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Archive for the ‘Elderly’ Category

Just a little something to think about.  How does this possibly apply to you?

THE DASH

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the date on the tombstone from the beginning, until the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth; the second date, he noted with tears.

But he said that what matters most of all, was the dash between the years.

For that “dash” represented all the time spent alive on the face of the earth.

Now only the loved ones left behind knew what that little line was worth.

For it matters not how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash.

What really matters is how we live and love and how we spend our “dash”.

So think about this long and hard, are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left, you could be at “dash” mid-range.

Should you be less quick to anger and show appreciation more?

Should you love the people in your life, like you’ve never loved before?

Should you treat others with more respect and more often wear a smile? 

Remember that your special “dash” might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, your life’s actions to rehash, will you be pleased with what they have to say about how you spent your “dash”?

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Wow!  One of the men on a social site similar to MySpace (called Fubar) put 2 and 2 together about a small town that we both had family connections to.  It so happened that his aunt and uncle were bee farmers in that town and had died in the 80’s.  I couldn’t help but respond to him by stating —

“When I was little there was a bee farmer that would bring over to my Grandma’s and Grandpa’s ranch a couple of jars of the best honey with the combs still in it.  Honey became my favorite commodity.

The man that would bring the jars would sit with my family in the country air and talk to us.  He was the nicest man and I really got a kick out of his visits — especially when it meant that he would bring us honey… lol!!

One time, he had held me in his lap and a bee landed on me.  He said to me – don’t worry.  The bee won’t sting you unless you show him that you are scared….

It was a great exercise in overcoming any possible fears of bees and every time I encounter bees, his voice echoed in my head.

My Grandpa worked for Humble Oil for many years, then the Lumberyard until he simply couldn’t work anymore.  He ended up with TB, lung cancer, and emphesema…so he stayed in the house connected to the garage mostly and would come out on the porch, smoke us pipe, and tell us all kinds of stories.

Because he stayed in that house, we would meet in the yard between the two (the garage house and the main house) and socialize; hence why the bee man was also visiting us in the country air versus in the house.

You stating that they died in the 80’s makes perfect sense since it was a rare find after that time to have that delicious honey.  Whether or not they are one of the same, it was nice to relive that memory.”

It is amazing how small of a world that we may or may not live in….and it is wonderful still that such inquiries can trigger such marvelous memories from our childhood.  I can still smell the freshness of that honey that the bee farmer would bring to us, a quality unmatched from honey sold today.

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Today I awakened at my Alzhiemer’s client’s home to find that she is distraught over her cat.   She threw her cat out the door after the cat appearing to have changed colors (say what?). She said that the cat turned pink.  After seeing the cat last night myself and wondering if the cat were pregnant because she was big around, I was wondering if she meant that the cat was about to have babies or what.  Still not sure what she meant, but I encouraged her to take a shower after engaging her in the Joel Olsteen show this morning and having some freshly squeezed orange juice and toast.

I put out some cat food while she was in the shower after not seeing the cat myself.  After cleaning up the home we left but she thanked me for everything as she was encouraged by Joel Olsteen’s power talk about minimizing our adversities and putting a magnifying glass towards the bigger and better things to come for us ahead – and, she agreed the the shower did make her feel refreshed as well.

We set out and went to Denny’s for breakfast and then off to Sun Harvest for some bits and pieces for things to make at home.  Poor thing.  She got in her mind that she was going to make her famed chicken soup and when I told her that we might not need to buy a whole chicken because it won’t fit into the toaster oven, she felt despair and disgust to her son who had taken apart her stove to keep her from setting the place on fire accidentally.  I tried to point out that she might be able to do the same in a crockpot and she toyed with the idea for a moment then said, “No, I just want my stove to be working!”.  We went around and put some of those ingredients back and searched for other possibilities that she could do — for instance instant oatmeal with the water boiled in the electric kettle, etc.

When we finally got home, we prepared some tuna salad for sandwiches this week and put away the groceries we did purchase.  After calling her son to tell him that he really must get the stove working and hanging up on him after a conversation about his love life that isn’t working out too hot, she pulled up a chair for me to sit in and said, “Come.  Talk to me!”

