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Everyday Angels

  Recently I spent four days in The Royal Jublilee Hospital located in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. It was quite the roller coaster experience.

I had a planned hip surgery (a revision, as they say – meaning second time around) with a brilliant surgeon. I was organized and researched everything I could that would assist me in understanding the operation. I followed every guideline, did every test and was a model patient-in-waiting.

And yet… events unfolded in a different direction. You see. I was not in charge. It is an illusion that we are in charge.

My body was in charge. And my body didn’t like some of the interventions.  I won’t bore you with a ghastly medical journal, but I do want to share two small events.

Event One – Pre-op

I was lying on a gurney ready to enter the operating room. A cheery woman whose name tag said ‘Rachel’ was fussing around me. Now you have to know, I adore the name Rachel. That is the name of my main character in my YA series.  I was thrilled to realize that I had a Rachel close by.

Rachel was wearing one of those snug, trendy, green surgical caps. And it was decorated with a small print.

“Cute hat,” I said.

She moved closer. “Yes, it is.”

I could see that there were tiny Tinkerbelles, complete with wands, and tiny stars. I smiled.

Then she whispered to me. “Everyone could use a little magic, don’t you think?”

And with that, she moved me down the hall.

Event Number Two – Recovery Room & Onwards

There has been a lot of fussing around. It appears that my heart is not co-operating. I’m now slated for a ‘cardio-version’. The medical folks will zap my heart so that it will return to it’s regular rhythm. I’m waiting and waiting in the cardiac unit, the day after surgery for this experience. I’m starving (you’re not supposed to eat) and it’s 4:30 p.m. and I’m just plain cranky and worried. And wishing I had some excellent magazines. Notice: I’m not feeling any pain or anything.

Finally, I’m wheeled into yet another room and am prepped for the procedure. I’m staring at the ceiling wishing I could evaporate. Three cardiologists are intently studying a monitor. For quite a long time.

One of them says: “Lookee, lookee” or something like that.

Then they all turn around and look at me. “Your heart has righted itself. We don’t have to proceed.”

Ah yes! A special moment. My body is co-operating. A nurse appears and informs me that she’s phoned my ward, and a hot meal will be waiting for me upon my return. I smile weakly. Another act of kindness.

So, basically, ten days later. Here I am. In the recovery mode. Did I expect to have a fractured pelvis as well as the surgery and the heart incident? Of course not. But as I’ve discovered your journey through life will take you down unexpected paths.

I’m sending my gratitude and my love to my everyday angels, the staff at The Royal Jubilee Hospital. Four days of medical excellence. Four days of professionalism and tenderness. I would especially like to thank Nurse Gurinder and Nurse Maicala. Of course, there were others too numerous to remember during those long nights.

Words cannot convey my appreciation.

And yes Rachel, magic was there too!





  1. We all need some magic, mixed in with huge amounts of medical knowledge and talent. I’m so glad your heart has righted itself and your in recovery mode. Have a wonderful thanksgiving.

  2. Oh Jodie! A fractured pelvis too? Oh dear. I hope that your recovery proceeds in a more orderly fashion. And now I need to know – where can I get one of those tinker bell hats?

    1. Working on the recovery. Very, very slow – but that’s okay. I think those tinker bell hats could come in handy! On a slow writing day, I think I would pop one on!

  3. Hi Jodie,
    Wow, what a roller coaster ride indeed and scary! I’m happy to hear your heart began to cooperate and you had such good care. Wishing you a speedy recuperation!
    By the way, I spent many years working in hospitals; I’m pleased to hear nice things said about hospital staff workers. There are many unsung heroes who work every day without asking for the positive feedback they deserve.
    I know and enjoyed Rachel from the YA series you have written. Best wishes.

    1. The entire week was an eye-opener, that’s for sure. The staff was amazing. And thanks for commenting about Rachel. She is still in my head that’s for sure.

  4. So glad to hear your surgery is complete and your recover is underway. Rachel & her Tinkerbell hat, & a heart that rights itself, are definitely moments to cherish. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  5. I’m so glad you’re safely home and recovering, Jodie. And how lovely to have had caring, thoughtful medical professionals looking after you. We tend to hear the bad stories, about lack of bedside manner, so it’s great to hear a positive story.

  6. A fractured pelvis? A heart ‘incident?’ Boy, you got more than you bargained for, that’s for sure. I’m really glad you’re on the road to recovery. And that you met some angels along the way.

  7. That’s amazing, Jodie! I’m so glad it’s behind you. Wishing you a very speedy and full recovery!

  8. Hi Jodie,
    Late to the fold (as usual), I just found your post.
    I’m so glad it’s all over. That’s the really good part.
    I’m sorry that you had such a bumpy road, actually it sounds more horrific than bumpy.
    I think most of the people in hospitals have a touch of angel in them. Despite all the cutbacks and the overloaded schedules they take time to care.
    I loved your story about Rachel and your heart righting itself.
    An amazing post.
    I wish you all the best with your recovery.

    1. Hi Jo-Ann, You are never late to the party! It’s only right now that I’m starting to realize how bizarre the entire week was. And even though my brain was still foggy, I was compelled to write once I was discharged.
      I think that once you decide you actually are a writer – then every event becomes something that could be turned into a scene, or a short story or something. I had a writer’s brain throughout the entire experience. Which is rather interesting in itself. I had a number of three a.m. conversations with nurses which were enlightening. And some other moments as well. I think I had to come home to rest! Now I’m trying to follow all of the doctor’s orders. Sigh!

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