Sunday, June 29, 2008
And A Thought Came Tumbling Down
Come sit with me awhile for I must tell you something. For weeks I've carried it around. There are so many parts to it, I don't know which one to start with. Perhaps they're like life has been sometimes, not very clear.

I'm not sure why this is the day for it. I just know it is. Having time to spend because of this leg problem has triggered an avalanche that will find a place to land.

That book, the one I've so wanted to write, Last night I wrote the first chapter, and thought of a possible title, although now may be a little early for that. This morning the book was the first thing I thought about, so I sat down and wrote chapter two, hardly knowing what to do with even more ideas for it surfacing.

I understand being published is a very long shot, but this is not just about seeing my name on some book. It's about women these last sixty years in America who I hope I'll be speaking for. I would tell you more here, but prefer surprising you with some of it. The getting started with it is a natural high I can hardly describe.

When I began blogging about two years ago, I think I wrote something about going down trails. Not being very analytical, sometimes I don't notice all the details, so I'm not sure about that. I am sure I've been on many journeys, and when I understood the difference between them and where I thought I was going, life began making more sense. So come with me as I explore this one, and we'll see how the traveling is.

  posted at 5:27 PM  

Thursday, June 26, 2008
Hot Off The Press
With all that's happening here and far, you'd think there'd be news more interesting than wars or calamities, or man's inhumanity to man. Some I've read could have come out of the Bible's book of Genesis, on the desecration of Sodom and Gomorrah, and I didn't linger long on election doings. My mind needs a break from them for a while.

I was sitting here this morning downing coffee and coming up zero for something to expound on, when out of habit and at least some boredom, I clicked through news stories. A young woman Colorado hiker stranded in Germany's Alps, gave new meaning to the work ethic adage: "Do what you can with what you have where you are now".

With no other way to signal for help, she peeled off her sports bra, a white one, and flew it on a mountain side supply line, hoping someone would notice. Surely they wouldn't think it her political statement, all alone up there in the Alps. Men working not far away saw the unfurling bra, and rescued her. I don't know what other lingerie this lady prefers, but I'll bet she was glad, on that fateful day, she wore white generic, and not Victoria's Secret.

That news story was kind of fun to read, especially since the lady was rescued, but I think you'll agree this next one will be told again and again; the only problem being some may not believe it.

In this part of Colorado we hear comments, perhaps in jest, that Boulderites differ from the rest of us here. I can just see the man in this story seriously trying to convince somebody of what happened to him. You may not believe it either. Shaun Boyd of CBS4 News announced that "A Boulder cyclist was injured after a run-in, literally, with a bear." The news story says a man was riding on Old Stage Road Tuesday, when suddenly a bear appeared in front of him.

The man hit the bear and ended up skidding across the road, after he and his bike flew over the bear. His injuries reportedly are cracked ribs, cuts on his head, and some road rash. This is the part of the story I liked best: The man said the bear looked at him with a stare of terror on his face, and he looked back at the bear with his own sudden fear, as they both went "aaaahhhh".

I've tried and tried, but cannot picture what terror looks like on a bear; a six foot tall, approximately five hundred pound bear. The man and the bike hit the pavement hard. Then the bear ran away after the accident, when a deer appeared. I am glad that the bear seemed o.k., since it was able to run. It wasn't its fault the man got on its trail.

The man estimates he was going 45 miles per hour. He said his bike was alright, so he got back on it, and pedaled himself to a hospital. No mention was made of witnesses to the story, except it says that the man's nephew ran to help him, so I assume the nephew was there.

As I share these stories that ended alright, I can't help thinking maybe our country isn't as doomed as depression disaster reports imply. As long as we have men and women like those in the Alps, and the bear situation, I think we will be just fine.

The woman is to be commended for using whatever she had, albeit was only a generic bra, and the man should get a medal of some kind for looking that bear in the eye. Like thousands of soldiers who guard our welfare, the men who saw the unfurling bra didn't hesitate to get involved. They just forged up those Alps and rescued that damsel.

If we would only teach our children to be as innovative and responsible to their fellow man, we might keep this country going a long, long time. I would still like to know what terror looks like on a bear, but then, maybe not.

  posted at 10:45 AM  

Tuesday, June 24, 2008
A Different Drummer's Calling.
How to deal with a knee that's not working? There should be a class for this. It affects all those things you need to do but can't. Going to bed at night is no longer a self absorbed anticipation of turning back neatly made covers. Do you have any idea how many times one must walk around a bed to make it? After trying that a couple of times with a crutch in one hand, and dragging my injured leg almost behind me, I realized I would fit back in the bed just fine, where I'd slept the night before. What's a few misplaced wrinkles. They served as well for indentations, as white lines around crime scene bodies.

