High-Times on the 4th Floor… by Larry Fields

Nurse standing By elderly senior's Bed In Hospital

Two weeks ago, I was released from BRMC (Bristol Regional Medical Center) after an extended week-long stay. Some weeks are longer than others.
The great food and the skilled nurses, both male and female, made it bearable and even wonderful at times. But being labeled as a “Fall Risk” with a Huge Sign on the wall to remind me was a tough pill to swallow…
My kidneys, being what they are, leaning toward the overactive side, were tested to the max. There was an alarm on the bed, which sometimes went off when I rolled over and always went off if I started to get out of bed or get up from the chair.
“Get Back In Bed or Sit Back Down, “I heard both quite frequently. They did their job admirably, but it still felt like I was in prison at times. When a man’s gotta go, he sure don’t feel like waiting five minutes. Excruciating at times, waiting for someone to take me by the hand.
But, hey! I survived and prospered. Everybody was so nice, and other than the restroom deal, I would give them 100 stars! And I told them so. Giving them Halos and High Praise. I hope they get a raise!
Time seemed to drag, and even though I had a TV, I watched it very little, preferring to sleep, meditate, and pray, even bemoaning my stupidity. Wishing I could roll back the clock. Picturing me walking proudly with my Hi-Tec Walking stick at Sugar Hollow Park. Just knowing my angels were missing me.
I was greatly encouraged by visitors that stopped by ROOM 4019. Some to pray like our Preacher Mark, who got down on his knees and took my hand, taking me to the very throne room of Heaven!
Another friend named Norman came every morning, always asking if I needed anything. I feel certain he would have lassoed the moon!
My Spirits were greatly buoyed when Sue and Carroll Branham stopped by and even presented me with a T-shirt that read: CORNFIELDS, THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND. LOL. I had worked with Sue and Carroll for 25 years at Grundy Junior High School. Sue was in the Guidance Office, and Carroll was my principal for a lot of that time. Mr. Branham even taught me in 12th Grade History, telling us on the very first day:
“Ok, there’s 29 of you all, but this is a democracy. My Vote Counts 30!” (We caught his drift and had a wonderful learning experience.) Friends to ride the trail with, for sure.
One other friend who came by was Jeff Matney. Jeff is my neighbor straight across from our Fortunes Way home, and oh, how fortunate we are to have Jeff as a neighbor. Jeff not only hauls off our trash and sprays for bugs but also cuts our weeds! (He is not for sale!)
Turns out that Jeff and I go way back! I had taught Jeff in a Vocational English Class at Grundy Junior High in 1973. Jeff showed me in his Annual what I had written: “Jeff, you have the best attitude of any student in all of my classes combined!”
For certain, his attitude as a neighbor is also out of the roof! Consider that every time we have had a heavy snow, Jeff shovels my driveway. In the pre-dawn hours… after he gets home from his Hoot owl job! Before going to bed!!
Four days after my hospital stay, my spirits soared when a lady doctor, whose last name was Mace, came by my room to explain the CT scan and the Carotid Artery test I had been the recipient of earlier in the day…
Looking at her name tag, I asked if she used mace if she felt threatened.
“No, I just use this,” she says as she held up her arm and flexed her muscle… Made me laugh.
“Mr. Fields, do you realize how close you came to never being able to blow your nose again? There was an unseen hand that stopped your fall in the nick of time. God was looking out for you!”
From that moment, I perked up big time. She made me feel like I was a ‘Walking Miracle,’ further clinching it when she explained my Carotid Artery test. I was amazed when it was administered and heard the WHOOSH! WHOOSH! Sound as my heart pumped blood through the artery! I was sure enough alive on planet Earth and wondered if the sound was akin to a mother hearing the heartbeat of the baby in her womb.
I was mesmerized by that sound and her encouraging words, especially when Dr. Mace told me I had a strong heart and my blood pressure was great. I would have gotten out of bed and danced a jig were it not for the alarm.
I am home now and healing nicely. My wife and others telling me that my nose looks great. I was just thinking that my nose was broken playing football in high school…And now it may be straightened out after the fall. Food for thought, anyway…
I did blow my nose today.


  1. Tommy on February 27, 2024 at 7:55 am

    Boy, do you know how to tell a story! Glad you’re on the mend.

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