Alvia Frey

Alvia Frey

My love for hospitals began with Logansport Memorial Hospital.

This is where my three children — Catherine in 1989, Bernadette in 1991, and Charles in 1996 — were born.

The care I received was exceptional — from the doctors to the nurses and everyone in between.

But even more than the care I received was the delicious food I ate, especially the meal in my room the night before each discharge.

Back in the day (and perhaps even now), new parents were treated to a scrumptious dinner — steak, baked potato, and salad.

And although I do not remember what dessert was served, I remember that it was almost decadent, perhaps a slice of creamy cheesecake.

Fast forward to about 24 years ago when I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

I spent a few nights at St. Vincent Hospital in Frankfort, where, I might add, the care was exceptional. And again, the food was delicious.

So delicious, I asked my nurse for two of the recipes.

The first, mini meat loaves, was my favorite. Despite the fact the recipe served 100, I changed the amounts for each ingredient. And poof, mini meat loaves for the family!

It was around this time (when no one was in the room) that I began sniffing the slightly medicinal but delightfully clean fragrance of the towels, sheets, pillowcases and blankets.

I cringe knowing that I am sharing this news with all of you, hoping that someone else out there actually does the same thing.

Fast forward to last week, where I found myself in the pre op room at IU Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette for an outpatient kidney stone extraction procedure called a lithotripsy.

The first thing I did after changing into my stylish gown was lie down on the bed and unfurl my clean cotton blanket. I immediately fluffed it up and placed it over my head and began sniffing.

“I must be quick,” I thought to myself. “My nurse will be back soon.”

And indeed, she was.

After taking my temperature, asking about medications and ongoing ailments, hooking me up to wires and a blood pressure cuff, my nurse finally asked the million-dollar question.

“Are you cold?” she inquired.

“Yes,” I quickly said, knowing full well that the only thing better than a clean smelling hospital blanket is a warm clean smelling hospital blanket.

In a flash, my nurse pulled out a long, clear plastic bag, placed it over my entire body, and attached it to a machine that blew in hot air. Hot air, I repeat.

She then draped the other blanket over the hot air plastic bag, covering my arms as well as my feet. It was, I tell you, the best kind of warm ever.

Since the kidney stone procedure was outpatient, there was no lunch offered. Bummer.

But overall, another red-letter day in the hospital!

Alvia Lewis Frey is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at

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