"OH! How....."

Many a truth is spoken in...... my face?

Having another change on my schedule, I found myself going to a wonderful lady who lives in The Village with the most stunning view available in the downtown area.
She has exquisite taste, and had life gone differently she tells me she would have loved to have been an Interior Designer or Decorator. I tell her she already was.

The last time I saw her was over one year ago, and before that likely the same.
We rarely cross paths.

The Lady gets her regular service administered by the same 3 or 4 people and each day she has a plan for that particular person. The day I arrived she was expecting someone else. She opened the door to me and said:

"Oh! How very dreadful!"

Later we laughed about it but I know exactly what she meant, honest I do.


We all hate change.


*-=- Sanctuary -=-*

Check out that URL here (in case you don't see the link above)

What an interesting article.
What an unusual society. Great name tho.

I have sanctuary in my home.
I have an altar and many reverential objects which I imagine can be construed as idoltrous by Right-Wing Christians who worship money and television but are threatened by reverence to sacredness.

Interestingly, Theosophists believe in similar Doctrines I embrace with a glaring exception.
Can you spot it?

* reincarnation,
* karma (or moral justice),
* the existence of worlds of experience beyond the physical,
* the presence of life and consciousness in all matter,
* the evolution of spirit and intelligence as well as of physical matter,
* the possibility of our conscious participation in evolution,
* the power of thought to affect one's self and surroundings,
* the reality of free will and self-responsibility,
* the duty of altruism, a concern for the welfare of others, and
* the ultimate perfection of human nature, society, and life.

I do not believe in the ultimate perfection of human nature, etc.
I do believe that by virtue of our existance in this realm, temporal beings possessed by the eternal, we are imperfect by nature.

Otherwise: These people are quirky-cool.

Early Retirement

One of the Care-Aides from a regional hospital took early retirement at the age of 33. His mother, wondering why he had slept in went downstairs to awaken him only to find he was *gone.* What a shocker!

He was a big boy and to all outward appearances healthy despite obesity.
He was a pleasant and compassionate man. A heart attack in his sleep sent him to the next world.

I think I will give up cream in my coffee.
Perhaps even forego the coffee.

I am not ready for retirement.



Quirky peculiar odd and endlessly interesting!

I remember this site when it was campsark.com!
Now it is planetsark. You go girl!

Sark has written these amazing books that are full of vibrancy and colour.
I was drawn to them by the titles.
The one I am thinking of is called: The Bodacious Book of Succulence.

Now it isn't everyone who could write a book like that and get it published.
But Sark isn't just anyone. She is sooo cool. http://www.planetsark.com/studio_meet_sark.htm

She reminds me of a client I met many long years ago who was labelled as a functional schizophrenic. Now isn't that just the most helpful diagnosis and so very condusive to team-work.
"Hi I am your Nurse and you must be....?"
"Oh hi! I am Jim a functioning schizophrenic."

I am not sure what Jim's real deal was other than that he was incredibly creative and saw life in rich primary colours. He painted his apartment in every hue you can imagine: swaths of scarlet, ceilings of green, doors that were rainbow edged.
It was magnificent.

Brief aside: The similarity of Sark to Jim has nothing to do with mental health diagnosis and everything to do with attitude and joy.
I have no idea if Sark has Public Health Admin types scribbling opinions about her and I doubt she would care if they did. I know I wouldn't.
She touches many lives in wonderful ways.
She is a true healer.
She is a free Spirit in a world that honours fettered freaks.

And now to Jim.
Jim had colour everywhere he touched. He also wrote copiously.
Everywhere in Jim's apartment on every surface available he had journalled and scribbled prose and poetry and shopping lists for joy and peace.
The walls and the floors; especially the floors were covered with these interesting quirky thoughts. I did not meet Jim through the Arts or friends.
He was on my schedule for a dressing change where he had burned himself on his blowtorch. He was sculpting something.

