A Tale of Marriage, Medicine and Murder


This is a list of how often and where the term 'skin' appears in the book PERSONAL BAGGAGE.

Search result for 'skin' in PERSONAL BAGGAGE

Chapter 2: Chapter Two
"...Too stressed to listen, she left the house as soon as she could interrupt him. The morning air blew warm and fresh on her skin and brought with it a fragrant richness. She had plenty of extra time in case there was a delay on the interstate. She hoped that if she had an accident she would die so she wouldn’t have to tell Johnny about it. ..."
"...Hence, every month, in order to feed the gopher snake until Dick found a buyer, Penny purchased two large mice and placed them in the tank. Ordinarily, the reptile ate right away, but at times when he shed his skin, it might be several days or even a week before he became hungry. While his eyes glazed over and he lay motionless on his rock, the unsuspecting mice made a nest, drank water, and scampered about setting up housekeeping. Then one of them would disappear, soon the ..."

Chapter 3: Chapter Three
"...“Count the fogs in August, and we’ll have that many snows this winter.” Maureen said this every August. “We’re in for a hard one. Spiders’ nests are close to the ground and wooly worms have coats like bears.” Maureen’s mahogany eyes were framed by caramel skin and Bible-black hair straightened into a pageboy style that never moved out of place. ..."
"... listen to your back. Please take a deep breath and let it out, Mrs. Brown.” “Yeow! Y’all must keep them things in the freezer.” Mrs. Brown complained at the cold steel of the stethoscope on her skin. “I’m sorry.” Penny apologized and signaled Maureen for help, observing Mrs. ..."
"...Maureen moved from bed to bed straightening the covers and asking the patients if they needed anything. She leaned over Penny and ran the second print-outs from each of the telemetry monitors. “It’s time for visitors and it’s my turn to post these strips at South Station, unless you need to escape.” ..."
"... their patients, looking for changes. Penny began with one of Dr. Lawrence’s two patients, a thirty-six-year-old male named Darryl Dodson, admitted with chest pain to rule out heart attack. As she approached his bed, a sudden dread squeezed her throat and her heart shifted. His skin color was ashen. His monitor pattern was unchanged and he said he felt okay, but he appeared short of breath. Listening to his chest with her stethoscope, Penny heard on inhalation the crackling sounds made by air entering fluid-filled lung tissues. ..."
"...When Dr. Frank Lawrence examined a patient he expected the nurse to take notes on what he said and then to sit at the desk beside him and read back what she had written while he wrote orders. He read each order aloud, asking the nurse if she understood. He seldom missed anything but the process was lengthy. ..."

Chapter 4: Chapter Four
" backup, Penny had grown accustomed to starting IVs in tense situations. In this case, she set it up quickly, cleaned her site, entered the vein, and Maureen returned, holding out torn-off pieces of tape for Penny to use in securing the device to the patient’s damp, bone-white skin. ..."
"...When their youngest child left home, Penny had asked Johnny to stop some of his activities so that they would have time for each other. When asking didn’t work, she wrote a letter to him explaining how she felt. After reading it, Johnny said he loved her, but he was doing the best he could, and he didn’t want to hear anymore about it. ..."

Chapter 6: Chapter Six
"...She remembered yesterday’s run-in with Dr. Scales and experienced such an awakening that she could not imagine she would ever sleep again. She stood beside the bed and pushed an arm into her battered, blue terrycloth robe while apprehension blew around her like a winter wind, tingling her skin and tightening every muscle. Had she been wrong to insist on her opinion? ..."
"... added, “Her obituary was in the paper.” The nurse kept her gaze on The Jerry Springer Show. “Look, I don’t really know what happened, and gossip can get you fired around here.... I guess you’re asking because you cared about her, though.” “I admired her.... She offered me a job ..."

Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
"...was laden with emotion. Penny clipped Mrs. Nichols’s ragged nails, then helped her climb into the footed tub, recalling the other tubs in which her mother had washed her. Now their roles were reversed. Mrs. Nichols struggled to push Penny away as she bathed her mother’s skin, pale and fragile as tissue-paper in a wedding invitation. Afterward, both of them were exhausted. ..."

Chapter 9: Chapter Nine
"... notified his doctor and called Security and his family, but we can’t get to him....” In 420, a black man with thick, flaky skin greeted Penny. “I’m glad they finally sent me the old pro.” To Penny the word “old” seemed louder than the rest of his statement. “Wait ‘til I ..."
"...Penny located a snake-like vein standing up, just asking to be stuck, but to her palpating finger it felt as hard as rope, and she could see multiple areas of bruising from previous attempts on both of his lower arms. Above his elbow, she palpated an invisible vein that felt spongy and entered it on her first ..."
"... When we get off let’s go down to the cafeteria and I’ll tell you some serious stuff.” Supervisor Crouch leaned on the counter asking if there had been any changes in their patients during the night. “Dr. Child’s patient put out 1000 mls after IV Lasix, and here’s the incident report ..."