I sat down and I got a lecture about taking a chance with life and finding a man for me.  She called me a “gootah” (phonetically correct, but Jewish for a woman that does things for everyone else but herself).  She says that she wants me to go out and spend $100 on myself — a new dress, earrings, lipstick — and go dancing.  She says that I should get a sign to wear (like a nametag) and say that I am a free woman! (I can just see it now — women who have already been married and are now divorced and/or widowed must wear a “W” – – an “M” inverted for “woman” and signifying turning over a new leaf!  OMG…lol…..

As I finally was heading out the door after spending 30-1/2 hrs this weekend with her this weekend, she said to me, “You are a lovely woman.  I enjoy spending time with you because you make me feel sane and you are fun to be around.  You need to buy that dress, earrings, and lipstick — and, find something daring to do!”  It almost sounded like a preacher giving me a charge to do for the week ahead, as well as a challenge to find something daring to do.

Thank goodness she has Alzhiemers and she may not remember that she told me that next weekend or I might have to actually report to her the daring thing that I did this week; however, on the other hand, because she does have some degrees of Alzheimers, I might have the same lecture next week.  Oh, nooooooo!!! lol….

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This is the first morning that I have felt half way awake since I woke up on Saturday afternoon b/c I then left Saturday night to work a shift from 6pm Saturday night until 2pm Sunday with an Alzhiemers client.  When I arrived her, there was a new shift person that was there for the first time and it had made her extremely nervous and frustrated.  I managed to settle her down that evening and she awoke refreshed and rearing to go, while I awoke with a backache from hell b/c I had slept on the wooden futon bed all wrong.

It took me a while to get moving and she hopped in and out of the room I was several times asking me what was the agenda today.  Finally, I got her engaged in the Joel Olsteen preacher from Lakewood Church in Houston TX on the television.  I told her that he was a powerful speaker and she sat and listened with great intensity.  He spoke about frustrations and not letting people get under your skin and get the best of you — in another words, not to let other people steal your joy.  This was poignant for her….

as well as for me (for what had happened earlier this past week and what is about to happen this week).

We both went forward into the day with a great attitude and went to have breakfast at an Austin tradition hole in the wall place, then tried to go to the LBJ Wildflower park (but we ended up being there an hour too early) then window shopping for a bit before we headed back home.  While we were back home she relaxed reading the NY Times Newspaper and a book about Elvis Pressely.  She became recharged and we headed to the local Dairy Queen to find a sign outside the door over a trashcan stating “Bad Attitudes Here” with an arrow directed towards the trashcan.  We laughed about the irony of it — especially after the Joel Olsteen sermon about the joy and marched into the Dairy Queen saying “No one is going to steal my Joy!” and ordered some delicious waffle sundaes.  (BTW, did you know that the first Dairy Queen was actually in Canada???  That was something that I hadn’t known before.)

At any rate, I went from her home to my home to sleep for a few hours before heading into an overnight shift.  Getting off Monday morning, I was still exhausted because I hadn’t caught up on my sleep yet.  Today, though, even after working last night on another overnight shift, I am feeling recharged (at least, for the moment…lol…).

On the desk I share with another employee at the hotline, I tore off the 7th quote of the day off of the 2008 calendar and revealed the 8th.  Today’s message was — “There’s nothing noble in being superior to someone else.  The one mobility is in being superior to your previous self.” — a Hindu proverb.  That is, indeed, so very true.

Today, the supervisors are meeting to decide about who is to get the permanent overnight shift (you see I have been working as a relief for the past 5 years) that is open.  Myself and two others applied.  One is disqualified from applying because she hasn’t been there long enough to transfer to another shift; the other one would not be a good choice because she has argued with the employees on the overnight shift in the past.  Hopefully, the logical choice will be me.  Even the overnight shift folks are all rooting for me.

But that has no effect on the rhyme or reason of the supervisor staff.  We’ll see.

All I know is that I am better today that I was yesterday — no matter their decision and choice — and, no one can still my joy.  My real joy isn’t whether I am working PT or FT; my real joy is being able to be the best advocate that I know myself to be.

Of course, I am going to have to remind myself to think positive.  My coworkers have already planned to order out for our meals tonight.  We’ll see and hope that that might be in celebration that I am “in” for the FT position.

No harm in keeping my fingers crossed for the best though, right?

