Dear Carol

Dear Carol -

I miss you.
Not a year goes by without my stopping and praying for you, to you, about you, on November 30th. I have almost forgiven myself for not coming when I said I would. I have almost forgotten your anger at me in those last minutes of your life.

Oh Carol , dear Carol - I see you free and dancing.

Inside the Prison for Olde Ladies

The building itself is non-descript. White stuccoed walls holding up balconies of potted plants, even in the Wintertime on the outside, soft pastelled walls along wide halls on the inside which lead to private suites mostly resident owned.

To live in the Prison you have to have a few dollars set aside. If you are a renter you are paying $1700 @ month ++ . Owners buy in around $220,000 not including strata fees. For that you have a meal each evening in the dining room served by (mostly) young cheery faces and housecleaning once a week. Your sheets are laundered by the staff and you are responsible for your *personal* items. There is a communal washer and dryer in each wing that residents can use 3x weekly according to a schedule. Someone is on staff at all times. If you have a problem in the middle of the night and press your buzzer that staff member will appear. What she or he will do is something else entirely. Most likely an ambulance will be called. You could save yourself a step by dialling 9-1-1 yourself.

These sort of places look good on paper. They appeal to some people just as living in a Care Home does to others. Good luck to you if you are a boat-rocker. You just will not be successful there even though technically you own your suite. This is Private for Profit at it's finest.
I cannot say I much care for the way it is run. Dictatorships with mock councils that hold no power whatsoever are still Dictatorships.

My client is settling in noisily. Next week I am going to bust her out of there for a few hours.
Just because we can. The bars aren't up. At least not yet.


Perhaps some day, the modern man will learn that mystery is not the prison of the mind of man, it is his home.

Walter Farrell


Little Miss Rockcakes

Pat is a mean, manipulative old bird. Pat is a fascinating woman.
Both of these statements are true. It just depends on how you approach her.
The woman I know is feisty, articulate and has a great need to be heard.
She has stories to tell.

This was today's story.

Bob was born one day later and one mile away from Pat. They were both conscripted into the Army during the war. Bob went off to secret missions here there and Africa, while Pat worked in an office with mostly civillians. Somehow, even in that place and time she was in charge and having "None of that thank you VERY much" although she was Private Pat working alongside Majors and Colonels.

Bob and Pat had been engaged for 4 years. The war was winding down and both were still loyal and true although miles, even continents apart. Then the weekly letters from Bob stopped coming. Pat took it stoically even deciding to drop around to see his parents. Her motive was to show people that she wasn't afraid nor ashamed. The Village Postmistress had also noted the lack of incoming letters and doubled as the radio network.

Pat took the Bus round to where her once-to-be inlaws where. As she went to step off the bus, Bob's father was stepping on.
"Oi Pat what lovely timing you have!"
"Our Bob is just home now."

Pat stood just a moment deciding what to do.
She went on down the road to Bob's home and knocked loudly.
Bob himself came to the door and swooped her up in his arms.

"Oh Pat I am THAT glad to see you! What a wonderful surprise!"
Stiffening in his hold, she looked him in the eye.
"Is it?"
'Ah my love. It's the mail I expect. We were on (D-day mission) and none of us lads were allowed to send even a postcard off. It was awful not to be able to let you know."

Private Pat melted. A resumed courtship went from all stop to fullspeed ahead.
When Bob saw her to the door that evening, a Wednesday as she recalls, he said:
"Don't be surprised love if there is a wedding invitation in the post by Friday."
Friday? She knew wartime mail and snails were fairly matched for speed.

Friday came and nothing arrived by post.
A lunchtime caller rang.
"Come on Pat. We're getting married."
"Oh? When is this Bob?"

He came and collected her and off again by bus they went to see the Vicar.
They were both in Uniform which prompted a narrowing of eyes.
"You aren't making a rush decision are you?" the Vicar asked suspiciously.
"I have been trying to get this girl to marry me for 4 years! We practically grew up together!"
The Vicar looked over his glassed better to see Pat.

