Carrying the Black Bag: a Neurologist’s Bedside Tales by J. Thomas Hutton, MD & Views From Medicine Spirit Ranch &

Excerpt from Carrying the Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales (Texas Tech University Press) by Tom Hutton, MD  Chapter 9


Heavy double doors banged behind me. I located the unidentified woman responsible for my stat page. A glance revealed a small body eclipsed by monitors, a wheezing ventilator, and a virtual spaghetti bowl of wires and catheters.

Somewhere across the intensive care unit, a ventilator alarm shrieked, a telephone jingled, and infusion pumps thrummed. Nurses with intent facial expressions scurried about the unit on rubber-soled shoes, providing care for these, the very sickest of the hospital’s sick.

(Her husband arrives and provides a surprisingly poignant description, transforming his wife in my eyes)

“Doc, do everything you can.” His voice cracked and faltered before struggling on. He finally blurted out, “I…I love that old gal.”

After his description I no longer could think of Maggie Croft as a shriveled old woman with failing physiology. She had become an energetic harvester who had struggled through desperate decades tightly bonded to her husband. She had evoked the strongest display of public emotion of which I felt Ned Croft capable.

And struggle to save her life we did. We addressed her brain swelling to eke out precious millimeters of space within her skull to buy time for the blood clot to recede. We tried every management strategy to salvage the life of Maggie Croft—but in the end our efforts came to naught.

I recall Ned’s slow pace as he departed the intensive care unit. He pushed at the swinging doors, opening them a crack. Ned glanced back at his deceased wife’s body, his eyes vacant. Ned Croft with his tattered appearance and pained emotions was abruptly lost from view as the doors slammed shut behind him.

The complexity of love has baffled the wisest sages. But for me, Ned’s simple utterance said it best. “Doc, I love that old gal.”   …

Check out the author’s web page on Amazon, listed as Tom Hutton MD. We have posted a brief bio, picture etc. Will be keeping this updated and have something similar for Barnes & Noble and Goodreads. The Amazon webpage can accept pre-orders at any time now. This will be important as the initial number of orders will go a long way toward setting the trajectory of book sales and might even show up as a bestseller in our regions with a good launch. Christmas gifts?

No reviews will be accepted of Carrying The Black Bag until the date published. Be ready to post a review and I will share the date as soon as confirmed. is being transformed into more of an author’s blog or website. We are working with someone next week who should greatly assist in this. Hope you can begin referring your contacts to the blog site.      Some of you have suggested great ideas to create “buzz.” These include preliminary sounding out of bookstores. Have learned chain bookstores can schedule a series of book signings over a weekend in the larger cities. Don’t know exactly how to go about this but would welcome someone’s creativity in finding out. Private signings and speaking engagements are also great opportunities to create interest and sell books. Also don’t forget about the independent bookstores. They still exist and many are quite healthy.

Social media plays an increasing role in creating buzz. Some of you have plans around the release date to post book information on your FB pages, communicate with your email contacts, and linked in contacts etc. These are great ideas and super for networking the book.     My publicist will send out a national press release to literally tens of thousands around the time of the release. She also has sent out ARCs and anticipates reviews in the media around the release date (some incredible media outlets sounded out). She also has set me up to do a blog tour in October. I am not completely sure what this is all about but presume they are literary blogs and will gain further exposure for author and allow me to mention Carrying The Black Bag. I have done a longer excerpt for the Student Doctor Network that will appear in November. She also asked me to send her a brief excerpt along with endorsements. I will forward this on to you as it may give you further ideas. Thanks Allen, I included your comments among the endorsements.     Please keep thinking of ways to create “buzz” and let me know. I feel blessed to have so many supporters assisting me in this effort.      Thomas Hutton MD PhD;;;;;; Eric@Hutchinson;; Dutch@BeeCreek.Net;; PSwensonwenson@BeeCreek.Net;; RGillette@HCTC.Net; SGillette@HCTC.Net; JimCee1967@Cox.Net; JayLin8@BeeCreek.Net;;;; JudyWilkins@SWBell.Net;;; Michael MJRatheal@SuddenLink.Net;

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