The back yard where he lived contained a small shed which for a few extra dollars a month he rented and used as a studio. The irony was that Jim did some chairs for a bistro and then some downtown gallery owner decided that if Jim would build it, he could sell it. Jim is very successful and much imitated and really really pleased that people like his work. He still lives in the small colourful apartment and still has a few spaces to fill in.

Isn't it interesting that his careplan said: "Functioning Schizophrenic."
I kinda thought it should have said: "Burn to lower leg. Dressing change by HCN. 2x daily medication reminder (for antibiotics)
but that's just me.

I picked up Sarks book today: the bodacious one and I laughed.
I am not laughing at Sark. She is wonderful.
I am laughing with Jim.

He is wonderful too.

-------------- @

btw: the last time I saw Jim I asked him what it was like to be "famous" now.
He laughed and said he had not noticed any difference. His agent deposits the money in his bank account and nothing much has changed except someone has to do his taxes now.


"We are all splendidly imperfect!' (Sark)


* ----------------- Always an addict?

Along that long road of life the one that weaves in and out of other people's causeways, I seem to run parallel to addicts. Me, them, us: addicts!

What am I addicted to?
Shiny things!
Lazing about!

That's just this week.

Alcohol and I do not get along but mostly because virtually everyone in my family has an alcohol problem. I cannot do street drugs without disastrous results, and that's just pot! I do take a prescription drug for my asthma and another for my brain but nothing dire. I am notorious for being the one who falls asleep at parties. Definitly the straight one. Definitly the least likely to party all night.

I might just be compulsive.
I do like my shopping. But only in cheap stores. I am cheap!!
Is it an addiction? No. I do not think so. It is a strong preference.

White flour.
I might be addicted to that.
Likely so.

Now I have so many clients with substance abuse problems, and of all ages.
The worst addiction I can see is to Zopiclone.
A Doctor prescribes it to a listless senior who soon cannot sleep without it.
Likely not with it either but without it there is withdrawal.

92 years old and 120 pounds, a six foot two senior cannot sleep even with 2 zopiclone. The Doctor took them away and now we have a very cranky senior who isn't eating but has discovered the joys of Scotch.

He tells me that in his younger days he was a *social drinker* but he quit because after retirement he found the cost restrictive. Not that he was an "alcoholic", you understand. It was very important I understood that.

Once an addict:

OH I don't know.



Once an addict....

Addiction and recovery.... Kansas or Oz?

Some days I believe it is Oz I have awakened into and other times I am absolutely certain I am feet on the ground in Oz. It is hard to really know. Mental health is just a catchphrase we use to typify behaviours specific to clients in the system using resources allocated to Mental Health.

There is a woman in the system who is intelligent and skilled and alcoholic.
There are thousands like her, with those traits in this area but they are not in the system. They work or not, pay their bills, or not, and live the consequences.
That last bit is not optional. The piper must be paid.
Just depends on by whom.

Mental health is a cushion for bad behaviours when necessary to fulfill the need to stave off reality. "Oh I couldn't help it, I am having trouble dealing with my.... (catchphrase au jour here)..."

Now I am not a total bitch about this. I do understand Mental Illness better than 99.9% of my peers. I see things clearly and I like to be part of solution oriented care. I do not like aiding and abetting bad behaviours. We are not to judge. We are to provide care to all without judging. Being currently human, I still catch myself judging.

There are at least 4 elderly clients being stiffed on hours who have real need.
Obviously there are dozens of times more than 4 but these 4 have active mental health issues. They are toughing it out in a heartless system.
Now to our other client.

Someone comes to clean, someone else to check in and socialise and yet there is an on-site person being paid to provide food and shelter. Government contracts.
So: off to the Lady who worries about whether anyone is going to hear her sobbing at night from fear who gets someone *once* a week for a shower while someone else takes out the other Lady for socialisation.

What is wrong with this world?


