--------> clocked!!

I got clocked today.
It was a bad day in the carelane.

Too fresh to talk about it.
Nothing can be done for these sorts of things. While restraining a client so that he could not punch my co-worker he swung backwards and took my chest a notch out with his elbow.




Creating a sanctuary

Sanctuary from the big bad world is what my home is. My heart is my home, but my living quarters are the dwelling we all take refuge to.

Each day is a delicate balance of energy spent and rejuvenation received. As a natural introvert, speaking and interacting with people leaves me tired, not energised as an extrovert would find. Because I have dedicated huge amounts of time to attempting to fit in the "societal parameters of acceptability", I appear to be extremely extroverted. People laugh out loud when I tell them I am shy and introverted. A huge joke for us all to enjoy. I certainly could have made a fabulous living as an Actress; in fact I almost did. Thank God that I understood the trade-off of fame for money is unacceptable to me. I would be dead, most likely by my own hand and people would be scoffing at how stupid someone who had it all could be to end so foolishly.

Alone time is sacred to me. The only people who seem to dismiss this need of mine are my own family. Typical. The telephones go unanswered, the door unopened. Alone time is me and my sacred space, meditating and replenishing my spirit. I love my home.

A little gilt here, a glimmer there, and a whole lot of scented flickering space.

Home, sweet home.
I loves ya.


"You done alot of good work today"

Who but the Sunday client would soil the bed moments before my departure and ask demurely: "I am not sure but I think the bed might be wet. Is it wet?"

An hour and 15 minutes is not enough I suppose to adequately perform the dramas. Oh, I take that back. It is enough time, it is just that on Sundays I am sent at a time that does not meet with her approval. Knowing I have somewhere else to go, she makes a point of doing some unsafe thing at the critical time forcing my time to go over. In the past I would zoom around and finish everything, and not bill for the time. No more.

I changed the bed with her in it. Not as hard as you might think but made harder by her inability to take direction. She must have seen in my countenance my displeasure. She actually thanked me with the title's words as I left.

I do not dislike her as a person. I do not disagree that she needs alot of care. I do, however, question whether it should be administered on the Government nickle. Or is it nickel?

The older I get, the less I enforce my once exceptionally fine spelling and grammar habits.
This must be wisdom at last.




~* nice man stuff *~

Not one but a few dates later I can tell you, oh faithful reader there are still nice men out there.

Never one to use real names here comes one at ya now.
Mr. Jay. He is one fine soul on God's earth.


The House-Ec-er

When she told me she was a house-ec-er I immediatly understood the reason.
Home-Ec-er is a touch close to an expression for quite another sort of woman.

Reading her obituary today, I was thankful she made more than the month they gave her.
Witty, wise and warm, she was a kind and decent person.
Goodbye little M.
Thanks for the tea.


"oh and Harmony do you mind cats?"

Just a little question: "Do you mind cats?"

hmm.... the telephone had rung at a clients whilst I was petting a cat who no doubt smelled the last cat on my pantslegs. In fact, every client that day had a cat or 5. It was a curious question.

As I am impaired by asthma and allergies, I supposed this might be a home where the cats had free run everywhere with possible unfortunate results.

The door was open so in I went. This home was about as far from the Office as we go. I was rather surprised to be sent there but I aint the brain... just the hands. And really, it is all about senority and hours. Don't ever think otherwise. So in I go way out along the waterfront three little towns up, and as soon as I got inside I took my puffer out and inhaled one long breath of ventolin.

A gentleman rushed down the stairs, red-faced and harried looking.
"Oh I am so embaressed, I tried to get organised for you... "

The purpose of this visit was obstensively for the gent to get some time out of the home. I was there to be with the Lady of the house. For four hours. She had other ideas. Like me leaving immediatly.

There is always a moment where you can decide to do "what you are supposed to do" or, if you are a halfway decent person, you can opt to do what needs to be done. After she got her shouting out of her system I just asked the gent to keep her busy and I went into SST mode.

In my entire life, I do not think I have *ever* worked that hard that fast.

Yes, I know I did not go to college to be a cleaner. I know it is not in the "rules" but it was either clean it up or leave. Noone else in that home could do it. Two vacuum bags later, the downstairs was livable.
Damn cats.

