane arrived at the Los Angeles Terminal on time where Francis met me and whisked me home by 8 p.m., where Daisy had a lunch waiting and we sat up and talked half the night, thereafter sleeping soundly and for several nights thereafter. I felt 0.K., not too tired, and called it a happy ending to a weeks’ composite 5500 mile air and land trip, with no least hint of what the immediate future held for me, which, like the preceding chapter, ended happily, though on an entirely different plane. Let me say right here that dire results, to follow so soon, were in no way an aftermath of activities described in Chapter I. But let us go on with Chapter II.
ALTADENA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
Of a balmy Saturday evening my wife and I went down town to attend the annual Art Show, held on the City Hall Plaza in Pasadena, with its expanse of shade and lawn. We walked around among the exhibits for perhaps 12 hours before taking the bus for home, with no signs of trouble. However, be it known that during the past few years I had had “symptoms” but kept things under control, and thought the situation was improving.
Be that as it may, when I awoke next morning I was plugged tighter than a jug and was rushed over to the hospital, Doctor Fowler taking wife and myself over, after arranging for a room and contacting Dr. P. E. Wilson, recommended as tops in operations of this nature. A superficial examination indicated major surgery, for the removal of an enlarged prostate, with operation set within the next 48 hours. After affording me temporary relief, Dr. Wilson carried out the operation as planned, with Dr. Mallard assisting, and Dr. Van Horn as anesthetist, with two staff nurses in attendance.
The Operation was a complete success and my recovery has been slow but sure, and satisfactory, in which, I credit 50-50 to the skill of my surgeon and to the efficiency of that band of dedicated personnel attached to that hospital, headed by the superintendent Mrs. M. Ratcliff, R.N., with 12 years experience, down through the corps
Of 13 nurses who attended me at various times, whose names I mostly learned from close
association, – Jackson, Stevens, Wickizer (she gave me the fine ball-point with which
I write this) Billiard, Adami, Claypool, Kerwin, and others whose names I did not learn,
but at one time or another, contacted all. They represent a cross section of professional
America. The hospital service, equipment, and facilities are superb, the main lack being
room. In this connection, this well-located institution has plans on the board and funds
raised for modernization and enlargement, on the same site, from the present 10-bed
capacity to 22 or 23 beds.
As a patient, I had my ups and downs in various degrees, but in my fifteen days
as a guest whereas for the first week I could not read or write, could not sleep much,
from nervous tension, and ate only under protest, could not listen to radio, or take any
interest in life, yet at the last end this was all changed and I came to know that all is not gloom and drab in a hospital. It has its bright moments.
I recall a card I received from a concerned Michigan friend, conferring upon me the lapel badge awarded for ‘bravery beyond the line of duty’. This was so apt that it went the rounds of the nurses. On another occasion, when I was able to hear the radio one day during tie world series, one of the nurses proposed a bet (or was it the other way around.) Anyhow, I lost and so had to write her out a check for ONE CENT, to settle my debt, and she said she was going to frame it instead of cashing it.
Al and Minnie Berggren brought me home and they, as well as neighbors and friends, were helpful beyond measure. Thus ends Chapter II, and happily, for I am tending to return to normal in every way, though I am writing this one month later than the tentative Oct. 1 date appended hereto. So, as of the date noted, ends the most momentous 30 days of my whole life.
2327 Santa Anita Avenue
Dated as of Oct. 1, 1956
C. S. Line