I do not think I want to pay for gas or food this month, and I don't feel like working and oh dear, I think I am being oppressed because obviously I have a personality disorder at the very least and pass me a few beer so I can see if I have alcoholic tendencies... PAGING MENTAL HEALTH I NEED HELP!

And after telling me to put my big-girl panties on and deal with it...
I think I would be told to piss off.

* --------------------


The Last Time I saw Alice

Manipulative people are used to having it all their way, even when what they choose is clearly not the best thing for them. I would say Alice characterised this truism more than any other client I have had. She drove me crazy with her unhealthy choices and her firm desire to keep things dysphoric and dysfunctional.

It is all about choice. Her choice to live as she wished. Mine to keep or discard baggage without my name on it. I had alot of trouble honouring Alice's choices, but I did. Sometimes I was extremely unprofessional in my outbursts in the Office but it was my way of coping. Alice through the Looking Glass (darkly).

I had not seen Alice for two or three months when I was unexpectedly called to assist someone else with her. She was in bed. As always. Like a few others on our roster Alice liked her bed rather too much. Unlike others this strategy had backfired and she was no longer able to get out of bed unassisted. I pulled off her blanket and was struck by the size of her ankles. I looked closely at her and saw a definite change. From imminently palliative (for the last 5 years) to truly palliative. I must have looked concerned so she asked me what I was doing.
I made some bs thing up and we carried on.

My co-worker was trained in the same University as I was by Nursing Instructors of the same ilk as mine and we do the same things the same way without needing to talk it through. What a pleasure. We were done very quickly and Alice was definitly pleased.

"Now why can't the rest of your crew do things so well?"
(A manipulative statement but of course I agreed ;) )

"What a pleasure it is to have two such well-trained people at the same time and not be put through what I was last night."
(Another manipulative statement which I also silently agreed with.)

I read her notes and several people had documented over the last few weeks, that Alice had stated she was dying and desired no care. "Just leave me alone. AND DON"T CALL AN AMBULANCE."

As we left Alice smiled and I told her how nice it was to see that smile.
(She did not hear me.)
I raised my voice.

She made a face and pulled a silly grinning smile which was rather disconcerting as she resembled nothing more closely than an animated corpse.

We left the home together and at the curb I asked my co-worker what the date was.
She looked at me oddly.

I do not know what possessed me to say it to her but I did.
"This is my prediction. Alice won't be here long. I think at the very latest it will be March 15th."

She got a little aggitated and said:
"Why would you say that? What makes you think that?"
"End of life signs", I said. "Anyone else would be long gone and I cannot imagine even Alice staving off the reaper much longer."

She is, of course gone.
The absolute bitter end. That is what they call it.
But the last time I saw Alice she smiled a genuine smile and the other 999 times I saw her she was complaining or arguing or just plain laying there.

So it's not all bad!

------------ @


Two horrors. T * W * O *

It is fortunate noone from my rl has any idea that I am a blogger.
I belong to no blog community and I expect no comments.
This blog is where I let it out. Those things that oppress me.
If I did not, I would not be able to work effectively in my chosen field.

Prior to this blog, there was another which I deleted in a fit of pique.
Prior to that blog, there were reams of notebooks which I burned also in a fit of pique. It is risky documenting truths.

Online is more permanent but really.... I never use real names only situations.
I rarely. if ever, talk about personal stuff other than the bare bones.
My friends do not feature in my blog.
Not normally at least. Today is an exception.

This was one hell of a day.

First up:

I have a friend I rarely see due to our conflicting schedules and lifestyles.
We are church friends and family friends not really what you would call personal friends. I ran into him today. I asked after his wife.


His wife was depressed for years, perhaps decades with much pharmaceutical intervention involved. Even SSRI's did not seem to put a dent in her long slide down. He was despairing for some time now as to whether he could live the rest of his life with her. She does not work. She does not cook nor clean. She goes for holidays with him but even then its dismal. He has been wrestling with the divorce demon for a long long time. He is a Christian.