"I can't marry you!"
"Why not?"
"You are Little Miss Rockcakes! Can it have been so long?"

Pat had played the part of the cook's maid in a Church Pageant. The little maid who pulled the rockcakes from the oven. She thought she had been about 3 or 4 years old at the time.

will finish this story later.... the bit about the dog or radio license. et al


--on a related note:

Who knew that talking could be so tiring.
Another day in volunteer land.
I do not bake for the organizations, nor do I wash cars, hock merchandise or any other fundraising activity. I talk. Pick you passion in life and go for it.

7:20 this morning I was on task yapping for the cause. Thankfully it was not too long a day; I was all done by 3:30. We finished well. Now a wee bite of dinner and off to fundraiser #2 where I am not the yapper just another bum in the seat with a chequebook. All in all a most successful day.
Free coffee too!

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
Mahatma Gandi


strange, but true

The best stories are always true. They may not be believable.
Not that it matters.
Having a bizarre biography myself, it takes alot to stun me into disbelief.
People try though.

The nicest people tell me the most incredible things.
A little later I might share.
For now, that chocolate is looking pretty good.



Step back from the fire!

Burnout alert in carelane #1.
Tread lightly!

It is such a wonderful idea to keep people in their own homes should they wish to end their lives there.
The day to day dynamics are complicated.
24 hours in a day. Families HAVE to cope during some of those hours without help.
Providing 120 hours of service a month in a home is considered the maximum time allottment.
That covers 4 hours a day. A palliative client may also get overnnight service.

Palliative or not palliative, that is the question.
Funding is based on income. Anyone can get anything they want if they can pay for it.
Otherwise there is a per diem. For most it is worthwhile.
But not all.

When family members burn out from too many emotions, they are likely to blame someone for their state of mind. I hear it alot .
"The Office is driving me crazy. They tell me someone is coming at 8 and they don't show up until 8:30."

"Do you know how many times I had to get up last night to check on Dad/Mom/whoever ? "

"How much time did they give you today? They promised me x amount. They have been gyping me."

When my mother was so ill, we did recognise the burnout and hired privately. It cost alot of money but for us it was worth it. After Mom was gone we were still somewhat sane.
People do have the right to die at home if they so wish.
But sometimes, their loved ones make it impossible to meet their expectations.

Todays' burnout victim got a nod and some comforting noises from me. The Care Coordinator and Palliative Care Coordinator are the ones she needs to call.
That's why I work the short shift. Do my thing and come on home. Still fresh.
The ranting is ok. I can listen. For the people in the ten hour window shifts it can be hard to take.
So on behalf of them, I sit down and listen completely for 5 to 10 minutes once a week.
It seems to relieve enough pressure that the person can make it a little longer on empty.

Been there. Done that. Took the training.

"I do not ask how the wounded person feels. I simply become that wounded person."

-Empathy Quotes
Winston Churchill


Somewhat Askew

Such a beautiful way to start the day.
I woke up after a perfect 7 hours of delightfully deep sleep.
One glance at the clock and I knew I had best get myself up and going.

God Bless the CBC was saying there was the inevitability of rain, yet the morning sun filtered through grey clouds was trying, grasping, even sneaking into my bedroom.

Tim Horton and I went to the beach with a bagel and some honey creweller Timbits, 6 to be precise.
Tra la la la.
Factoids on the radio.
Waves steel blue rushing horizontally.
Only 8:05. And a huge break between client #1 and 2.
*brilliant idea*
Scheduling? Can I move my clients up a little? I have an hour and 15 min break today."

"Sure. Wait a moment. We can find something for you to do,"
---sound of papers and background voices---
"uh ? Where are you now?"

The beach!"

"Did you go to Susan B.?"
Susan B. The dreaded one, the ritualistic method of food preparation one. My challenge to love.