I got upstairs by asking the gent to tell his Lady the Doctor said I had to come. She settled down after that and even tried to tip me. hee hee.

It is something I really do understand.

Once upon a time for many long years this proud Lady ruled that roost.
"I call her "The Dictator" he said.

Her vision has failed enough that she could not really see the cobwebs or the sand in the carpet. She can't hear the best these days and she has profound short term memory loss. She knows it's her house though and by golly she can do her own housekeeping. I even offered to assist her in the shower. She laughed.

By that time I was deemed all right by her. I told her I need the money so I have to work. So please don't fire me. OKay, a little dramatic but true none the less. Except the inference that she could fire me. I think it will take about 4 weeks to whip that place into shape. Then, perhaps, we can tackle the shower. Hopefully the gent can get away next week.

I am going to feel this tomorrow.
It was an amazing challenge to try to get a carpet to yield up 6 years of dirt. To rid mouldings of all manner of small, ominous dark objects. Dust, dirt, droppings....


Moral Musings

I thought I knew myself.
Lately, I wonder who I really am.

Yeah, its been edited out.
A little too much truth.

Yes we speak of things that matter,
With words that must be said,
"Can analysis be worthwhile?"
"Is the Theatre really dead?"
And how the room is softly faded,
I only kiss your shadow
I cannot feel your hand
You're a stranger now unto me
Lost in the dangling conversation
and the superficial sighs
on the borders of our lives
. --- Simon & Garfunkel

Today in Paradise

The warm breezes blowing in from the Pacific kiss everyone with equal passion. The gulls float and spiral without having to flap even once. The waves lap the shore gracefully while all along the breakwater, tourists and locals alike delight in the day. This, surely, is Paradise.

A lone fawn wanders along the busy highway, nowhere to go now that both sides are developed. I send up a prayer that he will find his way to the clearing a mile up ahead, without losing his life. Further along, a huge shepherd lays beside the newly paved siding, where only a month ago it was grass well back from the road. Not anymore.

"Sold" signs are everywhere with prices an unbelievable high and no end in sight.
My little place I paid $59,900 for 3 years ago is worth $135,000. I should have bought three of them. Is it still Paradise when everything from Eden is gone?


Dressed and redressed

It was *MY* grandmother who outraged and amazed me by shouting at a young black girl who had the audacity to cross the street at the same time as her. As the young girl approached, my grandmother raised her cane in anger and shouted: " Out of my way, darkie! "

Darkie? Talk about colloquialisms. Why not nigger? Or gollywog? Or something equally tasteful. Chiding her was useless. She decided not to hear. After all she was British and therefor annointed and appointed by God himself to set the moral standards of the world.
In Grama's time, English schools taught that the white race was God's special people and the others, well... I believe she was encouraged to view blacks as subhuman, and Asians as a lower class of humanity. Oh, those naughty Victorians!

When the topic was on Indian Right, or Empirical struggles in India, or aparthide in Africa she would shout: "Subjugated Races!" as if that explained everything. It seemed to satisfy her.

Perhaps growing up in such irrational certainties of values, forced my rebellious nature to the fore. A bit of the doctrine stuck, to my everylasting horror. In spite of myself, I do not believe in redress or compensation of any kind really, to people for the actions of countries at war.
We all were wronged at some point in history if you go back far enough.
Expecting the current generations to pay for the sins of their ancestors doesn't sit well with me.

Sunday, I sipped tea with a sweet old soul who was like-minded. We were reminiscing about Revelstoke. She was telling me how her father made all the tobaggon runs on "Chink Hill."
She said it in spite of herself. The language of another era came blurting out with the memories.

"I suppose I should not have said that."
"Don't worry, I understand."

And I do.
The granddaughter of a fierce old cane-wielding woman.
I better bloody well understand.


Typewriter bangers on
You're all just hangers on
Everyone's human 'cept Jools and Jim
Late copy churners Rock and Roll learners
Your heart's are melting in pools of gin

But I know for sure that if we met up eye to eye
A little wine would bring us closer, you and I
'Cos your right, hypocrisy will be the death of me
And theres an I before e when your spelling ecstasy
And you, you two......