A routine eye exam showed swelling behind her eye. Her eye doctor got her a same-day appointment with a specialist in the big city. The specialist sent her for a same-day MRI. The hospital admitted her and she wound up off for surgery. BRAIN SURGERY. A ten pound tumour was removed from her right frontal lobe.

Now I had to blink a few times to get my head around that.
Ten pounds?
If they had gone on holiday as planned without that eye exam which she almost did not go to, she would be dead. The pressure was critical.

So: is life better now?
No. He is depressed. He is angry. He does not know where to turn.
She is still behaving very badly. The Healthcare team did not provide followup counselling for him or her.

I just listened in horror.
I will try to hook him up with someone.
Counsellor or Mental health or some bloody person.

It is just so sad :(


So I digest that..... and it didn't go down well.... and I go to my friend's house and ask her if she wants to go coffee-ing. She gets a phonecall.
She disappears for 1/2 hour. Her daughter and I sit chatting. She returns looking stunned. We go for coffee.

Who was on the telephone?
Why Family Services of course.
Seems that her ex-husband who can't seem to pay his child support wrote them a letter telling them he felt pressured by them and was going to buy a gun.
Yes. A gun.

The saddest part of this story is that after 90 minutes of coffeeing, I still had not convinced her to go to the Police and have an active file.
He has threatened her in the past.
He was a violent husband with a volatile temper.
She got out of the marriage via a safe house although they are still not divorced ten years down the road. She is afraid to set him off.
She only wants her children to be safe. She does not seem to understand that as long as he is calling the shots they are never safe.
Oh and yes.... 2 out of 3 of them see their father regularly.
The 3rd refuses to as he has been abusive to her.

My friend thinks that now they are all teenagers things will be better.
I told her that as long as he has to pay her money, this will go on.
He has a great job and makes alot of money but he does not feel he should pay anything. He doesn't consider himself abusive. In fact he likes to tell people she is abusive. So he doesn't pay ensuring the pressure builds... and Family Maintenance Services get on his case and .....
Another circle.

The world is crazy.
I am not perfect either.
But I thank God that I am not in either of those two situations.
God help them because all I can do is listen.

I feel impotent.
And you know what? I believe my friend may end up dead.
It is a cycle this violence.
It makes me ..... feel impotent.



Too good not to share *amen*

I once had a boyfriend named Doug.
Doug with a hug.
Not to be confused with Chriss with a kiss.
and Lex.... oh, nevermind!

Doug told me once that a very odd pagan he met in Vancouver, home to many and various pagans, told him that the word amuse means "no think".
At the time I thought that observation was very deep.
Now I find it very amusing.

One of the ways in which I find myself amused from the order of things, is to peruse really odd sites on this Internet of ours.
www.poee.org has some of the most amazingly amusing things in amongst the complete drekk.
Case in point:

I am not a pagan, really I am not but this was funnnny.
The First Church of reason.
Oh uh huh.

I suppose it is a baaaad thing that I do laughing at such.
But it IS funny.

I may be amused and I do concur with many of such ideas but please:
Do not send them money.
Free distribution yes.
Money, uhm no.


Queen of Hearts

Being Valentines' Day, naturally I take cards and chocolate with me to work.
I even make sure it is sugar-free so my diabetic clients can enjoy it.
The first few times I did it, the other Nurses coming in behind me to homes were somewhat mystified.

"It's not like we are in Elementary school."

I never really tell anyone what I do for clients.
I just do it.
Cards seem to tattle all my themselves.

------- <3

Today I have all Valentine's and none.
To all the boys I've loved before: I wish you a wonderful joyous and supremely peaceful Valentine's Day and hope you are spending it with someone even more wonderful for you than I was.
A tall order but still: I am not for everyone.
I have sampled my share and more of relationships but never found a true match for me. That is not to say there isn't one in the wings that if fate allowed I wouldn't wish to share life with but: oh those pesky details, ever and anon.

I know that each man I chose to share a part of my life with had strengths and virtues I admired and embraced. I have excellent taste.