Nope I have Mr. Trout at 8:15 and then nothing til 10:45."
At least that is what I thought when lazily I cruised through the drive through and off to the Ocean front to pop sugar in my mouth between sips of the worlds most desirable morning coffee. ( with 3 cream).

"Hey, we have you down as being as Susan's at 7:45. For an hour and 15 mins."

Mortified, the coffee chilling in my mouth I frantically looked for my printout. Praise God.
I was not insane.

No. My printout doesnt say that."

I read what I had.
Luckily the scheduler on the other end of the telephone was the one who had printed it out.

"Just go on to Susan's and do your best."

I asked her to call Mr. Trout who was expecting me at 8:15
What a way to start the day.
Susan B. was asleep and thought I had been diligently working away quietly.
Mr. Trout forgave me and things got better.

The coolest part of the whole day was at the end.

My beautiful Norma, I just love her.
She is just winding down from the hell move of all time.
Norma did not want to move.
Norma was forced to move.
Norma has kept a sitting room and two small bedrooms of her best and most beloved but she does not feel at home after 1 month.

She calls it her prison for old ladies. And this is "Assisted living." Imagine if she was in facility.
She would fold up and die.

We had to go through her Master Bedroom to the bathroom with the shower. Her furniture is just as I remember my Grandmothers to be. Very tasteful and probably the same as it was the day she first got it.

Norma this bedroom suite is just beautiful. Look at the bed, it is lovely."
Norma laughed at me.

"It sure is. This is my original wedding set. From my first marriage. This is a great bed! And I was a virgin too! Woo boy what a bed!"

We both sat on the original wedding bed we were laughing so hard.
What a day!

The great majority of people in England and America are modest, decent and pure-minded and the amount of virgins in the world today is stupendous. -- Barbara Cartland 1901-, British Novelist

God bless you for that Ms. Cartland.


Cocoa & Luke

She is usually in her housecoat when I come.
Her hair generally unwashed but meticulously parted on the side with a beret in it.
Sometimes one or two curlers dangle hopefully on the sides, pink to match the dressing gown she had on. She wore a worried look and begged me not to let the dogs out.

"The dogs?"

"Yes, I don't know where they get to. Cocoa was here, at least I think she was here but I let her out. I am ever so worried. I called my daughter and she said to ring the doorbell and they could come out."

I got her settled at the kitchen table and saw Luke out the window sitting on the back porch.
" Luke is outside."

"Ooo THATS where he is. I thought he got out. There is a small hole in the fence just at the corner. I was so worried."

I went outside and checked. No hole.

I tried distraction and we had a nice chat as she ate her breakfast.
She always lets us in. She is very receptive to the visits. She eats if we make her food and sit with her. She takes her meds with minimal coaxing. She is a very lovely woman.

"The little black one. I can't find him anywhere."

There were several notes in the Nurses notes again about this.

"I think your dog likes to hide under the bed."

This is true.

I looked up and she was wearing a pair of very familiar glasses.
My glasses. I had taken them off and laid them alongside my book, pen and keys.

"Uhm, you are wearing my glasses."

"Am I?" She looked skeptical. Then curious. She touched the frames gingerly.
"No these are mine." She looked at my face and touched them again.
"Aren't they?"

I smiled and then gave her a hug.
"I have done that too. But those are mine."

She took them off and forgot about it.

"Don't let Cocoa out. That dog ... I dont know what to do with her."

"Bye.... have a good day. (distract distract..)

I love going to see her. I know that soon she will not be able to live on her own.
Even after diagnosis, people with dementia can live a happy and worthwhile life, provided the appropriate information and support is in place. But there comes a time when it may no longer be possible that they live alone. It generally is for safety.
Even if we administer her medications, check on her twice or three times a day, cook for her and keep her hygenic, we can't stop the process that eventually will make her turn the stove on and forget and perhaps touch a burner. Or leave a tap running. Or go out for a walk and keep on going. Or eat something she thinks is food but may be toxic.
She is already piling books at the door at night.
She is sorting and re-sorting clothes.
She touches her face and picks at her arms.
She is forgetting the odd word. She frets about the dark.
And: There IS no Cocoa.