Did you hear the stuff that Krishna said?
Or know for you that Jesus' blood was shed?
Is it in your heart or in your head?
Or does the truth lie in the center spread? --Pete Townshend


There is a hard and fast rule where non-weight-bearing clients are concerned. We do not transfer them unless a sling is in place. There is another rule about people who go dead-weight during a transfer. You guide them slowly down. I know these things. Really!

Today my lovely client decided she would get up out of the bed she has taken to more and more. This time around it has been 8 days in bed. She is extremely weak. She is also anorexic and phobic about injury. She cannot abide the touch of anyone for assistance in transfers. Should you decide to do it another way than the one she has laid out, she will feign deafness and do it her way anyway. I was in a lean-over position, back straight. The transfer SHOULD take about 4 seconds maximum. She decided she was too weak and let herself fall --forwards-- whilst screaming: "Dont let go of me! Don't let go of me!"

I could have guided her down but her wheelchair was in the way, and the table. She would surely crack her pelvis at the very least. I just could not do it. I held onto her. She took her sweet bloody time getting herself sorted out all the while I am holding onto her pajama bottoms by the waistband.

You know what? I am very sore. I should have declined the transfer.


Client 2 battled in the past with a very serious depression. She is a very nice woman who is suffering with back problems. The pain she is experiencing is stopping her from continuing her life in a normal manner. She is now taking very strong pain killers.

As with all people taking such medicines, she now has a new problem: constipation.
She is more proactive than most drinking cranberry juice, eating figs, taking stool softeners and lots of water. Still, today was day 6 of nothing in the bowel department.

Yesterday, she was telling me she felt like crying. Today she really was crying. There is nothing I can do without a Doctors' order. This being a holiday weekend the best I could do was to suggest she call an ambulance _or_ tough it out until the next person arrives and then call. Or wait til morning and call the Doctor. All solutions that really are not.

Thankfully, clients after that were all feeling well, and behaving themselves.
All in all, a typical mundane day in the care lane.


The mundane man resembles a great ship made for the mighty ocean but trying to navigate in a millpond. He has no far port to reach, no lifting horizon, no precious cargo to carry. His hours are absorbed in routine and petty tyrannies. Small wonder if he gets dissatisfied, quarrelsome, and fed up.One of life’s greatest tragedies is a person with a 10-by-12 capacity and a two-by-four soul. [Dr. Kenneth Hildebrand]


Fish and Chippers

I went on a date!

Aren't you glad you are sitting down?
A loverly date with a very nice man.

mmm fish and chippers! Mmm walk on the beach! mmm rainshower necessitating leaning into mr. date. Right on God!

It was a good time.


--- just wanted to share this info with you 'clue!
Dating in the REAL world.


All that we see or seem
is but a dream within a dream.




Yesterday, my entire day was rewrit and today I had just started when again, I was changed around. This happens when too many people have called in sick or too many discharges into Community happen. This week I believe it is worker illnesses. Change means new people to me and I love that! Some very fine new clients I met today. It was grand.

-----oh I had something to say, really I did, and when I remember it, I shall edit this post for all to enjoy. In the meantime, whadda putzs!

By the Sea by the Sea by the beautiful Sea

Inbetween clients, when I am able, I sit by the Sea and watch the waves. There is a large resident gull population to keep me entertained, if no sealions are in the Bay, and if even the gulls are quiet, we always have crows. Boy, do we have crows.

Listening to my radio, and there was a piece on the changing face of the Island.
An interview with an author and her sister-in-law, who worked for the local landmark at the tender age of 15 back in the 1920s. She is a client this woman is. Tiny little thing with a very jaundiced eye. She sounded so sweet on the radio. -ha!--

Yes, we are changing quickly here in Paradise. Someone told the masses and they are coming in droves. Alas. The local landmark will be pulled down to make way for *beachfront* condos.
Stupid developers. You can't buy paradise once it is gone. Of course I know little or nothing about development except that trees die, habitat is destroyed, species extinct and then we all say never mind dear, you have an oceanfront view now. I wonder if the cockroaches will miss us. I bet not.


Death 101

The course in Death 101 is full enrollment but oddly enough very few people write their midterms. It is not like you can fail Death, but you certainly can do it badly.