Speaking of bodies, In those dreamy days before knee problems,I showered mine any time I cared to hop right in the tub. But it only took one episode of almost injuring, let's just say it wouldn't have been my knee, to make me more carefully descend and ascend the bathtub. Some days it does not seem worth the required effort for a shampoo and shower.

Unless you've dealt with these annoying restrictions, you might not understand how much I wish I could pull some weeds, or wash the car. Once in a while I'll start to walk in the house, and get halfway across a room, not realizing I forgot the crutches.

I think about patients I've had who lost arms or legs, and how hard that was and still is for them. My first amputee guy, a truck driver. dropped his cigarette, and when he tried to pick it up, the truck wrecked, and cost him both his legs.

Service men and women who don't have the pleasure of not using their arms or legs for only a while, brings me new found appreciation that they gave their arms or legs, and often, their lives to keep me safe.

While dealing with whatever's wrong with my leg, I've dug deep in my soul about other important things, and realize I've let huge boulders, and growing crevices of feeling incapable, insecure block my best intentions. long ago I set out to become a nurse, not because of dreamy eyed imaginations of nursing poor hurting patients. I suspect wanting pride in myself was a factor for starting the training, that,and needing money. I was working as a nursing assistant for very low pay. When I finished the training, it increased to six dollars an hour.

You'd think I would have done the math about it, but it was more of an ahha moment that came in all this time on my hands. Introspection just took over. Probably because of the nursing shortage, pay is much more now. but whatever the rate, even though my name tag says nurse, I been protituting. Please don't think a red light's blinking above my door. We find many ways to devalue ourselves. and they aren't all done in seedy back rooms signalized by a cloud of cheap perfume.

I have sold more than twentyfive years of my life for a paycheck, and the illusion that a job is guaranteed. I've ignored working conditions you would not believe. The hours nurses consistently work put patient care in jeopardy, and nurses' licenses at risk. What I finally had to ask myself was not the carping about working conditions, not any of that, but how much more of me will I sell.

I thank my Lord for this time of imposed inactivity, to review and evaluate the parts of my life. How many nights will I drive again those long lonely roads, especially in winter when it's storming. How many holidays will I disappoint my children because I'm not celebrating with them. I remember asking a nurse I worked with if she had a coming holiday off, and she said, in slightly lowered voice, that she'd worked so many she no longer expected to be off. I remember feeling sad for her, but also knew it could have been my words.

Have I completely forgotten the thrill of listening to a Forth of July marching band. Standing proudly with my hand over my heart as they go by? What am I doing with the freedom our flag and national anthem profess. It's not easy dealing with this knee pain I've had for weeks, but we'll get that fixed. I thank my Lord for slowing me down with it long enough to understand what I need to change. I think I hear a band starting up again.

  posted at 11:05 AM  

Thursday, June 19, 2008
Identity Crisis
This was to be the day I might not get answers to life's perplexing questions, but before it was over, may know what is wrong with my leg. If I'd known how much I would learn before the sun set today, I would have started much earlier. The doctor's appointment and an MRI were scheduled close together, but I thought I could make a stop along the way, and be on time for both.

In case I can still work after this leg is healed, my nursing licenses needed renewing so I swung by the post office to have the renewal postmarked, and was on my way. Because I so seldom get sick, I wasn't familiar with the doctors' new offices. All I knew was which building it was suppose to be in.

Long ago one could drive to that area, any time of the day, and not have trouble finding parking. Today you can hardly find the front entrance, or the nearby hospital. They are mushroomed in with other medical buildings with many floors. Huge cranes slowly dig at the sides of them, as they strain to build even more. I was worried about finding the building, and afraid I'd be late. Visions of falling off a turnip truck formed in my brain. I wasn't sure where to turn, or to park. I did know to try to get in close, since it's so hard to walk right now.

The nice sounding voice when I'd called for directions emphasized their having Valet service. Said they would deal with my car. I turned to the building with the correct numbers on it, and took a long, strong breath. But my hopes faded. The young man in the valet uniform said in almost a foreign language, for me to park the car. I tried hurrying, but another car whizzed by before I could get in. I handed this stranger my car keys, and wondered if I'd see them again, and found the right entrance to the building by myself.