Any prayers would be appreciated….as I really need the FT work income wise, which will allow me the opportunity to not work for 2 employers quite to the extent that I have been.

At any rate, please remember that there is no stealing the joy!!!

😀

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(Actually written 1/2/08:)

I saw a bumper sticker the other day and was puzzled slightly by what it said — “Those who abandon their dreams, will discourage others.”  Although I wrote it on my hand, and later on in my datebook journal I received as a Christmas gift, it just didn’t make sense to me until today.  After all, eventhough I haven’t achieved all of my dreams, I am still the cheerleader encouraging and empowering others to be able to move forward with their own dreams.

Today, though, I indeed had a v-8 moment and realized just what the bumper sticker could possibly mean.

For my living, I am an advocate for those who may not necessarily speak up for themselves.  Currently, I have found myself being an advocate for the elderly as part of my vocation and passion and, as a rule, I truly enjoy what I do.  One client though I have been struggling with to keep upbeat about it.

When I first started going to this client a few weeks ago, I was shocked by the care of his room.  While he may have incontinence, his room reaked of urine all over newspapers, bed linens, clothes, and such.  Apparently, he can’t remember to wear his “briefs”, the depends.  That, in itself is one thing, and makes my job enduring as each week I have to spend 3 hours waiting for the loads to wash through and I don’t feel like I can do this client justice fully because I don’t feel like I have as much time to visit with him, but he tends to stick things in the toilet and stops it up as well (ie, apparently he doesn’t like carrots so they end up in the toilet, which is very disgusting.  I end up having to call maintenance of the facility to come fix the toilet.  It shouldn’t get to the point it does.  The client has a phone; he could call for maintenance himself.  He also walks to the dining room each day; he could tell the management office his needs as well, but he chooses not to.  So, each week I return and I encounter much of the same thing.  You would think that someone wouldn’t want to stay in a room that smells like urine, much less sleep in wet sheets and covers each night.  Each week I keep thinking to myself, “Why, then, do I put myself through such turmoil?”

The answer lays in the fact that I continue to hope that I can make a difference in this man’s life, although, it appears that his level of care needs to be much higher.  This man, who used to not even move out of the bed, does now greet me at his door each week so I am doing something right, it would appear.

Too, while waiting for the clothese to be washed and dried, I’ve met other residents that walk (or, ride) by and they either wave or stop to talk to me for a bit.  I think that they are just happy to see someone else available to hear what they have to say about their day.  Some of them are now even introducing themselves to me with their names and inviting me to go visit them in their rooms — so many are just anxious to have company and companionship.  Even in an assisted living facility, so many residents keep to themselves, which is a shame.

Earlier this morning, I checked my Fubar page just as anyone might check their MySpace page or emails, and saw one of my best friends indicate that he was having trouble waking up this morning.  I called him and told him that, while he was having trouble waking up, I was having a great deal of trouble just motivating myself to move forward to go see this client this morning.  We were talking about why I was having trouble in particular today and he set a positive tone for me by saying to me, “At least, you will have lots to blog about today,” and he was right.

Although I am discouraged by this man’s seemingly giving up on his dreams of having a great life in spite of his health problems, I am discouraged (just like the bumper sticker says).  However, what relights my enthusiasm for returning each week is the brightened eyees and smiles of others I see each week at this facility.  Today, I was surprised, too, in that this man didn’t stay in his room while I was tending to his laundry down the hall.  He actually got up and took the trash to the laundry room area and later he came down to the sitting area and talked with me for a bit telling me that the maintenance has come while I was down here.  Not only once though, but three times!  Maybe next week, he’ll actually sit down and talk to me?  At any rate, any progress made is certainly making way for encouragement that my advocacy is making a difference.

I’ll certainly have to remind myself that, as I crawl out of bed next Wednesday morning, while advocacy work can indeed be very discouraging, it is encouraging to see when folks be able to crawl out of their hinderances (sometime created by themselves) and start getting a little more excited about life.  That is the reward I get in lieu of great monetary salaries, a richness more fulfilling to living a life than making a huge income and not being able to stop and observe life for what it is.  Humanity is a precious regard on this earth; unfortunately, most people are too focused on making the big bucks that they often forget the joys that would surround them if they would just stop and look!

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