So boyos:
Have yourself a grande day.

Oh and hold the chocolates:
I ate enough for us all.


Cash, Cars and Karma

I hate spending big money.
I despise being in debt.
I am told I squeak a little when I walk but you know.... I only want the best deal.
Never one to scrimp on luxuries, I am the girl with the most cake.
With it all over my face, likely.

One day when I was shopping, a woman came along with the exact item I had been looking for. I said to her, "Oooooh! That's absolutely wonderful. Wish I had seen it first!" And I winked at her.
The sales woman glared a little at me and said: "Well you know you can't have it all."

What a thing to say. Of course I had a reply.
I looked her squarely in the eye and said loudly:
"Yes you sure can! You CAN have it all!"

I am sure she thought me greedy but what I meant to convey is that there is nothing wrong with having high expectations of your efforts and pursuits; even shopping, as long as you are realistic about your budget. I shop thriftily so of course I can have it all.
And I do.

But cars.... oh how I hate spending money on cars.
I require one for my job so $1200 a year goes in insurance.
Gas for me is about $75 a week.
That is already alot of money. And then there is the maintenance.

My car was an import and it broke down one time too often.
Each time is was $800 or $1300 and I was getting mightily annoyed.
The last time it broke down I parked it. Done.

When I found my next car it was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful and way out of my price range. Never one to let a little thing like asking price deter me, I took it for a test drive. The salesman called after me: "You can't afford it."

I took it out for a spin anyway.
Now I was clever enough to take my Father with me. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Naturally he supported me in my ideals of attaining the best. This support was not financial however so he was more of a cheerleader than anything else. Until.....

We got out of the car and the Salesman who was also the dealership manager said to me: "I am glad you had the opportunity to test-drive it but I am telling you, the price-range you gave me is nowhere near my best price on that car. It's loaded and has low mileage. I can't let it go for under ____$."

----> enter my Father <-----

Dad looked the salesman up and down and said: "I know you from before."
The Salesman shook his head. "No, you don't."
Dad extended his hand and said: "My name is ______, you sold me a few cars."
The man looked shocked.
"That's right I did. I remember you!"

I got the car for the price I wanted.
The man had made alot of money off the sales to my Father.
He told me he sold me the car for cost.
I don't believe it completely, but .....

The sticker price was $19,999 + taxes
I got it for $13,000 + gst only.
Thanks Dad!





Those who never leap out in faith, never soar the skies like eagles.

They never crash and burn either.

So, having leapt out in faith and belief, now I am stuck tangled in branches.
Alot of plans to cancel.
Alot of needless days taken in vacation time that cannot be changed.
More than a few family members coming from afar to see what the big deal is.
And one special family member who is completely dashed on the rocks.

I don't know.
Perhaps I am just jinxed.

*-=-=* I will now tell you a great truth.-=-=-*
(cue music)

When you step out from lofty heights, falling and flying are indistinguishable from one another.

** ---------- **

Saw old feisty today again as I was visiting in Facility.
I heard her before I saw her.
There was a minor commotion in the hall outside the room where I was.
Alot of colourful language and truly amazing usages of blue words.
I went out into the hall and there she was in her 93 yr old-ness cornering another woman of similar age. They were both in wheelchairs along this 5 foot wide hall and naturally old feisty had the other woman pinned to the wall.

I laughed and wheeled her out of harm's way to a long spew of interesting words.
I gave her a hug and told her to leave the poor older ladies alone.
"Ladies? You mean that &%$@$#!!! witch?"

I said a cheery goodbye and as always she gave me a wonderful smile and say her farewell.

Frontal lobe damage I am sure. She means well. She just.... can't be civil.
hee hee
I know it's not funny really. But she does make me laugh.
I am so very glad she is in facility and not in community where she terrorised us!

Even playing field now.

* --------


Falling for you

Oh brother!

Sure I trip over the obvious... and walk into the equally obvious but today I did a new one: I fell off a stool!