In the movie, "E T," while checking out strange places on a strange planet, that curious creature caused all kinds of problems, and today I thought I knew how he felt. It would take more than a handful of M and M's or Reeses' Pieces, to get me where I needed to be. Not at all sure I was headed right, I scanned the long narrow hall, and gritted my teeth, perhaps a little like Tiger Woods did when he had to win that game last week.

When your knee hinges cannot work right, it amplifies the difficulty of most everything you do. I was still upset how rude and unhelpful the Valet guy was. and people in the hall looked worse off than me. I trudged on forward without a travel tracking device, or a map I couldn't refold, much less read, and there it was, in big bold lettering, inviting me to come in for Geriatric Medical Care. It stopped short of having blinking lights around the sign, like in carnivals. but I was still tempted to throw a blanket or something over it. I was not ready for the world to see me entering the realm of geriatric care.

I told myself I was somewhat irritable only because of the pain, and that might have been part of it, but only a part. The honesty in my bones, including the sore leg ones, knew I did not like being grouped with a room full of elderly, most of them heavily breathing, even though carrying their oxygen tanks. I take care of patients healthier than that. Can you see how quickly I dismissed my irritable behavior, but plowed right into it in others'.

I checked in with the desk lady, then found a seat, and pulled out a book I'd brought to read. Number one mistake was choosing to sit in an open area that was soon a little crowded, and I'd have to move my knee to let others get by. Number two error was the heavy reading material. What made me think I could concentrate in that setting, on something as deep as a philsophical "If You Want To Write", (a book about art independence and spirit) by Brenda Ueland. I put the book away, and moved to a different seat.

More patients arrived. Some need more help settling in than others. Two baby boomer age men wheel in a tiny creature who must be their mom. She without a doubt earns the prize for most lively geriatric patient of the day. The sons wear shorts and summer tops, and flipflops, and one's color turns almost red, when his mom points to his hairy legs and loudly says, "Those legs should be on a girl". I venture a closer peak at them, and as usually is on target, Mom is right. Instead of looking muscular, his legs could compete with world war II, pinup queen, Betty Grable's.

If you don't stare too long, people watching can become fun. I notice that the old folks coming here seem dressed much nicer than my nursing home patients, and their skin and hair looks better cared for. I suppose it's because these are still able to do more of their own care. Some are wearing Skechers or New Balance shoes that look like they came right out of a new box.

Some sit quietly, others talk too much, and one or two are doing the thing that drives me crazy, shaking a foot or a leg, or clicking a writing pen off and on, til you almost consider murder.

I was still alright with time for both appointments, but when an hour had passed, and several of these noisy creatures guided off to examining rooms, and I was one of those still waiting, I almost laughed out loud at myself. How could I forget about waiting room schedules? I made a silent reminder to next time remember that.

A young woman in scrubs who looked somewhat weary called my name, and waited a moment, then seemed in a hurry, and I realized she didn't know I couldn't keep up her pace. I tried to explain, but her work routine seemed more important than listening to what I said. She led me to an examining room, and motioned to a chair, as if she couldn't hurry away until I was seated. With a sudden mental start, I realized I've done that many times myself with patients, when they moved slowly.

A tall and gracious doctor entered the room, and immediately apologized for being late. Some emergency at the hospital took him away, he explained, and I am thinking how glad I am that he knows his priorities, and thankful that I wasn't the emergency. I can tell I will really like this man. Not only was he thorough in history gathering, and examining me, but he covered things like mammograms, eye exams, and other important tests, But most of all, he took the time to listen.

I make a mental note to especially remember that, next time I'm with a patient.
Except for this knee I didn't have other problems. The doctor took me to their lab to get baseline test levels, and I settled a small co-pay fee, and headed down that long hall again to get to the MRI place.

The lady who did the it explained the orthopedic doctor ordered several parts of it. All I had to do was not have any metal on me, and lie very still. The morning had taken a lot out of me. I mean, it can be hard work watching people. So I relaxed as much as the leg allowed, and took a catnap while the test was being done.

Then the nice MRI lady helped me back outside where I could get my car. I am still not comfortable with having to use a wheelchair, but for now, accept that I need it.

I am sitting outside silently telling Jesus how much I appreciate Him, and this marvelous medical center, and all the people who helped me here. Knowing I'll soon find out what's wrong with this leg gives me an even bigger high. I am happy!

