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.
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