nursing homes, aging
Being the nice and sun filled day I decided to call the facility and see if Al was napping yet. If not I wanted the nurse to ask him if he would like to go to Dairy Queen. She came back with the reply, “Yes he wants to go.”
“Great, I will be there in a short bit” I told her. I decided today was the perfect day as tomorrow we are to get between three to four inches of ice and snow. I knew I was going nowhere on that wicked day.
I went in and Al had his walker sitting in the doorway. He was ready! He had his jacket on and a big old smile. We went to the ice-cream shop and he ordered a mix of Reese’s pieces and Reese’s cup in a blizzard.
He struggled quite a bit getting the spoonfuls out of the cup. I helped when he could not do it at times. I think he really enjoyed his treat. After we left there we went to a thrift shop. It was sad to me in a way that he did not remember this shop, but this didn’t stop him from wanting to go in.
Once inside he took off and started his search for coca cola items. I gazed around but didn’t see anything I couldn’t live without. Pretty soon I heard Al just a chatting a way to a gentleman. It just so happened that I knew this was the owner‘s husband. This is what I heard.
Al; Look at this! Look at what I found! I found a coke tray and it is authentic! Look at this. Look at this! Look at the words right here!
Owner; Oh really? It’s authentic you say? Wow. Let me take a closer look.
I walked back to where they were standing and Al repeated the conversation to me. I told him it wasn’t authentic, but he swore it was.
The owner was eyeing me trying to figure out who was telling the truth, Al or me. I said, “Well Al if you think it is authentic than I will stick with what you say”.
Al smiled at me. I looked at the tray and saw no price tag. I asked the owner how much it was. He said, “Well now, I just brought it out from the back. We found it in an old building. I will have to ask the wife”.
I waited patiently for the answer and walked up to the front where I knew the owner’s wife. I told her,” Al just likes anything with coca cola on it. I don’t believe it is the real thing myself. Al thinks if he sees a trademark it is real.”
She started laughing and then said,”Well, how about $3.50?”
I asked Al, “How about $3.50?” and he shook his head quickly. He wanted it. He was too weak to stand any longer and found a seat to sit on. The whole time he was beginning to cry and repeat his first conversation over and over.
I paid for his tray and went to where Al was sitting and handed it to him. He didn’t register yet in his mind that it was now his. He just kept crying. I told him we needed to go and eventually got him back in the car and buckled up.
As we drove back to the facility I tried to teach Al about telling others, especially owners of stores that they have valuable pieces for low prices. I explained the ideals about buying and selling, and getting things for a bargain if you can. I explained to him about coming to me and telling me the big deal he thought about getting.
I asked him, ” Do you understand Bud what I am trying to say? It could be that by what you told him they could have raised the price by several dollars. You may have not been able to purchase it then”.
He nodded that he understood. We took off for the facility. As soon as we got him in the doors of the building he started shaking and trembling all over. Most of this was due to his excitement. The first staff he came in contact with he said, ” Look at this! Look at what I got! I told them it was authentic. I told them it was worth about one hundred dollars on American Pickers. My sister told them it wasn’t real so I got it for a good deal”.
I am not sure exactly if that made me look good or rotten to the core. I guess I don’t care. I was trying to teach him a lesson in wheeling and dealing. Maybe he understood some or maybe not of what I said. I do believe he thought that I did help him get a good deal though.
I was taught by the best, my father. He was the biggest wheeler-dealer in town, I swear. I never pay full retail unless I have to. I love auctions because I get to set the price in my mind.
All he cared about was he got a coke tray for a good deal. When I told him goodbye, I added, ” I hope you had a good time bud” and he said, ” I sure did Sis”!!
When is the last time I felt like my bird in the hand was worth two in the bush? I really don’t know. Lately, I have not felt like I was the smartest pea in the pod. I have been dealing with massive amounts of paper work for my brother. Trying to understand the hidden meanings of government words.
Trying to abide by all requests and then discovering even more was wanted or needed. You know life seems so easy until you start looking at blank pages. You get out your dictionary and look up uncommon words. You try to make whole sentences down to one simple thought.
I guess the bird in the hand for me is the medical background. I may be in the dark room filling out paperwork by candle light, but when it comes to how patients should be treated my little bird tells me that certain things are not acceptable.
There are times when families come together and discover they have met the end of the road. All that is seen in the future is big boulders placed in the path. All uneven, no way of knowing how to get around them. The end result; placing Grandma or Grandpa in a skilled facility.
Oh the guilt that pops up is horrendous. A smack in the face when we realize we are no longer going to our families homes for dinners or Easter egg hunts. No more family Christmas‘s like there used to be. Did we do enough? Are we making the right decisions? It happens to a lot of us until we work through it.
Did any of us know that life was really going to change this drastically as our age progresses? I don’t think we make it a priority to sit and ponder on it. We get wrapped up in our own lives, not because we are cold to anyone, but it is what it is. Paying bills, getting our kids through school, working our fingers to the bones to put food on the table. Trying to get our 401K’s big enough to take care of us when we hit the golden years.
Then the bomb drops. We get a medical problem that wasn’t on the schedule. A brother or sister or Grandma or Grandpa gets really sick. We go in with blinders to the nursing facilities. We go in with confidence because we know our loved one so well.
Without our approval we are thrown papers and stacks of blank pages wanting our signatures. All of a sudden the tornado is spinning as we are slowly but not entirely giving the care of our loved ones into strangers hands.
We find many times we are talking among ourselves about decisions that have been made. What do you think Auntie would think about this if she could speak for herself? I know that Grandma is used to taking her showers on Saturday mornings first thing after breakfast. Do you think she will mind having to wait until Saturday night right before bedtime. Hey we all know how much Grandpa hates mixed vegetables. Did you see that big helping they gave him for dinner last night?
Many new doors are opened and suddenly we realize so much that we took for granted; information that we have known for years, no one else is aware of.
I am thankful for the years of experience I have gained. I have taken care of dying patients, family and Hospice. I have taken care of disabled and the geriatrics. I have come face to face with hitting, spitting and plain old-fashioned confusion.
I didn’t realize at the moment that I was building a huge book of etiquette for the human soul. Kindness and respect along with dignity are I believe more important at this point than ever before.
Don’t put your loved ones in a new home setting thinking you can leave and everything will be alright. You can pay your weekly visits and leave thinking what a nice visit. Remember back to when you had your own children, or maybe back to a younger time when you babysat for money. What was the adults highest regard while you were caring for that child? What was your biggest concern in raising your own children?
We need to go back to those times and remember them. Write them down, stick them in your memory box, tie a string around your finger. I am so grateful for my experience. Now I can quickly see when things are not right. There is a huge difference in making sure someone is taking their medications and eating and then mixing in compassion and love for a human soul who has the right to dignity to the last breath.
- Daily Prompt: Cliché (daddysnaughtylittlegirl.wordpress.com)
- A Bird in the Hand (rainbowofthought.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Cliché (smileyface80.wordpress.com)
- A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush (lornasvoice.com)
- Daily Prompt: Cliché (gorpthetrail.wordpress.com)
- Those Precious Things (thetemenosjournal.wordpress.com)
- #3: how do I get the accent over my e (thinkboxer.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Birds, Hands and Bushes (teepee12.com)
- Cliché Touché (thisismycorn.wordpress.com)
- 11 Horror Cliches I’m Getting Real Tired Of (mmmovieandfilmreviews.wordpress.com)