Cocoa was her dog 25 years ago.
God bless her happy heart.
‘Normal’ people seldom choose to socialize with individuals with dementia, unless they are joined by a previous relationship of friendship or family. Caregiving relationships are most often described in terms of ‘caregiver burden’. However, recent studies have revealed that persons with dementia often ask for increased involvement in decision-making, conversations, and activities. People with dementia still need to be loved and to feel that they contribute. We must remember that we are all connected by virtue of being human; we are all at some state in the process of cognitive decline.

Timothy D. Epp


Wild wild west

As a documentary airs on PBS about some fellow in 1960 who filmed his wilderness journeys, I am basking in the warmth of my blankie and contemplating bed. This man felled the trees, build the cabin, fetched rocks, make a fireplace that works just great, an outhouse, a smoker and more.
Supplies (meagre) were dropped in by air in the Autumn.

Now I see the inside of his cabin. He is cooking peppery ram stew. The ram was taken down with one shot. Although this is 42 years ago, it seems like centuries. Can anyone in this year 2004 truly get totally away from the world?

The closest I get to communing with Nature these days is my morning sunrise coffee drank at the beachfront. I sit and watch the waters. This morning there was a Blue Heron standing in the waters a few metres in front of my car. It made me sad. There should have been a pair. They mate for life. Poor lonely Heron.

A couple of seals were playing further out in the Bay. A sprinkle of water and a leap followed by loud splashing. They seem to be having such fun. One of my clients told me she saw a whale one year in the Bay. I am not putting any bets on that one.

'We need the tonic of wildness
We can never have enough of nature'
Henry David Thoreau

Firey Magnificence

We have meetings to discuss various clients, policies and procedures. We also enjoy getting together in one room. All of my team are on the road all day every day with the exception of the Team Leader who has an office. This last meeting we discusses a few of our "problem" clients.
I got my new schedule and --surprise-- one of those we discussed is now mine on Sundays.

Entering her home today, I felt a tiny bit of trepidation but mostly I was curious.
I remember this Lady from a few years ago. I did not find her that bad.
The next year I went once and I remember her because she told me the same story using the same words as she had the year before. I have an excellent memory for patterns and faces.
Last year I went again and yes, the very same story the very same way.

Today she was a little more bitter. Same stories but there were some new words in there.
Most of them were British slang terms.
She is very angry.

I looked at her and got real close and asked her:
"Where did this magnificence of spirit come from? Where you born with it? Did you inherit it from one or both of your parents?"

She absolutely shone like a flawless diamond under a laser.
She sat up completely straight and told me with great pride:
"When I was a little girl my father said to me: "Dont you ever loose your firey spirit my girl. It will take you a long long way in life."

84 , legally blind, severe bladder dysfunction and still a flame licker.
Right on!

"Teach us that wealth is not elegance, that profusion is not magnificence, that splendor is not beauty."

Benjamin Disraeli (British prime minister and novelist. 1804-1881)


Will Rogers told me to put my money in Real Estate

'"You've got limited space here. It is a damned fine place to live. Put your money in Real Estate. The world is only getting more fullup with folk. And alot of them are all coming here."

'Will Rogers told me that."

me: "You knew Will Rogers?"

"Yer darned right! He was a good friend of Vic Flemings."

me: "You knew Victor Fleming?"

"Yeup. He was a decent fellow. The only one of that whole Hollywood crew I could stand.
Told me to look him up with I was in California so I did. And he treated me like a Prince.
And what was I? Just the Caretaker. Yes, Vic was a great guy.'

"Poor Will, he had a private plane and all. He liked to fly alot. Took me up a few times. His plane went down in Alaska somewhere. A darned shame."

Where but in Community Nursing could you hear a story like that?
I could tell you more but .... discretion is the better part of valour.

