‘Lying-in hospital’ piques curiousity


DEAR SUN SPOTS: I believe there was a hospital in Auburn around 1938. I think it was called the Auburn Lying-In Hospital. Can you find any information on it? Love your column. — Marilyn Burgess, [email protected]

ANSWER: Google searches for this topic provided Sun Spots with some amusing responses. Instead of coming up with “lying-in hospital,” she received links such as “a man was taken to a hospital after he was found lying in the canal.”

Perhaps there are readers who remember this institution, or Doug Hodgkin and the Androscoggin Historical Society may come to Sun Spots’ rescue, as they so often do.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Please find some information about shrink-wrap tummy tucks, which are laser procedures that reduce excess skin following weight loss and eliminate the need for risky surgery.

My friend saw this on an afternoon TV show about a month ago, perhaps either “The Doctors” or “Dr. Oz.”

I know this is skimpy information, but I hope you can find out something about it, especially if it’s available in our area. Thank you. — No Name via email


ANSWER: Sun Spots looked up shrink-wrap tummy tuck online. The procedure she found described at several websites is about a tummy tuck with liposuction. The shrink wrap is supposed to reduce the scarring and bruising that come with liposuction. The sites said that a traditional tummy tuck leaves a long scar, but this procedure does not.

This procedure doesn’t appear to have anything to do with ridding someone of excess skin after a large weight loss. A tummy tuck removes a relatively small amount of weight, so the skin, which has some elasticity, “snaps back” afterwards.

If the weight loss is great — some people take off hundreds of pounds, the skin is too stretched to return to original. Think of your skin as wrapping paper. If you use the same size wrapping paper for a small package as you do with a large, the wrapping paper either has to be folded over (wrinkles in the skin) or cut away.

Sun Spots doesn’t know of any technique other than skin removal that is effective. The procedure is expensive and generally not covered by health insurance, as it is considered cosmetic (not medically necessary).

Please note that Sun Spots is not a medical professional and that online information is not always accurate. Patients should rely on their doctors. In this case, you would consult a plastic surgeon for more information on possible options.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Could you please send my inquiry to Ellis McKeen? I know this is a strange request but hope you can help. All I have is a rotary phone, so I would like the answer in a letter.

I’m trying to find out about a couple of old World War II friends. I want to know if they even made it through the war and, if so, would like an update on their lives and addresses if possible.

All I can really remember is Wilfred “Bill” Dalbee, or maybe Delbee, was in the Army and Robert “Bob” Munster of Bucksport was in submarine school at Treasure Island, Calif.

Just wondering about old friends before it’s too late. My husband is 93, and I’m 87, so would like to say “hi” one more time. Thanks. — Mrs. B. Curtis, Lisbon Falls

ANSWER: For readers who may not remember, Ellis McKeen is a veteran who helps people search for unclaimed funds. He even found a nice little windfall for Sun Spots. He also is willing to look for people. He does not want to be paid and will not accept donations.

You can find Ellis McKeen at 38 Bog Hill Road, West Gardiner, ME 04345, 582-2988, [email protected] He asks folks to put “All Season Santa” in the subject line because of the problem of opening mail from unknowns and getting a virus.

Sun Spots will forward your letter with all your relevant personal information to Ellis. But the search could be difficult with limited information.

Sun Spots tried searching at www.wwiimemorial.com, a database for those killed and missing in the war. Your friends did not show up, but that is not definitive, as she was not sure of their state of birth or the exact spelling.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]