Care for me became a career from the moment I saw the decline in a family member.
It was instinctual, and I felt the nudge to upgrade and retrain. Thankfully, my first stop was a Hospice Course where I learned to honour the Spirit of the client. A wonderful Instructor, Helen _____ was the right fit for that job. She pulled together a 3 month course that touched on all aspects of death and dying as pertains to Hospice workers.

My client of the morning is one that I bless Helen for every day, in that the care comes with a dash of insistance on safe practise and a dollop of compassion. I know noone really wants to die. We may wish our lives could be otherwise, we may wish our minds worked in other ways, but none of us truly wishes ourselves dead. At some point in the palliative process that changes. Something makes the standard of living unbearable, and we let go. At least, that is what I perceive to be happening.

Morning woman so beautiful and full of elegance and taste is loosing her battle with breast cancer. She is conducting her dying in the same way as she lived: defiantly and in full control.
The only trouble with this is that control is not possible as you begin the final death process.

Letting her try to do things is my way the middle way, and as she finds her strength lessened, she asks for help immediatly. I find this kinder than insisting to do it MY way. She is a smart woman. She knows the score.

Today I put her back to bed and assured her friends who are the primary care givers that it is not possible for her to live much beyond this week. It is a miracle she is still alive but we are already past her boundary line for personal care and I can see she will find the next chapter intolerable. She will let go.

I pray that God in his mercy sends a special angel to her to bear the tremendous burden of pride she has carried for so long. Once that load is off she too can soar.

"One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar." ~ Helen Keller ~

My Isle of Serenity

Privacy, peace and serenity.

With me, every day along for the ride comes my Isle of peace and serenity. It flows out from me to the world. The Earth groans under the weight of the dominant species, voraciously devouring her and I too groan. I rely on my Isle to keep me sane.

Watching the boiling seas of grey today, the saline womb miffed at our impudence, was is really just a blink since we crawled ashore?

ah Darwin: thief of ideas: MY God is bigger than that!
My God touches, envolopes his creation while we push away ever trying to make him in our image. Small gods require idols and pantheons but my God has the whole world to testify the Glory of his unknowable awesomeness.

A part of me is divine. When at last I too lay down for the last time that part will soar to be with Him.


Still a little sad about the house. Hoping that at least I get to see the guy.

"Feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavor and human creations."
Albert Einstein

For now, my Island of peace and serenity goes with me.


Planning and scheming

Having spent each day in care, I return home for my downtime.
I need alot more alone time than anyone else I know. This is not new. I have always required it. Now more than ever I have to zealously guard my privacy as I have a family member who is on the very edge of requiring care. There is only one of me, and well I know it.

I am very involved in Health and Wellness in the Workplace and carry around with me brochures and cards for other Professionals who appear to be in need of a listening ear.
Too bad more people do not avail themselves of the service.
It is essential to self-care to eat well and get plenty of exercise. I work so hard some days I go through 2 t-shirts under my uniform. Of course some of the homes I do care in are over 100degrees fahrenheit. (did I spell that correctly?)

Once I come home and eat, and nap, I have around 2 hours before I have obligations.
This is time that is sacred to me. Lately the sanctuary is vacant. My parent is needing me.
I hired a private nurse today for him. He does not really realise she is our employee, not yet anyway. He is too busy flirting.

Now: hmm, I am younger... do I get to flirt?
drat it... nopers.

Every week I look forward to the two days I get to be on my own all on my own.
I plan and scheme how to fill them up with fun things.
I used to go fishing. I used to roar around in my sports car or on my bike.
I used to fly my kites all day every day off.
I seem to have gone off those pursuits.

Now mostly, I write or play rpg or read. The lure of glittery things entices me out to the shoppes. I am so cheap I squeak. It is a good kind of squeak though. I do not owe anyone $$ no Visa no Mastercard, and I pay cash for everything. It works for me. Everything shows up in the Thrift is you wait long enough, and check regularly. It is tons of fun. I miss my MGB and my Harley but hey: picking is fun too. The key ingredient to me for time off is to ENJOY IT!
There is alot of fun in most aspects of life. mmm and food. I loves my food. Cooking is a pleasure but its always nice on a day off to go out for tasty and delicious breakfast at the local A & W. Its the bestest. I love my brekkies there. Usually it is full of old farts not many fart-ettes, and man how they talk! I read the paper and listen. They all know me but I do not sit with any of them unless they are friends of my parent.