I am not sure how it happened. One moment I was sitting on a stool/deskchair and the next I was trying to figure out how to get up without hurting myself more.
I think I dislocated my shoulder (phht) but the chiropractor will take care of that.
I have the equalivilant of rope-burn across my legs where the chair slapped down on them.

Then everything landed on me.

Could have been my head I suppose.

----------------------- ( *


"Give us this day..."

Martha is one of my bath girls. She is 93 this year and enjoys telling me all about her granddaughters. Actually they are her great-granddaughter's daughters but who is quibbling! hee hee

Her favourite story is about little Suzette.
Little Suzette was reciting the Lord's Prayer for Nana Martha.

She does this with her elder sister Carla.
Carla was taking the lead with her less hesitant lines and superior confidence.
Never one to be outdone Suzette added an addendum:

"Give us this day our daily bread"

"AND COOKIES TOO!" ... said Suzette loudly!

------------- *


A New Day!

More changes and a fresh new day which I naturally awakened to refreshed and happy!
Ah to be me in the mornings!
If only I could be the same me in the evenings!

A totally new Wednesday for me with totally new clients.
Somehow Scheduling screwed up and stocked me with 3 smokers. These clients do not smoke while I am there but the homes are just completely saturated with smoke. It makes me sneeze and cough. I managed to get through it but I will not do it again.

The rhinestone cowgirl was on my list today.
She is one cool old broad. Those rhinestones have likely been around her neck for 25 years. I love that! She did not balk at all and after minimal coaxing we accomplished our task.

I was listening to her remininse about her friends and family.
It occured to me that I probably know more about her than I know about my own Aunts.
All the BIG THINGS; all the intimate details she hoardes in her heart and takes out to shine up. Those are the things I know.

-------- +

Saw my feisty sassy old client in a Nursing Home. I stopped in to say hello.
She remembered my voice and after I said her name and a hello she turned and looked right at me, then said:
"Goddamnit it's you. Howthehell are ya?" With a big smile.

I love those olde broads.

+ --------------


Self Control (freaks)

It takes alot of self control not to blow up at control freaks.
A control freak never stops to think perhaps you might want to finish your own sentence or thought and even more amazing, it might be a valid notion, worthy of contemplation.

Controllers bark out the orders, dismiss or negate your input and generally make life less pleasant.


* -----------

One week til Valentine(less) day.
My plans appear to .....

(insert *poof* here)

------- *

And sadly, she logs off and goes to bed.
Feeling unappreciated, redundant and valentine-less.

X ------------------ X

Tomorrow will dawn with or without me.
And life will go on.
And I will be delightfully happy in the morning as always.

You know that scene in "A Christmas Carol" the original version with Alastair Sim in the Scrooge role? The one where he wakes up to realise he is still alive and has the chance to make his life better and promptly does a cartwheel in front of his astonished housekeeper? That's me every morning.

I love waking up to a new day.
I love the idea that God has granted me more time.
I love being alive.
I wish I had been alive earlier on in my life but a cruel blow to the head dictated otherwise.
Still we have the now.
And that is all we ever have.

Live til you die.

x --------------------- !


Give me deliverance.

"Let me sleep awhile and dream of Avalon and the Beltane fires
And a silent kiss steals away into the mist and out to the lake
Where the sword will rise again from the water into the
Hands of the chosen one the righteous one
Forever and again "

Oh yeah I was a Goth long before they called it Goth.
My sister used to say "youre in your room reading your death poetry and wearing black" but it really meant Goth. I loved the Mission.
Yes yes I know I am turning my blog into a long love letter to bands from the 80s but yeah... it was good. It was so good.

I like those deep voiced vocalists.
I like those D & D type references. Avalon. All that stuff.
It's genetically coded.

Glam rock goth rock punk rock... I cycled through the phases rapidly.
New age new wave been there done that got the pictures.

I found it long ago.
But today it found me!

I was re-routed yet again.