Chapter 10: Chapter Ten
"... let me read some of it to you.” Penny watched the muscles in Johnny’s thick arms working beneath his freckled skin as he unrolled the large sheets of paper, then her gaze wandered out the window as details disappeared and the trees merged into darkness. “On the eastern bank of the ..."

Chapter 11: Chapter Eleven
"...A vivid dream haunted her. A black-clad woman standing by a window in a cold, smoke-filled room had extended her arm, stretched out her fingers, and beckoned. Penny had wanted to touch her hand—to feel her skin, but fear held her back, and the woman disintegrated as the Bose alarm sounded. Her form disappeared into the air like dust particles separating. ..."

Chapter 12: Chapter Twelve
"...unit number four on the desk and turned off the monitor. Penny removed the battery and put it away. Feeling fragmented, scattered as a shipwrecked boat thrown onto a rocky shore, she walked to the bedside of her remaining patient who had slept through everything, and whose skin color and monitor pattern looked beautiful. ..."
"...His skin was still damp when Penny kissed him in areas to which he responded. She pushed his hands away from her body, hoping to give him pleasure and then go to sleep. Turning onto her back, she invited him to enter, then moved with him until she could ..."
"... “Thank you for holding me.” “I love you,” he answered. Tuesday morning Penny slept until noon. After brunch, she made herself call Dr. Allen, beginning the conversation by asking him what she could do with the snake. “I don’t know anybody who would take him,” he said. “And ..."

Chapter 13: Chapter Thirteen
"... lungs and abdomen had shrunk, so the drug was doing its job. Mrs. Curry said, “I’m glad you’re slowing that down! Will you check my blood pressure again? Last time it dropped when the rash came, and then my skin peeled off.” “I’ll check it now, and when you’re ready to go to ..."
"...As Penny stepped around the end of the counter and into the hall, a tall man wearing camouflage fatigues, a slouch hat, and combat boots, shuffled toward her. He carried a duffle bag and glared out from under bushy eyebrows. “I’m Colonel Philpot.” His skin was the color of coffee with too much milk, and his speech was slurred. “You know I came back from Nam a captain? Well, I just got word they made me a colonel. I want y’all to know all the black stuff falling outside is flak ..."

Chapter 15: Chapter Fifteen
"...Nurses had no job security; just last week the hospital had laid off twenty-four employees: newly-hired office and lab personnel and five nurses. Rumor had it that Administration planned to close the Psychiatric Unit and everyone was jumpy. Sweat prickled Penny’s skin as she sprinted up the stairs to look for the time clock, which had been moved. ..."
"... her smile was replaced by tears. ”I’ll numb it.” Laying down the alcohol swab and the cotton ball, Penny turned to the doctor. “We use an ethyl chloride spray to deaden the skin over implanted ports before we insert access needles. I’ll go get it.” “Bring me more pillows and ..."

Chapter 19: Chapter Nineteen
"... pumpkin. After chemotherapy, scanty hair, soft as feathers and the color of stone, had taken the place of Maureen’s black pageboy, and tonight her skin was the color of earth. Her respirations were noisy with congestion as she breathed five liters of oxygen from a nasal cannula. “I’m ..."
"...bed. Penny then noticed three toothbrushes: a pink one, a blue one, and a yellow one lying beside an industrial size tube of toothpaste on the bedside table. “Which toothbrush do you want to use?” she asked. Watching her complete her pink toothbrush procedure, Penny considered asking when she used the yellow toothbrush, then decided against it. After a “wee wee,” the woman settled in for the night. ..."
"... he said. Penny hustled back to the room. The fingers of Maureen’s right hand quivered and her right leg jerked as Penny discontinued the BAD drip, hung normal saline, and checked Maureen’s blood pressure. It was low and her skin was hot. Her temperature was 103. Penny closed the ..."
"... Milton propped up the certificate on his mother’s bedside table. “I believe she heard you,” Penny said, steeling her emotions as she wiped Maureen’s perspiring forehead. Her cooling skin was already the color of dust. When Maureen’s heart beat and respirations ceased, Penny notified ..."

Chapter 20: Chapter Twenty
"...The grim month of February stretched on without horizon. Like sagging skin, Penny’s bedroom drapes hung in beige wrinkles above her matted-brown carpet. The house suffocated her. Her clothes pinched her waist and pricked the middle of her back, an itch she could not reach. Seemingly routine events triggered memories and unexpected tears, and she hardened herself against ..."
"... Penny continued through the house to the bathroom, where she stripped and showered in water so hot it stung her back. She applied lotion to her itchy skin and petroleum jelly to her peeling lips, then pulled on pajamas and a robe and returned to the family room where Johnny watched TV. ..."

Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty-One
"...Maria had written the new patient’s weight and entered the room pulling a portable computer behind her. Sunny Setser, completely naked, sat in the center of her bed beside a wadded-up hospital gown, and her brown-eyed gaze was so direct that Penny could almost feel it on her skin. Closing the door, she shook out the gown. “My name is Penny, and I’ll be your nurse tonight. May I help you put this on?” ..."
"... to postpone reincarnation as long as I can.” Her medications were “Geritol and pot.” She smoked pot in a pipe, taking “two puffs of a hit” for nausea. She claimed an allergy to alcohol. “If it touches my skin, I can taste it.” While Penny cleaned a site with Betadine and ..."

"...Penny gave Johnny an affected smile, then let her gaze wander out over the sunlit water. “This river probably looks about the same today as it did in the 1800s, but I’ll bet runaway slaves missed seeing its beauty. They were risking their lives, hiding and waiting for dark to come so they could escape along the bank.” ..."
"...Headed home in the late afternoon, she dreamed of the lady who had managed a staff of Negro servants, including a yard man, coachman, cook, two maids, and an Indian meat hunter—Penny’s own great-grandmother, of whom Uncle Warren wrote, “Her skin was soft as rose petals, yet when her heart told her what needed to be done, she possessed the courage to do it.” ..."

"... determined to keep him in our hospital.” Penny examined her upper arms in the mirror over the sink. Instead of wearing her customary long-sleeved white turtleneck, she had worn a short-sleeved t-shirt which exposed hanging flaps of dry, wrinkly skin. “Don’t worry about it, baby! You’ve ..."
"... some oxygen with her gasps. After thirty minutes, Loretta’s skin had pinked up and she breathed more easily. Leaving Joan in the room, Penny trudged back to the desk. Hansel Hall, Director of Respiratory Therapy, had arrived to check the charts for new orders. “Mr. Hall, I set up oxygen ..."
"...Penny rushed back to 104 while Mr. Hall talked with Dr. Scales. Loretta was asleep on her side, jerking a little, her skin pale. Penny turned her to her back and lifted her head and torso up onto the pillows. The child did not wake as Penny retrieved the oxygen cannula and positioned the prongs so that two liters flowed into the little girl’s open mouth. Mrs. Honeycutt was ..."
"... care. Penny began her rounds on North Station in case additional drugs or supplies were needed for Loretta. After knocking on each door and asking if everything was satisfactory, she crossed over to do the same on South Station, but the overhead speaker paged her to call ER. “We have ..."

"... park halfway down the sloping lot. As she walked uphill invigorating drops of rain moistened her skin, but when she entered the air-conditioned supermarket she shivered, and by the time she had finished shopping and checked out, she longed for a hot shower. Back at home, Penny turned her TV ..."
"... Penny scrutinized Carina’s skin-tight pants and phoned the laundry room, leaving a message on their answering machine. The medium pants Penny had selected ended three inches above her ankles and when Carina took a look at Penny’s outfit, she launched into her distinctive, wheezing laughter. ..."

Chapter 26: Chapter Twenty-Six
"... Penny. Yanked back to the present, her mouth open to scream, she sat up, her gown stuck to her skin like wet Kleenex. The Bose displayed 11:30: she had slept two hours and it was still Thursday morning. She should have known better than to eat a big breakfast before going to sleep! Reheating ..."
"...In the supply room, Penny tugged from its niche the rolling cart in which yellow disposable gowns, white masks, and skin-colored, specially-treated plastic gloves were stored. Stationing it against the wall outside Mrs. Sharp’s room, she noticed a new box of green masks sitting on top. Unlike the white masks she had used in the past, these had visors that extended upward from the nose piece to protect ..."

"... who I was, but even with that black wig I knew him...with his yellow-ice eyes.” The temperature in the room rose as both officers stared at Penny, and the scrutiny of their four eyes penetrated her skin. “Wait a minute.” The older policeman held up his hand, his long fingers spread ..."

"...fingers gripped the steering wheel with confidence, and Penny could feel his leg muscles grow hard against her hand as he pressed the accelerator. She leaned her head back, experiencing the music. The ride became sensuous and arousing; she wanted to lie beside him and taste his skin, to breathe his breath. With every mile, she was more attracted to her husband. ..."

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"PERSONAL BAGGAGE puts the reader front and center in the busy and stressful life of a hospital nurse. I..."

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