In a related social note for myself, mostly:
This coming weekend is a Highland Games in a city North of here on the Saturday, and, an even bigger one in a city south of here on the Sunday. I can go saturday!


It must be Spring and this must be Spring fever.
Since I saw that man working on his fence I have been on this strange turn of mind.
Anyone would think I was 14.


"It's spring fever.... You don't quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"
Mark Twain quotes (American humorist, writer and lecturer. 1835-1910)

Echoes or ripples?

Last year I made a private offer on a home in my little city.
The price was right and the sole glitch was that I had to sell my little place first.
I had my place on the market with 2 offers I was considering when I was told my private vendor had listed the property with a Realtor.

Calling the vendor, I took great care to be exceptionally civil. I knew one little strayance from the path would result in my YELLING AND SCREAMING about the huge breech of plain common courtsey involved in her behaviour. I know _anyone at all_ can be pissy for no reason or not much of a reason. Not considering myself to be *just anyone* I choose to act better.
It was tough in this case. I had to remind myself of my own credo about manners and kindness.

Of course I could have taken some action, legally, but do I want a home I have to sue for?
Nope. I do not. It took 3 or 4 months before I could speak with the vendor. We live in a small small city and she has much the same habits as I do regarding shopping. We crossed paths constantly and she would dart to another aisle, eyes down. One day I woke up and just did not care anymore. I saw her that very day and gave her a big hug and told her to forget about it.
She burst into tears. It was over. Done.

Now it is a year later and she was telling me constantly about these 2 guys who lived across from her. She was saying how hard they work on their home and how great it was to see a project being completed. Then, she was saying the home was for sale.

Admittedly, I was somewhat shy of going anywhere near her in the Real Estate world, but they home was listed through an agent and it was real cute to look at. The price, also, was just right.
I was concerned that I would not have a chance to see it and bid on it before the sold sign went up. I went over and met the owner.

Small world, little city but even so this was a bizarre connection. I looked into the eyes of a tall, slinky man who exuded positivity. He was working on his fence, sweating a little. Maybe that is why he looked so damned cute. I knew him, I thought and was gaping. Then I asked him if his last name was _________. And indeed it was.

He was the son of a client of mine. I really enjoyed this particular Lady. She was so clear in her needs and very gracious. I always enjoyed my time with her. She had been widowed during the time she received service, and now her son was living with her as resident caregiver. This was the other son. Quelle Bizarre.

Drat my Realtor anyway, I told him offer full price no subjects and he told me that wasnt necessary and drat me anyway I let him write it up. Did not get the house. It went to the person who offered full price no subjects. Drat drat drat.

I had left my phone# I think somewhere.
Ya never know. Maybe it wasn't about the house. Maybe the Universe had something else in mind. Too odd tho, no?

There are very few families who are reasonable to Caregivers. Generally, the nicer the client is the worse the families are in trying to control every action and interaction. I still remember the grand olde man of 96 who was so happy to be home from *respite* where his family stashed him while they went on holiday. At least that is what they told him.

"I am so glad to be home. I really hated it there. I think I can stay here at home if I have the right support set up. I told my daughter that."

2 weeks later she put him in permanent care in the facility he detested and listed his house for quick sale. I see her around from time to time but I cannot bring myself to say hello. I feel like slapping her. Bad me.

And then we have these 2 brothers who have seen their aging mom through many difficult times and never let her down. Makes a difference when you know you are not alone.

Synchronicities are people, places or events that your soul attracts into your life - to help you evolve or to place emphasis on something going on in your life.
The more 'consciously aware' you become of how your soul creates - the higher your frequency goes and the faster your soul manifests.
Each day your life will become filled with meaningful coincidences - synchronicities - that you have attracted - or created in the grid of your experiences in the physical.

Cornelius Wilheim (part 2)

Cor was rushed to the Hospital following his accident. The Doctors advised his family, the ones who weren't in Emergency surgery, that he would not make the morning on this side of the temporal veil. In the morning, duely shocked and amazed, they revised that to the Weekend.
"3 days at best, better make some plans."
Friday morning, gathered around his bedside to say goodbye, the Doctor leaned over Cor to check some function or other. He made some remark about his failing and Cor's eyes flew open.
He lifted his head and looked at the Doctor in annoyance.
"Stop telling everyone I am dying. I am not going anywhere."
Having said that, he went back into his little sleep. Naturally he recovered.

