Sunday, July 26, 2015

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

I found my Snuggie. It had been neatly folded and placed in an empty drawer. I am thankful that I have this link to  my mother back. People told me they hoped it would turn up. Some people even told me they were sure it would be found, but I had given up hope of ever seeing it again after the first week.  I had no faith. I had no patience.

Faith and patience are two qualities you need in abundance when you live in a facility. You need to be patient and understand that when you press your call button, it may take a while for the staff to answer your light. The staff works extremely hard to care for residents. They have a lot of residents to care for. They are overworked.Sometimes it's hard for me to remember this. Especially when I have to go to the bathroom. You have to have faith that your call lights are working properly, so that the staff doesn't accidentally forget about you. The staff depends on those lights to let them know when a resident needs them. 

The dietary staff works extremely hard too. They do their best to serve us. Sometimes, residents are not very patient. Staff can be running around taking orders and serving food and someone calls out, "I didn't get my soup" or "I want to go back to my room." I want to tell them to be patient and wait their turn. It's not that difficult to be patient in the dining  room. We all get served eventually.

Residents have to be patient with the the staff. The staff has to be patient with residents. Residents have to have faith in those caring for them. Faith that they will be cared for with dignity and respect/ Residents need to treat the staff with dignity and respect as well.

The most difficult thing for me about living here is learning to  be patient. Learning to wait my turn. I struggle with this daily. I am not perfect. I am, a work in progress. I do the best I can. I am taking it one day at a time.




Monday, July 20, 2015

SOME THINGS CANNOT BE REPLACED

The facility does my laundry. I have had a number of things go missing. The facility has been more than generous in either replacing items or reimbursing me the cost of the item. I appreciate the concern and willingness of the  staff to make things right in any way they can. However, I have lost one item that cannot be replaced .

The Christmas before she died my mom was given a Snuggie. I am sure that you've seen the commercial, showing a woman wearing  a long blanket-like garment with sleeves, sitting in her recliner. After Mom got hers, she'd sit in her recliner watching Game Show Network, warm and comfy in her pink Snuggie. Seeing how much she liked it, I asked her if I could borrow it.  "No, get your own," she told me.

After Mom died, her Snuggie was folded and placed on a chair in her room. I didn't wear it, but each time I went into her room, I'd see it and remember how much she liked it.

When I learned I had to move into a facility I knew that I would take Mom's Snuggie with me. I have used it as a blanket every night since I got here. Feeling my mother's presence as I waited for sleep to come. Having it brought me comfort. 

The Snuggie has been sent to the laundry several times.  I never worried about getting it back because my name was written in it. Someone also told me they knew it was mine because no one else here has one. 

Two weeks ago my Snuggie disappeared. No one from laundry knew where it was. With each passing day, it seemed doubtful I would get the Snuggie back. Then, yesterday, I noticed a pink Snuggie hanging in my closet. It was a brighter pink than I remembered, but I convinced myself that maybe it was a brighter pink due to having been freshly washed. Last night I used that Snuggie as my blanket, but in the back of my mind,  I knew something wasn't right. 

This morning my aide told me that Snuggie was too new to be mine. And, my name wasn't written in it. It was clear that a well-meaning staff member had purchased a new Snuggie for me.  I appreciate their effort, but I don't want a new Snuggie. I want my mom's Snuggie. It is not about the Snuggie, it's about what the Snuggie represents. The memories  of my mom wearing it and the pleasure it brought her. It was like having a part of her with me. That's something that cannot be replaced.













Wednesday, July 8, 2015

JANE AND HARVEY

Below is my Jane and Harvey interview. It will appear in a future NHC Newsletter. I think a lot of both of them and wanted to share it with my readers.

Jane Yount has been involved in pet therapy for over ten years. She and her previous dog, Max, visited The V.A. Hospital and Ranken Jordan’s Children’s Hospital.  When her mother passed away, one of the residents in the facility where she had lived said to Jane, “Don’t forget about people like us.”  Jane never forgot those words.

Jane met Harvey when he was two and a half years old. He will be nine in November.  Harvey is all black. Black fur and black eyes which is rare for a Shitzu. The breeder had ten Shitzu’s and a pit bull. Harvey’s first home was a horse stall. Usually the owner chooses the dog, but in this case, Harvey chose Jane, coming up to her that first day and never leaving her side. It was like he was saying, “I’m going home with you.” They have been together ever since. 

The two have been coming to NHC for three years/ It all began when a friend of Jane’s was visiting someone in rehab and saw a physical therapist bring her dog here Jane was encouraged to call. Jane called Activities and the rest is history.

Harvey loves coming here. He pulls Jane to get in the door. Harvey gets a lot of attention when he’s here, but he also gives the residents lots of love.