I was out in the nether reaches of our area. waaaaaay out to the farthest client we service. Just a coincidence but,.... yeah. It was my turn. After I finished my little task I decided to drive down the road to the end to see the Lake. It says there is a Lake on the sign and I have never been to this particular Lake. The road abruptly ended and there was a large pond on my left. On my right there were 4 guys in gumboots and ballcaps waving at me. I was wearing pink today very femme.

I waved back and all I could think of was "deliverance" ala Burt Reynolds et all.
Egad... turned around and left slowly and carefully.

Note to self...
Keep Avalon in my mind.
No more little excursions to deliverance.

Beautiful but remote.

---------------- *

Chill the wine and pass the daisies

He loves me

He loves me not

he loves me


..... ?


Those boys in their 50s

What is it about boys and their mamas?
Some boys never leave home.
Some boys come back home and stay home.
And some....

In my job we meet alot of family members.
This is normal considering we are entering into client's homes.
In this area many of those clients are widows well into their 80's or 90's.
Surprisingly many of them come complete with single never-married bachelor boy sons.
Some of them are obviously never going to marry, and some of them are just sad sorry messes of neuroses, but some.... some just defy description.

Early in the week and already I have seen some incredibly bizarre behaviours.
I have a wonderfully eccentric lady on my list who is so delightful.
And peculiar. Like me. But 50 years later.
I remembered her well the moment I entered the apartment.
She had surrounded herself with the most interesting books and tapestries and carpets and always was msot engaging verbally. She did not remember me until we began to discuss her tapestry, and she commented that the only other person who had known how to date them was.... oh "it was YOU!" She was very pleased.
I think I was there years ago to change her dressings or check on a recent surgery.
I am not working in that scope now. I am just there to be present while she showers.
I am not there to bully her into a shower, nor to drag her kicking and screaming...
I am there to assist her if she will allow it. It is her choice.

She plays this waiting game to suss out who the person is.
If you pass the test she showers. If not, she doesn't.
I already knew she would shower. I also knew she was having a great time talking to me and that likely it would be another half hour before she would want to get up.

Enter the Son.
"Mother you told me you do not wish to be a burden. Well you're being a burden now."
What a jerk!
"Don't worry," I said, "She will shower."

"YOU don't seem to understand that you are probably the fifth or sixth person that is witness to her behaviour and you'll talk the hour away and then you'll go and she won't shower."
"She will shower, please don't worry. We are just having a chat first."
He looked me up and down and told me imperiously that "the rule is: shower first, chat later."
His mom looked at him and said: "I love you dear but I don't have to do what you say."

Remember: this is HER house. He is the one who moved in.
He left and re-entered more than a few times.
He slammed the doors and haroomphed and went in the second bedroom and out the back door... and so on. There is a fire exit out the back with outside stairs to the car-park. He kept going in and out and giving us both the evil eye.

I did not care for him at all.
Not even a little bit.
She did shower, but even then, he came back in during the shower and shouted at her through the door saying it was hardly sufficient.
I was not sorry to leave him. Felt sorry for her though.

Then... today...

One of my girls told me that she was at a client's home in beautiful downtown chi-chi area of our town, and there was a strange sound out the window.
The client lives in a very desirable area of town in a gorgeous three storey walk-up.
She lives on the second floor. The sound was coming from above. As there has been alot of rain this week and wind, the girl was afraid the roof had failed or a pipe had burst or some such thing. She located the source of the sound and it was OUTside. Coming from above.

The son of client #1 was pissing out the window.....

okay that's just plain weird.



Private Observations

One of the many men I know, who are in the care-giver to an elderly mother category, kept his Mom home with much help until her 80th birthday. I told him to be very sure he wanted her placed in a Facility as she met every criteria and would be fast-tracked. His other care-giver advised him that wait-lists take forever and that he should get her on the list in February anticipating a summer placement.
She was in the Facility within 2 weeks.