I loved Cor deeply. He was my father-in-law once upon a time.
I toyed with going to his funeral but I have my own father stuff happening and really, I should have gone to see him alive, not show up gratuitously after his end. I have the ultimate respect for the family inviting me. How very decent.

Ceremony is necessary as the outwork and defense of manners.
Lord Chesterfield


The Dutchman

I met the Dutchman when I was much younger and prettier than I am now.
Good thing too about the prettier part, as I think my brains were scattered all over the landscape; out looking for my common sense. He found me utterly charming.
I found him a marvel of nature.

It was a chaotic relationship. He decided that I should speak Dutch to him therefor he spoke *only* Dutch to me. I would cry in frustration and blush. One day there were six or seven people in the room along with me, and he was telling a story. I laughed. It was a moment before I realised I had understood the humour, in Dutch. He knew what he was doing all along the canny old bird.

Unlike me, he could tolerate the sun and would garden from dawn to dusk some days. He had a regular sized city lot in Vancouver which means 33 by 110 including a lane allowance. There was not a strand of grass left. He provided his year round vegetables from that little lot and could not understand why his neighbours did not follow suit. Having lived through 2 wars and the depression he was thrifty to say the least. In world war 2 he managed to keep the family going while all around him people starved. His front room was bombed out and he was roused from his bed in the middle of the night while German Occupying Officers searched his house for the radio they had been informed he listened to. He never caved in to the pressure nor did they ever find it. He was really clever about things, even in those years.

Once the war was over, his little family expanded to include more children, and he contemplated a move to Canada. Inbetween work and musings he sang in a baritone tenor for the entire block to hear. After all, is that not why God gives some of us louder voices? To share with all around the marvels of his creation? Cor certainly thought so. That was his name.
Cornelius Wilheim. God gave him a double heaping helping of moxie. He would need it. But for now there was the Choir.

A nearby Cathedral was recruiting voices for their touring choir. Naturally Cor knew God would want him to do that and so he joined up and had the honour of going to the Vatican and singing for the Pope. The Choir was further rewarded for their efforts by a personal audience with His Holiness, the Bishop of Rome. When they were all assembled the Pope went down the line praising each man for his part in the recital. He came to Cor and was about to praise him when Cor decided to share with him: "I'm not Catholic you know."
He said the Pope laughed. I bet the Choirmaster didnt tho.

Cor did move the family to Canada in the 1950s where he had another daughter to complete his family. She was young enough to be the child of his first daughter who was long since out of the house and married with kids of her own. He doted on this last child of his and took her out of School at the drop of a hat if there was even a whisper of an excuse to do so. He got more of a murmuring when his sister arrived from Holland for a visit. Naturally he took his beloved youngest daughter with him to pick up the Aunt and he, his wife and daughter and sister set out from the airport on a sight seeing driver around Vancouver.

The roads in West Vancouver can be steep and slippery but they are well maintained. Cor was driving up a 22% incline when a car pulling a load of gravel slipped in front of him. He let the car gain some distance as he pointed out various local attractions and visages to his sister.
He thought he saw some little thing out of place but could not quite get his conscious brain to identify it until he realised with a start that the gravel trailer was going the wrong direction having snapped off from the towbar. The trailer which was fully loaded was careening down the hill towards him.


Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado.
Menander Greek comic dramatist (342 BC - 292 BC)


Thank you, you can go now

Ah friends.
So helpful.

God bless the friends of this world who take it upon themselves to see their beloveds to the next. For all that you angels do, bless your hearts.

Now you have your warm and fuzzies. Take them and butt out!
I do not know what possesses friends to think they are expert in end of life care.
They are expert in friendship.

I will speak to this later on. I am annoyed atm as you may surmise.
My client was telling me this morning how she loved her friends but she just wanted them to butt out. When the friends come and take over they yank her out of her chair and walk her without her walker and expect things that are just not teachable in one session.