"Thou has done a deed whereat valour will weep."

shivering amongst the timbers

The timbre of my voice lost in a slow scream?
The timber all around us here, saturated by the Autumn rains after one of the driest summers ever?

No its the slow scream alas.

Land of opportunity!
A playground along the Pacific!
A dirty rotten scoundrel is in charge of my wonderful Land.
A rat who rammed through legislation allowing privitization and wholesale firings for no cause of employees who have dedicated lives of service to jobs they love.

Yet another Private Institution here has fired all it's Union staff and has given the contract to an out-of-Country agent who will hire at a much lower rate with far less benefits neglecting the continuity of care by plugging in new employees top to bottom.

Shame on you!
Shame on you all!
Your employees live and work here. Your Faustian middlemen do not.
Do you really believe profit is the only measure of a successful industry?

I think it is just another deathknell for a job that very few love.
Alot of the people fired are in their 50s and 60s.
They were told but a few months ago there was no chance of this happening so they all relaxed.
Merry Christmas.

Shame on the Voters of this Province who believe the head liar.
None of this ever affects people who have alot of bang in the bank accounts.
They are protected by the Tax Cuts that were pushed through that benefit, you guessed it, those at the top of the dollar chain. But to be seen to *balance the budget* to *get this Province back on track* to * take a tough stand on tough issues* this Government rammed Draconian legislation down our throats that is meant to bust Unions once and for all.
Who benefits?

The Workers who live in this Province?
No of course not!
We sell off our services to huge conglomorates from elsewhere, and we get a temporary cash injection that makes that bottom line look better. Too bad about the longterm. Too bad about the people whose lives are smashed to pieces.

"We offered resume writing workshops and Stress management for our Employees who were let go."
That was big of you.

Looking to the immediate gratification of quick dollar, this Government is rewarding companies who are sawing the legs off the working man here. Or, rather, the working woman.
Government is focusing their cuts on Teachers and Nurses and Healthcare Workers;
industries mostly comprised of women.

When the Longshoremen and Fishermen and Loggers are all gone, when the union busting has made it impossible for the average Joe to live here, who will be the servants to all these rich darlings who move here? Are they planning to import them?

A Province built on Natural Resources, spoiled by greed, and polarised in Politics.
What a Happy picture it is,
Oh look! What is that in my Mailbox?
A little propraganda, a little feelgood flyer from my Government congratulating itself on a job well done. I am sure those fired appreciate all you do.

I smell sulphur.

A man from hell is not afraid of hot ashes.
Dorothy Gilman


twas a dark and stormy day

End of my workweek again and as always I am sleepsies.
It was an incredible day! I was all over my area.
Alllll over!

Rain, hail, wind, waves whoa!
Coming along the low road in gale force winds, I came around the Bay to see the waves *CRASH*-ing into the rocks and making spray with such tremendous power they were higher than the tops of the 2story homes of the oh-so-very priviledged. The will be coming home to wet balconies and soggy gardens very priviledged.

Driving along the Highway later I couldn't see for the leaves that were pelting into my windshield. A harvest hued mosaic organically blinded me. And then, it rained.
And then it rained HARDER! Furious drops screamed as they struck the car now slowing, now hydro-planing.

I was going less than 1/2 the posted speed limit on the road known for dragraces. Noone was passing me as they were too busy trying not to slide off one of the bridges sideways. Definitly two-handed work! By the time I got to my turnoff I was exhausted. Thankfully, the rain ceased before my returning back to the city.

The wonderful thing about today is that it is OVER!

Another tale from the Wordsmith:

After decades of working for a MultiNational company, and a sorrowful divorce, the Wordsmith found himself unemployed and without means in his early fifties. No golden handshake, no pension, nothing but a "your services are no longer required."

Never one to dwell in the negative, he packed a satchel, his paints and his jaunty beret and went a-travelling to the Caribbean. He made his way by selling his paintings and sketches to whoever wished them. After a few seasons of Carnivals, he washed up in the Eastern part of our fair Land.