A woman who looks less than half my age, who walks and talks and moves around, sits down beside me. She seems a little restless. and immediately starts talking, saying: "Life's a B-----, and then you die from some disease" she says more loudly. and leans back, but no bolt of doom flies down out of the sky. Some other time I might have thought I could convince her otherwise, but today whatever kind of pearls I have, I'm not throwing at her feet) I smile her way a little, and wish her well, and pick up my purse and limp toward the car.

  posted at 11:58 AM  

Monday, June 16, 2008
This night is growing away. All day I've wanted to write this to you, but let other things fill the spaces. About three weeks ago, realizing I must change important things about my work, I got the nursing home to make a big change in my schedule. From then on, I would work only when I want to. Less money would come in, but I'd have more time for living. I was so relieved, and happy, and proud for doing that, I celebrated the day, by giving myself a perpetual bouquet, a rosebush already showing blossoms, not red ones, or pink, but somewhere in between, stunningly beautiful.

My son offered to plant it for me, but I was emotionally high from changing my life, and wanted to mark the day by planting the rosebush myself. and so I did. The dirt was dry and hard, but I handled the shovel allright, and gave that little plant so hungry for life a parting smile, as I walked back in the house.

In the kitchen I celebrated more, by twirling round and round to happy music. It felt almost sinful for deciding to really live. But something about my hip or knee felt strange, as if it wasn't quite right, but I ignored it. I had let go of what getting bigger paychecks was doing to me, and it would take more than a twinge in the hip, or a knee to steal the freedom of that.

But then it happened again and again. At inconvenient times. I'd be at a store, and realize it was hard to walk back to the car. The day I went to get new tags for it, and renew driver's license, I got scared, trying to walk back to it. And it happened other times, while walking in the yard, or to get the paper. Because this was gradual, it was a while before I realized how bad it is, but when the pain set in I knew I was in trouble.

I have dealt with an emergency room doctor, and three different orthopedic ones, and was given a cortisone shot that isn't helping enough. So far, treatment has only been for guessed at diagnosis. The only thing that hasn't changed about it is the constant pain, so today I convinced a doctor to allow an MRI, to check it further.

Besides realizing I need to speak up more convincingly, this is what I've learned from all of this. If you let it, pain can consume you, drain your energy, mask an otherwise great personality, and some people are uncomfortable around pain. They don't know what to do about it, unless you tell them, and it's really selfish of me to not let them.

Another thing I'm glad I learned, is how difficult it must be for patients who are hurting, how helpless they must feel, having to wait for nurses to get pain meds to them, and the humiliation they must feel, needing help getting to bathrooms, or being changed. Maybe a kind word, or at least a ready smile might help them feel better.

I remember a patient from long ago. I believe she had Lou Gehrig's disease, and was already quite helpless. She couldn't even lift up her arms. As a student, my job was to spend a little time with her, and figure out how we could communicate, to fill her needs. She started, and kept making sounds I didn'tunderstand, so I tried various things, adjusting her seat, turning the wheel chair some, things like that. But nothing worked. She just kept shaking her head. and getting louder. I didn't think I would ever figure out what she needed, until the teacher explained, all the poor lady wanted, was someone to hold a kleenex, to wipe her dripping nose.

I never realized how many freedoms of movement we take for granted, and how frustrating it is when you can't use them. My situation about this leg will soon be fixed, and back to normal. But I now have a new appreciation for the handicapped.

It is alright to decide how much of me I'm willing to sacrifice to my work place. How much more am I willing to give? Should I not attempt to write the books I know are in me? Couldn't someone reading them benefit from the medicine in the words? And don't I owe it to myself to at least know I tried to write them. When I chose the rosebush to mark the day I decided to change all this, the troubles that followed were not invited, but I've learned so much from them. I think I will always be glad I planted the rose.

  posted at 10:53 PM  

Friday, June 13, 2008
Angels Unaware
Last week because of unexplained pain in my leg, I went to the emergency room of our local hospital, and several hours later came home with what I felt was a band-aide approach to checking it out. This week I found an orthopedic doctor who would fit me into his busy schedule, and this is where this post really begins.

Family were all at work, so I had to drive myself there. Armed with a copy of tests done in the ER, I headed to a place to park as close as I could find to this doctor's office. Feeling like some caring angel was looking out for me, as I turned into the underground lot, I was more than surprised to see an empty spot only one car length away from the entrance.

I pulled right in and sat there a moment, getting together courage to walk about a half block to the doctor's office. Pain can affect you much more than you might think, and it pounded in my leg, as I got out of the car. Thinking I would just nimble along, and be o.k., turned into fear as I saw how steep the sidewalk was. But I had started early, so I could take my time.