Be a good friend.
Remember this and leave the personal care to professionals when End of life looms.
And dont be yarding your friend up by the arms. Or hanging off their subcue med arm walking them. Or asking them a million stupid questions.

Be a good friend.



"Just a cuppa tea thank you dear"

We do the job whatever that is, however defined by our written instructions, whereever we are sent. For me, that generally means alot of personal care, and things a person would want to do themselves if they could manage it. When a client is able, I just assist. When a client is palliating and weak, I do it.

The PPS scale we use, indicates to me before I enter the home what to expect.
I had a woman assessed pps30 decide to get up and take a bath alone. Locked herself in the bathroom to prove the point (and desire for independance). You just never know!

A very lovely person I met recently, was reticient regarding personal care. It was a strong boundary that she would not yield. Every day I went, and every day she declined.
"Just make a cup of dear, dear. That is what I would like best to do."
We floated in tea for 2 weeks an hour at a time. She could barely keep her eyes open and was having trouble making it through the night, but she would not use a walker thank you VERY much nor would she leave her bedroom unless fully dressed, lipstick on.

On the weekend just before Mother's Day, she and I were alone for a few hours.
"Let's use the fine china today. Just a minute."
She wobbled over to the dining room and took out her best dishes. I made the tea and poured into her wedding present cups. She went into the pantry and got out truffles.
Tea and truffles. We talked about men and gardens and all things lite.
And then it was time for me to go home.

She went to hospital an hour later. After I left.
But we had a wonderful cuppa. And the truffles were very good.

It was hard honouring her path.
But we honoured it.

"When the going gets tough, the tough eat chocolate."
--ME! (and millions of other women)

Frozen terror--- the Fridge!

I love starting the day with my lovely Danish client.
She tells me about her beloved homeland while cheerily eating her 5 minute egg, toasted sesame buttered bun and sipping her very strong coffee, whitened with just a smidge of whipping cream.

MMMM I want to be like that when I am 83.

Today she told me about the flag that flew outside the King's residence after the Nazi occupation of Denmark.

"The King called the German commander and told him to take the flag of Nazi Germany down and to replace the Danish flag that had always flown there. The Commander told him that the flag would remain. The King then told him, in that case he would send a soldier to take it down. The Commander told him the soldier would be killed. The King said: "The soldier is me." "

Apparantly King Christian was a very good man. We never hear such stories here unless a patriotic dane tells them.

We took our next position on the battlefield facing our enemy: the fridge.
(cue music: DAH DAH DUM!)

I could not fit one more thing in that fridge. I asked her if she was expecting a shortage of danish jam and specialty condiments. She has someone in there every day checking on her assisting and assessing as her breathe is laboured at best. Apparantly everyone else thinks she likes hoarding jams and jars by the hundred.

"Can't we sort this fridge of yours out?" I said hopefully.
"I know these things are expensive but I am afraid you are going to poison yourself with something outdated or that I would throw the wrong thing away."

"Oh dear, I wish you would."

"Not ME, my dear, *US*."

There was nothing for it but to show up a little early and take every single item out and put it on the dining room table for her to approve or decry. I took 3 black garbage bags to the curb.

The fridge is looking pretty smug today. But wait 'til Thursday. I will finish the job.

Sounds mundane?
My client has been ill about 4 times in 3 months with miscellaneous gastric complaints.
SOMEONE had to clean that buggery fridge.



Tea and Cookies

On the very best china no less.
I will write this later, just dont want to forget it.

Wedgewood china and a very houseproud woman


Just went out to give him something

Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Don't I say that almost every Sunday? Sadly it is almost always true. It certainly was today.

I start every Sunday with the client who is the most demanding of them all.
Clients come and go, live and die, come on service, drop off service and still she is around.
Not that we do not appreciate the business or anything but it is too bad she does not understand the concept of repricosity. She believes it is only about her and everyone else must defer or deter. Blah.

I was thinking to myself, after I left her home, how nice the rest of the day would be.
Clients 2 and 3 are full care, but on the way to independance again, client 4 is a joy to be around.
Client 5 is in Hospital now so client 6-7-8 would be me! Going home!!

*buzz* ---wrong answer---
Clients 2 and 3 went like a dream.
Client 4 the joy and delight did not appear to be home. I had a bad feeling. After waiting the requisite 4 minutes it would take for someone to come, slowly, to the door, I went in search of the hidden key and went in.