Frank says that he didn't settle for any company or job but just worked piecemeal designing.
He found true love and happiness with the wonderful woman he is still in love with today and she encouraged him to apply for a very good position advertised with the Federal Government as an Engineer. He gathered together his portfolio and went off to the appointed place at the agreed upon time.

"I walked into this very adequate room which was dominated by a large desk. Sitting amidst photographs of important people and projects was the man who was to decide my fate.

'We spoke of my past achievments and I showed him examples of my work. His face betrayed nothing. He hrrrm-ed and hawwed and then finally deigned to ask:

"Mr. _, this is all very interesting but what degrees do you have?"

Frank stood slightly and leaned over the gentlemans desk.
He took his index finger and drew a circle on the polished oak.
"Those are my degrees. All 360 of them"

--- he got the job.


A Difficult Intake

I met this woman 4 years ago on the night shift.
The intake Nurses cried to me about what a difficult admission she had been. She was discharged from the Hospital to die at home.
She was skeletal.
She was very friendly and most determined to get better.
And so, she did.
Sort of.

At first it was easy to accomodate her demands for these fussy things.
Then it became evident she did want any HealthCare so much as she wanted grande Theatre.
A production every mealtime. She directed, we played the prop directors.

She is so bad now that frequently when I come in she is in the process of throwing away this elaborately prepared food that she demands (and gets) in the garburator. Most of the Nurses and healthcare workers just roll their eyes and do it. If they don't she ends up calling and making them a "do not send."

I like Theatre.
I do not like wasting Public funds though.
Get the woman a Psychiatric Evaluation.
Send a Mental health Worker.
But sending people each and every day to puree boil blend stir re-puree, reboil etc...
what a collosal waste of time.

I do not understand why we are enabling this strange process.

we are all the same, we are all different.

The ideas of mental health and mental illness have replaced the idea of God and the Devil, and the institutionally legitimized explanations, justifications, and interventions of psychiatry have replaced those of organized religion. "During the Middle Ages," James Turner observes, "no clear lines separate the religious from the secular...The church and the world blended." Today, no clear line separates the psychiatric from the nonpsychiatric: the explanations, justifications, and interventions of psychiatry permeate the world and blend with it.
- Thomas Szasz


----> Remember me

Sometimes I wonder if the brain is like a huge warehouse, with acres of room;
albeit a finite space. Other times I think of our brains like a stomach that swells
and depletes with it's contents. Instead of a visible waste product I think of dreams
as the release mechanism. Of course it is also possible we are just another machine.

I remember so many things. As I age some different things come to the fore, current
obsessions occupy prime space, and various and sundry other things slip away.
When I am in my older years I wonder what I will hold dear to my heart when people speak
with me. More than a few of my very elderly clients have a fond place in their hearts for
ice cream. The first story amused me.

Little Lee is 94 years old and all of 80 pounds. She is very frail these days, and has to
be cooked for as she will often forget to eat or worse, cook something improperly.
It is even more important to sit and speak with her so that she does in fact eat the food.
I asked her if she wanted some cream for her coffee.

"Cream! Oh I remember my grandfather!"
She seemed so delighted in the remembering that I waited quietly for the connection.

"He used to pull up in his sleigh. I could hear the bells from a mile away."

A sleigh. With bells. Until that moment only the province of a carol to me.

"We lived fourteen miles from any place. We never saw much of anyone except each other.
Winters were lonely and Summers were just alot of work. I never thought life could be any different back then. We just lived. And then, once or so a season we had to get provisions.
That meant the sleigh."

"Grandfather would take me with him to "Town." "
I could almost see the quotation marks around the word.

"Grandfather would go into the store and get sacks of flour and sugar and coffee. Sometimes he would get a barrel of peanut butter."
Obviously no allergies in those times. A barrel!

"Then one day he said to me: "Lee you have been a very good little lady. I have a special surprise for you."

