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into the ER on a gurney. I sat up and waved because I didn't want him to worry.

They'd tried to start an IV in the ambulance but couldn't get a needle in my vein, and I asked them to stop because it hurt. When I arrived at the ER, they did start an IV after taking my blood pressure. It was 40 over 20, and my pulse was just 30. John had to convince the attending that I had not tried to commit suicide by purposely eating false hellebore.

I'd had the presence of mind to bring my plant book with me so they could see what I'd eaten, and in no time at all they were able to go online and get all the information they needed. It was very distressing to learn that there was no antidote. Atropine, which was administered in the incident that Roger Smith wrote about, was not mentioned. While I was still hooked up to the machine automatically reading my vital signs, John leaned over and kissed me. I could see that my blood pressure went up dramatically.

I spent the night in the hospital, and John spent the night at my house taking care of my dog. When I was discharged the next day (my blood pressure was back to my usual 110 over 60, but I had to convince them that I normally had nice low pressure), I went home to find that John had also cleaned up the mess on my hearth.

What a find he was. We were married six months later, and I never, ever question his plant identifications.

Jody Williams
Rumney, N.H.

Good place, good people
I read with interest your Spring issue article "A Healing Place," having been part of the Project for Progress team over the last five years as the wayfinding and signage consultant to the architects, Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott.

The article was very well done and had an interesting dual perspective from the

An account of a poisoning 40 years ago (above) and of a building project completed this year (below) were among the Spring issue articles that came in for comment.

author, as both an architectural critic and a parent. The challenges of any medical facility growing to acc ommodate new services, technologies, and patient needs are enormous. DHMC has grown significantly—and has continued to put the patient and visitor experience first in planning and implementing the expansion.

Orientation was an important part of the project. Architectural cues, views to the outside, placement of artwork, landmarks, and lighting were all considered and integrated into the design of the hospital.

But from my perspective, it is the caring clinicians, administrators, and volunteers that make DHMC the place it is—and the new expansion allows them to do their work with patients in a more spacious, comfortable, and healing environment.

Denise Lugar
Cambridge, Mass.

Personable presidents
I enjoyed the article in your Spring issue about James Varnum's 28-year tenure leading Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. If my math is correct, Hitchcock

has had but two presidents in the past 58 years. I wonder if any other medical center has enjoyed that remarkable record of longevity.

I never had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Varnum, but when I arrived for my interview as a prospective intern in 1952—four years after his predecessor's appointment—Mr. Wilson met us at the main entrance and took us to lunch in the cafeteria himself.

After the often frightening, regimented, and impersonal interviews at other hospitals, which hospital do you suppose was my first choice in the then-brand-new intern-matching program? Good guess!

Jerome Nolan, M.D.
Housestaff '52-54
Wilmington, N.C.

Letter of credit
I borrowed the Winter issue of Dartmouth Medicine from the book rack at my doctor's office here in Nashua, N.H. I knew I couldn't finish it there, but I am going to put it back at my next appointment.

I was especially interested in the letters pertaining to the article "Evermore"—Nancy Price Graff's account of her battle with depression. The letter by James Noyes of the Dartmouth College Class of 1968 was especially compelling; he has real courage and deserves a medal for his letter—I salute him.

I am in the autumn of my years and have struggled with depression since I was 11, maybe even earlier, and the battle goes on. I have had so many diagnoses and different pills, I have lost count. I truly know what Saint John of the Cross meant when he spoke of "the dark night of the soul." And too many doctors now have joined the ranks of the pill pushers. After an hour's talk, they hand you a diagnosis and a script for the newest pill: "Here, take this and come back in three weeks and let me know how you feel." But I keep going because maybe one of those pills will finally do the trick and I will be cured.

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