The usual place my dear client goes is the shower. Not in the shower.
Once the garage door was a source of confusion, and I had to liberate my client from the garage.
Today, it was not the garage. I checked the bathrooms, the bedrooms, the garage, and laundry rooms, and looked around for shoes, and coats to indicate a walk. No no no and nope.

I opened the living room curtains, and looked outside.
Nothing in the back yard. My spidie-senses were tingling.
On the concrete patio laying flat, face-up, blue-lipped, was the client.
Rushing out to check for a pulse I saw an eyelid flutter.

"I have to call for the paramedic, just wait a moment."
The client was so cold, eyes glazed over, foam from both corners of the mouth. I held a pale cold hand and spoke quietly waiting for the ambulance.
My client was muttering something almost inaudible.
"I just was getting something for the dog. He looked so hungry. I just came out to give him something to eat."

God bless the people who train us. God bless the man who long ago drilled into my cottonball head, put a blanket over any crisis victim and call 9-1-1 and while you wait keep the person calm.

The clothes had to be cut off. The shoulder was out of its socket. The right temple had a horrid contusion. The upper back was moving at cross purposes to the lower back.
And all through these manueverings the client quietly waited. No fussing.

I have a new hero.
The Paramedics in my District.
And my dear client who was most likely outside all night laying, waiting, knowing help would come. Eventually. After they left, I cleaned up as much blood as I could. It was distressing enough without the family arriving to see *that*.

I had noticed when I arrived, and again when I left that on either side of my client both neighbours had company for Mothers day. On one side they were sitting on the patio drinking coffee, and sharing chit-chat. On the other side, they were gardening. For some reason noone thought to look over the shubbery where a 80 year old hero lay.

damn it all.

Ambrose Bierce: Patience:
A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.


A new word is learn-ed.

\Steg`a*nog"ra*phy\, n. [Gr. ? covered (fr. ? to cover closely) + -graphy.] The art of writing in cipher, or in characters which are not intelligible except to persons who have the key; cryptography.

Yes, I like that word.


Shutting down?

We were talking about those damned pills again.

"I only have enough for 3 weeks. I guess the Doctor didn't want to waste money on me when I am dead."

Perhaps I am over-bold but I said:
"You know I believe you go when it is your time to go. Not one minute before."

"Oh yes , I do too absolutely. But he only gave me 4 weeks you know.... and the pills will run out in less than that."

"Well then, it will give me the GREATEST of pleasures to come with you to the Pharmacy for your renewal on them."

We both laughed.

Thank God for humour.


Humor is merely tragedy standing on its head with its pants torn.
Irvin Cobb


Today's Confession

I am tired.

There you go. Simple news.

Would you want to know?

Imagine yourself at the Doctor.
Imagine you have been experiencing spells of weakness. You have always had a tendency towards lethargy so you perhaps are not as alarmed as some may find themselves.
Imagine your blood counts are uncommonly low in certain areas and for a decade or so you have been given transfusions. You do not get them all that regularly, but they have been increasing in frequency. You look in the mirror and you see a change.

Now think of the worst thing a Doctor could tell you.
Is it cancer? A.I.D.S.? Brain tumour?
Would you want to know how long you had?
Would you want to know what to expect?

Most palliative clients are aware of their impending demise whether they are specifically told a timeframe or not. Most of the time, their Physician will give them a little speech along the lines of: " You can expect a natural process where the systems of the body will gently shut down"

Now: imagine that you steel yourself up for this visit. You know you do not have many years left. You hope you have a few. You sit down and your Doctor says to you:

"I am afraid your situation is very grave. You have less than 4 weeks to live."

Can you wrap your head around that one?
Then to emphasize this point your Doctor writes out a prescription for some pills you need once per day. The prescription he writes is for 25 pills.

To my mind I think it would be kinder in such a case to say to the client:
"I am afraid the situation is not what we hoped. Your cancer is terminal and I am sorry but it is a question of months, not weeks."
Sounds a little less brutal than "less than 4 weeks."

Today my client looked at me and said: "I have 21 days left."

Would you want to know?
I think a little stretch in the cruel truths of life is kinder.


There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.
Suyin Han