"Grandfather got me an ice-cream all for my very own! It was so delicious!
Imagine that! One for my very own!"



Then there is Betty.
Betty was a farm girl too, and somewhat more familiar with "Town" living as they did on the outskirts. She has a burning memory of the prairie heat in the summer and the man who sold ices.

"We never had any money. Noone did really but I saw these pretty girls and dressed up Ladies lining up for ices. My mouth would just water."

Finally one summer Betty had enough of that!
"I went over to the vendor and asked him if he would trade 2 eggs for an ice.
And he did! That was the best ice-cream I ever tasted!"

where did she get the eggs?
"Oh I snuck them into my sleeves during my morning chores."

Tonight I am having ice-cream.
And remembering.

"The ice-cream man would also come around every Sunday and sometimes on Saturday also. He rang a bell to let the people know that he was coming. Mama or Papa would give us each a nickel to get an ice cream cone. The ice cream was mostly vanilla, but sometimes strawberry soda was added so we asked for white or pink ice cream. The ice cream man would carefully measure one scoop of ice cream and put in delicious crisp, sweet, flaky cone. How good that first “lick” tasted! If Mama would buy ice cream for the whole family, she would take a big bowl and ask for as many scoops as was needed. Sometimes she would get 6 scoops for 25 cents, so she usually would buy 50 cents worth."

Clotilde Pitre Mire

March 1974


tumtum tummies

In the junk folder of the most excellent ideas department:

Why have breakfast when you can drive through and get a bagel and a coffee?
Why have a decent lunch when you finish work at 13:30 and can come home and make a delicious meal?

Because it never happens that's why.
My tumtum is owly. I needs my foods.
Another fainting spree this week. I learned my lesson though, I am NOT mentioning it to anyone.
I will just eat my oatmeal tomorrow morning.
Dear Alice,

I would like to know the importance of breakfast. Why do we have to have breakfast?

Breakfast Boycotter

Dear Breakfast Boycotter,

Your brain (and central nervous system) run on glucose -- that's the fuel you need to think, walk, talk, and carry on any and all activities. Let's say that the last time you eat something at night is at 10 or 11 PM (not optimal, just an example). The following day, you don't eat breakfast but wait until about noon or so to eat -- you've gone thirteen or fourteen hours with nothing in your system. Your poor brain is surely deprived -- and your body has to work extra hard to break down any stored carbohydrate or turn fat or protein into a usable form for your brain to function. That's a lot to ask for when you're sitting in a classroom, trying to concentrate on reading, or doing any other work. Eating breakfast has been proven (many times) to improve concentration, problem solving ability, mental performance, memory, and mood. You will certainly be at a disadvantage if your classmates have eaten breakfast and you've gone without. On average, they will think faster and clearer, and will have better recall than you. School or work can be tough enough without this extra added pressure.

Breakfast skippers also have a harder time fitting important nutrients into their diet. Many foods eaten at breakfast contain significant amounts of vitamins C and D, calcium, iron, and fiber.

Some people believe that skipping breakfast may help them lose weight. Not so! Skipping meals often leads to overeating later in the day. Becoming overhungry often leads to a lack of control and distorted satiety signals (meaning it's hard to determine when you're full). This can result in taking in more calories than if one had an appropriate breakfast. As a matter of fact, it's easier to control one's weight by eating smaller meals and snacks more frequently.

What if there's just no time in the morning to eat breakfast? There are plenty of items you can bring along with you to school or work. Carry a resealable bag of easy-to-eat whole grain cereal, or bring a yogurt or small box of skim milk, juice, or fruit. If you just can't stomach food in the morning, try to have a little something -- such as some juice -- and bring along a mid-morning snack. Other good portable items include: whole grain crackers, a hard boiled egg, cottage cheese, low-fat granola bars, or even a peanut butter sandwich. Single serving hot cereals, such as oatmeal, are handy -- all you have to do is add hot water, available at most cafeterias or delis.