I wasn't feeling sorry for myself, at least that's what I thought. But each step closer to the intersection I must cross, I am sure raised my respirations. Almost there, I think it raced some more, when a car making a right hand turn whizzed right around that corner.

It is difficult enough to come to terms with how old the calendar shows I am. And not only that, I hardly ever get sick, and my job is to take care of others. So I think I played a little mind game to ignore my fear about getting down that steep sidewalk, told myself how pitiful it is that elderly people have to deal with this, and wondered if they got as scared as I was. I can't tell you how relieved I was when I got across that street.

A short walk after that I made it to the lobby of the doctor's building, the first thing I saw was some poor old person in a wheelchair accompained by her very own assistant. Some kind of IV was attached to her wheelchair, and the sight of it caused another shudder to rush across my chest. I almost had a conversation about it with myself. Not only that, when I finished my appointment with the doctor, I would have to deal with getting across that lively corner again.

I make my way to where the office is, and feel brought up short. So many patients are waiting that few empty seats are left. Years ago I was in another waiting room, because of facial surgery, and everybody there looked like they had shiners of varying shades of black, or a little green, and some were even purple. In the room where I was today, most of the patients including myself limped.

The doctor put me at ease by not seeming rushed. Gave me to time to speak, and he answered questions well enough, I thought. The outcome of it all was a cortisone shot in my knee, and we'll see if that fixes the problem, but what he didn't explain, and I did not know, is that those kinds of injections may take a week before they get rid of the pain. For two and a half days I've conjured up all kinds of reasons for hurting. I have faith that eventually this leg problem will be fixed, and resolve to not let pain dominate me.

I thank the doctor for seeing me on short notice, and find the elevator that starts my trip back home. What bothers me most right then, is getting across that busy intersection. When taking care of my own patients, and situations are tense, I've learned while getting them to take deep breaths, to take one for myself, and that's how I started the walk back to the car.

I mentioned having faith that whatever is wrong with this leg will be taken care of. What I understand about faith is, it is knowing in advance without any proof of it, that something will come to pass. When I think about my life, and many situations, some of them even dangerous, my Savior's never failed to take care of me, and get me through it. I have probably brushed shoulders with at least a few angels, completely unaware they were there.

I reach the ground floor, and leave the elevator, then walk toward that corner, but stop, as fear falls off my shoulders. I suppose angels are sometimes disquised, but this is the first time I've met not one, but two, wearing hard hats. Two young men are surveying on the corner.

I explain that I've just come from the doctor. and need help getting across the street. That was the hardest part of it, admitting I needed help. But the young man was already reaching for my arm, and let me get my bearings, for what felt like a slow waltz we took to the other side of the street.

  posted at 6:02 PM  

Sunday, June 08, 2008
Tender Loving Care
I know the way to our town's hospital emergency room well. Much of our family's history has played out there. But this trip was for me, Everything that led up to my night in ER makes more sense now, but that night I just wanted the pain that had kept up all day long to leave.

My son drove a little slowly, to miss known bumps in the road, and pulled into the only parking spot he could find. A nice policeman ushered me through security, and reminded me to turn off my phone. I mentioned that I hardly knew how to turn it on, besides trying to figure out how to turn the thing off. He got me to show him my phone, and patiently went through how to do such a simple thing. If I hadn't been hurting so much, I would have been embarrassed. But if you don't know, then you don't know. And now I understand how to make and receive cell phone calls. In time I may learn more about this computer,too.

I can't remember another family emergency that ended up in ER, where we didn't have to wait a while. the nice policeman headed me to a med tech, who started my paper work. He asked questions like, where I worked, and when I told him, he pointed out that not a long ways up in the mountains, beyond the nursing home where my job is, is where he teaches kayaking. Even with my pain, I could get excited that a medical caretaker enjoyed something more than dealing with patient care all the time.

But tonight, I was the patient. The next hospital staff took more medical history, and checked my vital signs, and soon they headed me to a skinny little examining room where much emergency equipment hung from its walls. I've been to more than a few of these with family, but never realized how hard and narrow the beds are. That might come in handy for emergency CPR, but not to just lie on. And those paper thin hospital gowns didn't cover nearly enough of my skin. And it was very cold in there. Quickly I was becoming what we call at work, a very needy patient.

Staff from various departments came by to feed information from me into the handy computer. You're retired, right" the lady said more than asked. "No, I still work" "Oh, part time?" "No, full time". I began to feel I would never fit the mold she had about me in her mind, and was tempted to just give her the answers she wanted. But my leg hurt a lot, so I tried to cooperate so they could get on with checking it.

