Hospital Heaven

One thing that you can say that Baltimore has a lot of other than rats, heroin addicts, illegals, trash, and hons, are hospitals. I was up at Bon Secours Hospital in West Baltimore the other day on business, and I noticed that it hasn’t changed a whole lot. Other than a parking garage and some cosmetic facelifts, inside it still looked about the same. I have a somewhat ‘special’ connection with the hospital not only because I was born there, but have had lengthy stays there a time or two. Back in February 1960, I spent six weeks or so laying up in a bed with a compound fracture of the hip. In February 1966, my brother Rick joined me on a three week vacation there.(Something about those February’s and Bon Secours). At the time, Yellow Jaundice was going through the neighborhood, and my brother and I picked up the bug as well as many other people in the neighborhood.

Although we were only sick for a day or two, back then they isolated you, and Rick and I were placed in a room for about three weeks. We entertained ourselves as best as two kids could being holed in a room, and dinner time was the highlight of the day. We worked out a deal where we would both ask for additional food and I would get the actual food while Rick would get the dessert. One day I coaxed Rick into running out into the hall, where he was spotted and the nurse told him if he did it again she was going to ‘tie him down’. Another thing that I recall was that one day the nurse told Rick that she was coming back to give him a bath. I was taunting and teasing him about it until the nurse said if “you don’ts be quiet, you is going to be next”. That shut me up rather quickly!

On a somewhat related note, I also heard that about six people leave Baltimore every day, probably at least half of them depart in a plastic bag as Baltimore has the reputation of being ‘Murder City’. A declining population is probably one of the reasons a few of the Community Hospitals in West Baltimore have shut down in the last decade. I remember going to Lutheran as well as Provident hospital but both are now closed. However, as mentioned, one thing Baltimore is well known for is their first class hospitals. If you venture downtown you have Mercy, University, Maryland General and a little further east you have the renowned Johns Hopkins and you also have the huge Bayview complex on Eastern Avenue where they do a lot of research as well as attend to the injured and sick. There are many others on the outskirts of Baltimore that cater to the outlying county residents. With all the negativity and bad P.R. about Baltimore, one thing you can say is that you won’t find many areas with a better health care system than in ‘Charm City’. Considering the immense drug problem and violence that Baltimore is known for, in a perverse way, that’s a good thing.

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