Saturday, June 25, 2016

First day at the skilled nursing facility...May I have some towels to take a shower?
Nursing assistant replies: Oh, your next shower day is not until next Tuesday...and trots off! I won what would be one of many battles. I got my towels and relished the first hot water my skin had felt in over a week. 
Dignity! I almost lost it along with my independence during my 14 day stay at one of the best facilities in the city. 
God, what are you teaching me?
Many lessons... some through tears and frustration.

  • People who have worked hard, served their country deserve respect and the right to retain control over their environment!
  • The ill and injured need an advocate to preserve the above.
  • Those in long-term care may need more visits than when hospitalized.
  • Even 93 year olds want to go home.
  • Kindness is a healing balm, easing pain and stress.

On a more personal note,

  • I must accept the help of others.
  • I cannot always repay those acts of kindness but I can pay them forward at a future date.
  • A stash of goodies for the nursing staff makes for a pleasant stay!

The anger I mentioned in my earlier post surprised me at first. It wasn't really about the fall; it was the brutal realization that I was alone. Of course, I have friends that will do most anything for me and they did, but this loneliness was about family waiting for me at home. That's all I wanted in serve and enjoy my husband and family. That lost dream hurts worse than any broken bone. Unfortunately, I'm still wrestling with that angry grief. 
My stay forced me to stare at what the last season of my life might look like and it frightened me to the core. Even so, I saw a resiliency in many of my senior residents that I greatly admire and want to model as I age. I've been forced to look at my health habits, realizing fitness must move up my priority list. 
The Lord only knows what impact He made through me in the time I was there, but I hope the administration and nursing staff was reminded about both the big and little things that make a facility outstanding and my attempts to encourage others made a difference.

Weekends in any medical unit can be sub par, so as the first Saturday approached, I prayed for the gift of caring staff. My prayer was answered with this beautiful nurse who chooses to work double shifts every Saturday and Sunday. We've become friends who share the loss of our husbands. God is a good gift-giver!
I've been home for a week now; it's hard, but I have a renewed sense that I can get through anything if Christ is the center of it. 

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