a life well lived

Monday, January 5, 2015

dispatch from KRL - NOT what I expected 01/04/01

Unexpected in a lovely way.  I had the entire day to myself.  It is as if they realize that just getting tests can wear out even most sprightly old biddie.  Not a single test.  Praise the Lord, bless the Lord!

There is a saying that I like - if it's not one darn thing after another, then it's two darn things.  Today, that would have to read "if there's not one interesting thing..."  It was a pleasing day.

First of all, Mike called from Australia.  It was wonderful to hear his voice and get all the news from Down Under.  Although I do not like feeling so punk, I surely do like having the family circle around me, like the circling the wagons in a wagon train.  When not so lovely things happen, even the most far-flung or distant people seem to naturally draw close.

Although I have an armed chair in my room, the seat was so shallow I had problems hefting myself out of it, even with help.  Today, I asked one of the staff if she would put a pillow on the chair and cover it.  She ignored me.   

The old Kay would have thought, "Oh well, she must have other things on her mind" and let it go.  Not now.  I basically - but nicely - said, "Do it!"  She did, and the chair is much better.  It brings to mind another favorite saying - "Do not have a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be."

I pick my battles with the staff.  It baffles me how some of the staff ignores what I ask for or what I say I need.  I had to be a bit severe with  my night nurse - one person whose good side I want to stay on - so I made it a point to show her my warmer, more friendly side.  The same is true of my day nurse.  It makes for an interesting game, figuring out which issues are  really important - like the pillow - and which ones I can live with. 

There was one nurse today who was determined to wash my face.  It did not matter that I told her I did not want her to, that my daughter gave me a  facial last night and would give me one again today - she was going to wash  my face.  She did.  My mistake, I see now, was that I kept saying I did not want her to.  If it happens again, I will tell her, "No, you will NOT wash my face."

Most of the staff are very sensitive, but there are a few who seem to have no idea what makes older folks like myself tick.  We want to have a say, that is important.  If I tell someone I do not want to do something and the person does it anyway, that could be horribly disempowering - and empowerment is desperately important to older people. 

My pardon if this ruffles anyone's sensibilities, but one of the nurses suggested when I was admitted that I just forego unders and sit on waterproof coverings.  Did she have no idea how humiliating - not to mention uncomfortable - it would be if the worst came to past?  Thank goodness for Elsa bringing over a stock of Depends and fresh unders. 

I pass this along as a caveat to you young folks - older people need respect, love and as much dignity and independence as they can get.

One of the staff that I talked today is from Albania.  What that woman has gone through.  She just looked through me at one point and said, "You just have no idea." 

Mim called this afternoon and again this evening.  Daughter-of-the-heart  Julie Conaron (we took her to our hearts on the drive to and from this fall's  women's retreat at Tonche) stopped by for a lovely visit and brought me a stunning ornament, which it reminds me a a regal Faberge egg, in a silver bag that captures the light and practically twinkles.  Elsa brought by an apple danish and read to me from "Forever Christmas,"  a book she gave me for  Christmas all about how Tasha Tudor celebrates the holidays. 


Oh my goodness,  I will have to hold off on writing about Tasha and Professor Hills and the Dutch Inn for when I am at home.  I do not think the hospital staff would be thrilled at having me on the phone to Elsa until the wee hours of the morning sketching out a posting would probably overload your computers. 

Tasha and Professor Hills and the Dutch Inn are dear and special to the Lockhart ladies and certain friends, deep magic memories that will be forever in my heart.


I asked Elsa to close this with one of the many good things to come out of this stay.  It is a chance to "connect" with and speak my mind, to know when to draw the line and when something is not worth it, to kick myself for caving in (like when the nurse washed my face), and knowing that next time I will stand my ground. 

Over the past three years, I have learned that every  experience is given to us as a learning tool.  Knowing and applying that adds zest and a stronger sense of purpose to each and everything I experience, even if it does not seem very nice at the time. 

Love to all my loved ones and dear friends.  By the time this is being tapped away to you, I will be tucked up and off to the Land of Winken, Blinken and Nod.  

Hugs & love - Julie's "Mum-of-the-heart"

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