Whatever your choice, eat something. If you think you're doing fine with no breakfast, just try changing your tune for a week -- Alice is sure you'll notice a difference. You will undoubtedly perform better with some fuel in your system, and, hopefully, become a breakfast believer.



So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought. --- Lewis Carroll

Thinking today about all the Veterans from wars long ago and recent.
Thank you fine Sirs, and Women.

Because of your sacrifices I live free.


Beware the Jabberwock

>Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
--- Lewis Carroll

I am feeling a tad Jabberwocky myself today.
Yet again, I encounter someone in the system who has a great deal of allotted time and yet, for some unfathomable reason it appears her hair has not been washed for months.
Oh it got worse.

I am not her shower person I am her medication remind and lunch insist person.
After talking her into washing her hair at the sink I decided to talk her into a foot massage also.
This is my covert way of seeing if her toenails are attended to.
They aren't.

It upsets mel to see a woman whose toes are stuck together with dead skin.
To have to soak someone's feet to even be able to separate their toes.
It really upsets me to see a client with nails that curl around to jab into her sole.
To have to hold a warm cloth to a person's ear for a few minutes to get the crusty yellow skin that has blocked the entire area from the back of her ear to the nape of her neck to release.
And if it upsets me, although I hide it from my client, what must it do to her friends and family who come to visit; who have brought us in there to ensure she is clean and bathed and fed?
What can I possibly say to myself to make it all right?

As I said: I am feeling a tad Jabberwocky today.

and speaking of JabberwockY:
Today's quote is from a cached website SUPPOSEDLY on nursing ethics.
This is either a random computer generated site to attract hits OR it is the worst translation ever. Reminiscent of all your base belong to us in its total weirdness.
It is just too bizarre not to share:

Go procacious away code ethics nursing up work ethics article on ethics they. Internet maybe then into flew and code ethics nursing softly.

Curiously, dialed internet ethics thought afterwards he education ethics in fatty significant local. Without liked ethics research whilst copy code ethics personal into media ethics old code of medical ethics code ethics teacher coming into material police ethics of. Ethics government office code ethics nasw in 3 short minutes money plus code ethics nursing phone financial one inc ethics leadership procacious to
.... put THAT in your pipe and smoke


Gire and gimble

Weekend is over and again to work we go.
What a week!

The Wordsmith is back in hospital with another respiratory infection.
It is compounded by a toe infection brought on by pressure to his frail skin.
It has been a long haul for him. A very long haul.
This is for all the people who dont bother to think about the weight of bedcovers.
Go back to school and retrain. You are in the wrong job.

<------------------- nasty --------------------------->

The weather here continues to get wetter and colder.
I find myself actually wearing a coat! Now that's rare.
Lots to say going to say it later on.



Heavy Rain

The winds are blowing a gale out there and the rain slashes the sky.
I do not feel like hieing myself out the door but go I must.

The daylight savings time is over, thankfully, and now when I get up in the morning there is at least a little sunshine. My litebook and I are fine without it though. ;)


I worked this morning with a smoker. Another worker that is.
She really smelled bad. It was only 8:15 am.
Imagine her at 5pm.
She has this little way of giving me advice all the time laced with veiled threats.
Of course she is also one of those workers who writes not so nice things in the client notes about other workers.

When I rule the world some things will be banned from my workplace.
#1 is that no Nurse, Nurse's Aide or Worker will be allowed to smoke during work hours.
They stink!
#2 is that no Nurse, Aide or Worker will be allowed to have long nails.
Those big fake nails have alot of potential to transport pathogens.
#3 is uniforms. I think everyone needs to look professional on the job in HealthCare.
It is just nicer for everyone. Especially the client.
#4 is that every employee must get retrained on the proper use of gloves.
I see things that make me sick.
But I do not rule the world. I am only the boss of me.
And like all human beings, I make alot of mistakes.

Not those ones though.

Men are more apt to be mistaken in their generalizations than in their particular observations.
- Niccolo Machiavelli