On the Side | Brad Hicks


I think it was about the 15th hole when I started to feel as if I had pulled a muscle. By the 16th hole, I was pretty sure I had pulled a muscle. By the 17th hole, I wasn’t sure which muscle I had pulled, but I began to think I had really pulled it. And on the 18th hole, I decided that I would swing as hard as possible to see if I could straighten out that muscle. 

So, after completing my round of golf with some newfound friends, I headed home to stretch out on the floor of our home. My wife noted that I didn’t look good. (It’s OK to laugh here.) I told her I didn’t feel well. And by that time, I began to realize this had nothing to do with an errant overswing of a golf club at the Red Oak Country Club. 

I was in misery.

The next morning, I was at the clinic, and within a couple more hours, I was in a hospital bed, taking an IV for a somewhat nasty intestinal infection that I developed, and it had nothing to do with my golf swing. I wasn’t really planning my tour at MCMH to include an overnight stay, followed by another overnight stay, but that’s the way it went late last week. 

Where all this is headed is I believe too many people don’t understand the importance of a hospital to a small town such as ours. We can talk about economic development benefits all we want – good-paying jobs, attractive (or at the least, necessary) to recruit outside businesses, dollar-saving in terms of convenience, etc. 

But what I want to mention is care and commitment. 

It’s been 30-some years since I had an overnighter at a hospital, if you don’t count sleeping in a chair while my wife was in a state of forever labor. But let me say unequivocally that the folks who took care of me at MCMH last week took care of me. People called me by name. They felt badly that I felt badly. In short, they treated me like a friend. And now they have one.

Brad Hicks is the editor and publisher of the Red Oak Express. Contact him at publisher@redoakexpress.com

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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