Girls Write Out
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I'm on a sort of rant right now, so please forgive me, and if there's a lesson to be learned from this rant about the vital need for human compassion, then a recent experience will not have happened in vain.

See the paw print above? I'm almost positive it's the impression of a bear paw. The sight of it when we were out hiking one day gave me a decided chill. It meant danger could be lurking nearby. But seriously? There were only black bears in those woods surrounding Lake Tahoe two years ago, so we were most likely safe.

I received a worse chill in the pit of my stomach two days ago, when Mel and I saw my mother after we'd been gone for a week. Her face was a mass of bruises and scrapes. She had two blackening eyes, and she was limping badly. She had fallen face-first onto the concrete. Since Mom is having major problems with short term memory, she couldn't recall when she'd fallen, only that she'd tripped at a local restaurant, where she'd walked to eat a meal and get out around people. Independent as my mother is, she'd not allowed anyone at the villa where she lives to see her injuries. No one could tell us anything about what happened.

What chilled me was the response I received when I called the restaurant and asked if anyone had seen her fall. The young woman who answered the phone said she'd seen the fall, but couldn't talk to me, I'd have to talk to her boss. I didn't want to talk to her boss, all I wanted was to find out when the accident had happened so we would have a better idea about how bad the fall had been. When the boss came on the phone she said she was busy and couldn't talk, that someone would call me back later. She hung up on me.

Now, I understand that in our litigious society, everyone is afraid of being sued. I get that. I do. But I do NOT get that people are so worried about covering their backsides that they aren't even willing to share information about an accident so the family will know what kind of treatment an 84-year-old is going to need, or how bad the injuries could be. Yes, I probably overreacted because it's my own mother, but God forgive me if I ever behave in such a manner, too busy to help an injured elderly woman. And yes, since Mel is an ER doc, he was able to check her out, but he could have used more information.

We finally did get a call back from a girl who had seen the fall, and since it had happened the night before, we knew Mom was suffering mostly from muscle soreness and not something worse. I could have used that information a little sooner, but I'm glad they at least called back.

My mother has bones of steel, and she's already healing. We kept her overnight and doctored her wounds, and she's doing fine. But in the medical world--and I know Crystal can attest to this--compassion for the patient is the most important quality for a doctor to have to prevent a malpractice lawsuit. When someone feels cared for, they are less likely to feel abused.

So help that lady across the street. Reach out to someone you see who is in need. Don't turn a blind eye to the suffering of others. Remember that, "inasmuch as you've done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me."

Rant over. Never forget the golden rule.


Hannah Alexander  
posted at 12:57 AM  
  Comments (15)
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At 4:23 AM, Blogger jel said...

I'm very sorry that happen to your mom, glad to hear see she will be okay,


At 10:10 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Your post made me sad--for your mom and for our society. Last week I was in Philly and went out to coffee with an ER doc friend of mine who also lives overseas like I do. When we were standing in the parking lot, we heard someone yell in anguish from near the restaurant dumpsters. Without thinking, we both rushed over to see if we could help. No one was there. Afterwards we said, "Oh, yeah. We're in the US. Maybe it's too dangerous to go help someone. Culture shock!" But after that, we said, "So what?! We still would run and help."

I think Americans are afraid of getting hurt, afraid of getting involved, and afraid of getting sued. Probably the fear is well-grounded, but it's sad. I'm glad the girl who saw the fall had a conscience and called you back! Good for her. Sorry, though, she didn't tell you the info sooner.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks, jel. She's already getting around much better. I know you can identify.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I know what you mean, Pam, sometimes it is dangerous to get involved in this country. I guess it could be considered dangerous to get involved anywhere, but you're right, when we stop caring enough about the helpless to even get involved if we have the ability to help, that's what makes ours a dangerous world.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

When I hear stories like this, I remember things like the race accident where eight people died over the weekend. (It was some kind of truck/4WD race and the driver lost control and plowed into a group of spectators.) WHat I remember is the sight of people RUSHING to that truck without thought to salvage and save what they could of the incident. People are brave. They do think of others, but yes, the me first attitude is everywhere.

The plastic surgeon just killed on the Pacific Coast Highway was texting when he went off the cliff. Granted, he paid for it, but look how many times other people pay for that kind of thing. And men can't even TALK on the phone in the car. They do NOT multitask. HELLO??

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I know. Multitasking is not a good idea in any part of our lives.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger jel said...

yes I can!

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Right you are. Getting involved can be dangerous anywhere... :p

BTW, I read SACRED TRUST last weekend. Actually, I bought it for my plane flight and then couldn't wait and stayed up all night and read it. It was really good. Thanks for writing such an enjoyable book!

At 8:36 AM, Blogger jel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger jel said...

Pam S

that has happen to me alot!

a good writer can cause a person to lose some sleep ! :)

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Wow,girls, thanks for sharing that! I needed the lift today. When Sacred Trust was released the first time, we heard of the mother of one of our friends who likes to read in the tub. She read Sacred Trust in the tub until 5:00 a.m. LOL I bet the tub got cold.

At 3:50 PM, OpenID Robin Lee Hatcher said...

Cheryl, so sorry about your mom. Glad nothing broke. My mom fell numerous times in her 80's and early 90's without breaking anything. Then broke her hip at 95. So you just never know.

As for the compassion thing, I went grocery shopping alone for the first time since I broke my ankle in June. Took me more than an hour to buy the 20 or so items on my list. When I missed an item and had to backtrack to aisles, it was a major thing. I learned some things about how invisible the handicapped can be to others, even when they are limping and have a very obvious boot on one foot. Once I am a fast shopper again, I pledge to be more aware of those customers around me. And I pray to God that I haven't been thoughtless to others in the past.


At 5:07 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Robin, I'm so sorry you went through that. Wish some of lived closer so we could help you out more.

I remember after my shoulder surgery, I walked into a store, and another shopper came right up to me, grabbed my cape--couldn't wear a coat, and it was winter--and turned it around, told me it was on backward, recognized the splint on her shoulder because her husband had had the same kind of surgery. Those of us who have experienced certain things are more likely to recognize it in someone else. I think that may be why I've always thought the elderly were so wonderful. They've been there, done that many times, so they know what we're going through.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Jackie S. said...

Pam S. made me want to read Sacred Trust!! I just ordered it as well as #2 and 3 in the trilogy.
Have only read two of your books, but sure I will be hooked now!
Love your blogs. I pray for you/your Mom; can identify as my Mom had same problems; never broke a bone but succumbed to Alzheimer's complications.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, Jackie, I'm so sorry about your mother. I do know how painful that is, since my mother has something so similar.

Hope you enjoy the book! Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate the very kind words. Sometimes we need our friends to lift us up, and you did that.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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