A doctor asked me several questions, and seemed somewhat impatient about my answers. He wouldn't let me explain hardly anything. but ordered x-rays, and an ultrasound, "Good," I thought, since it's after ten p.m, and I've already been here an hour and a half. "let's get on with this". The x-ray person trudged in, pushing, sometimes pulling her heavy equipment. As she aligned my leg for her shots, her overhead light gave out, so she just gave it her best guess, and went for it.

I am trying to understand why I keep hurting. Because I'd had a knee replacement on the other leg, when this one became a problem, I thought I needed another. Night kept marking time, but we weren't getting answers yet.. Another nurse came by. She asked if I needed anything, and I told her I'd like a drink of water. I had noticed a few other ER patients, and one little scrawny guy with a long white beard in a room across from me, they were doing a lot of tests on, but ER didn't seem to be exactly hopping. I asked a nurse why my tests were taking so long, and she said they were short staffed, and had to call someone off duty in to do some of them. Ordinarily, I wouldn't growl so, but it didn't take much to trigger it now. I wondered if their being short staffed was because of the economy crisis, or from the nursing shortage.

I was really cold, so when she arrived to do the ultrasound, I asked for some blankets, and she got them, Even took time to warm them. That was the first time I liked how I felt in ER. We still had to wait for the doctor to check the ultrasound results, but eventually he did, and they were o.k. He said my leg bones looked fine, and didn't think I would need another knee replacement for several years. Best compliments I've heard in a long, long time. About then the nurse brought the drink of water. I noticed she had taken time to put some ice in it. It was after eleven thirty. Maybe my son and I could soon go home.

The tests came out just fine. X-rays too. But I still didn't know why my leg kept hurting. The doctor ordered pain pills, and pointed out the usual disclaimers. Not driving or taking with alcohol, but said it was fine to take Ibuprofen or Advil with them, to keep down inflammation, Then he wished me well, and left.

By now it was after midnight. If I didn't get to the nearest potty soon, ER staff would think I had more problems than unidentified knee pain. Completely barefooted, I hurried down the hall, past other examining stalls, and noticed one of them was being guarded by not one, but two policemen. The sight of them, and the sounds that arose from whatever they stood guard over, spurred me along. I at least had pain meds now, and like Scarlet in "Gone With The Wind", would think more about what was wrong with my knee tomorrow.

The next morning I tried getting out of bed without favoring my knee, and noticed the pain had eased some. While I still worked on the nursing unit where the cats were, and began taking allergy pills, to get through twelve hour shifts around them, I had stopped taking daily doses of Motrin, choosing to hurt some, instead of having allergy fits.

In talking with daughter, Bev, at "Scratchin' The Surface", she pointed out that she takes antinflammatory meds every day, and that I should, to ward off the same problems. It made perfect sense, for it was after I'd left them off a while that the knee hurt much worse,, and when I dug in the deep,hard dirt to plant the rosebush, is when the pain sped up enough to interrupt my solo dance in the kitchen that night.

Then I thought further than that. Wasn't it because I planned to stop working, or at least scale it down some, that I got myself the lovely rose to plant. And don't I feel almost acres better, now that I've taken a two week break.

Not long from now I will celebrate a milestone of living many years, a big number of which have been more than kind. While I was in ER a caring person warmed blankets for me, and another took time to bring me a drink. Their doing those thoughtful things made my hours there much better.

The culture I grew up in festered the idea that it wasn't alright to take care of yourself, that you should regard others more than you. It was considered almost holy to not put your own needs first. The idea of martyrdom may possibly be an offshoot from that kind of thinking.

The nurse who had taken time to bring me cold water had lingered a moment, then reached for a handful of Ace bandages, and applied one to my knee, then stuck the others in my open purse. I got the feeling it was her way of giving me a needed encouraging touch. I had thanked her, and was thinking:"Tomorrow I'll deal with this more."

I do have plans for the days that follow. I will not work myself as I've done for years. I may even look for something less hard to do than nursing. My health insurance offers almost free programs called the Silver Sneakers at a local health and rec center. All I need is some pretty sweats, and a swim suit big enough to properly cover my old wrinkles, and I guess some kind of shoes for when in the shower there. I may even get one of those cute little sunvisor caps. Whoop-de-do! Hear me roar! Some may need to look twice at me, to recognize all these changes. I can't do much about those cold hard examining beds in the ER, but I can treat me much softer than I have.

  posted at 12:35 AM  

About Me
Name: Judith

Location: Colorado

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