The other caregiver continues to work privately for this man as a companion to her mother. She does a few shifts a week in the Facility doing none of the personal care but taking the client on outings and such. The two of them go swimming with another aide sometimes. I have not worked for this man since the day the other care-giver asked me if I thought she had lost her objectivity. Everyone knows better than to ask me a question when you are looking for a lie in response.

Today I filled in for one of her shifts, a very short shift.
He, not she, called me to ask. Mom is happy and healthy but no longer speaking understandably if at all, and keeps her eyes closed for much of the day.
The Son just wants the very best for his mother. He just wants to know that she has more than standard care. He wants to think she is getting the very best.

Just like the last time I saw this woman, the first thing I did after greeting her and hugging her etc was to discreetly check behind her ears. I have this philosophy of care that I use to gauge the level of Facility and/or Private care. When clients are being bathed properly on an ongoing basis their skin does not jam the folds behind their ears and their necks do not have hard skin buildup. Alot of places use the bathing room as a conveyor belt style bath machine. One in, one out. repeat....

This is the swankiest of the Facilities in this area.
It failed my test.
Not by a little, not a small flake of something, nope.
This was all the ear behind, 1/4" of thick crusted dirt.

Me, the underpaid second-string player comes in to relieve the heavy hitting high priced talent and does the basic face wash. Just like my Grama used to tell me: don't forget to wash behind your ears!

Oh I tell you, it's rocket science some days.


* -------------


Big Winds, little plans * * *

Another windstorm is set to assault paradise.
I hope we keep our hydro this time.


(pass the blankie...)

--- Euphemisms

Oh dear oh dear, what a state I find myself in.
And no, not Kansas.

Sitting with a very proper very elderly Lady, who does not want to bathe or shower with assistance THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! We brought in a bathchair thinking it would help alleviate her concerns that she might fall in the shower. She likes the bench but does not wish to use it during a worker visit.

Perhaps one month ago, possibly more, I managed to assist her to dress only because her children were there and insisting she take help. On sufference I was able to be of some help and during this time it was unmistakeable how little she washes. Elderly people can experience a diminishment of their sense of smell and really not know they might possibly not be the freshest. The trick is telling them without mortally offending them. I opted to put it in the client notes but I struggled for a euphemism as this book stays in the client home. I was polite in my comment but the gentle word for *smells very strongly* would not come to mind. Naturally this came back to bite me.

Today as she spoke and I tried valiantly and vainly to get her to bathe while I was there for safety reasons, she just kept repeating no no and no she is too tired, it's too early, she isn't in the mood... etc. Next thing I know she is telling me this long convoluted story about these upstart people who just write things for devilment. "All lies", she said, "Lies!"

I had a baaaad feeling.

"You know what someone wrote in there? They wrote that I had an oderous smell "down below" do you know that? What a horrible thing to write about someone. They just do it to make trouble you know."

Okay so it was an unfortunate euphemism.
She smelled really bad but I think she just didnt change her garments nor wash.
My concern was infection of the bladder but it was just plain suspect hygiene.

Next time... well hmm. There won't be a next time.
I am going to invent a catch-phrase for this.
Something like: "Client has a definite silk and satin."
Or something equally obtuse.
What is cockney for stink?
Bottle and ink?
Kitchen sink?
Out on the link?


btw---I ripped that page of the notes out and took it with me.
All she can read about now is how lovely a chat we all have with her and how she wont bathe that day thanks so much!

Jingle Bells... smells!
Fid fad ... Bad!


There are worse things....

Just when you want to look your best---
Just when those years could use some rolling back...
Just when you finally succumb to your inner cravings to get out there and DATE or at the least have coffee with someone you crush on....



There are worse things.
Death, being one.

I look like the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Vanity vanity, all is vanity.


Struggling to catch your breath is a bitch.
It's my bitch.

Not even one week into the new year the germ au jour caught me.
Sneezing coughin and headie-aching-=-- not suitable for work.
A few dozen remedies later and some few days I could work but with almost no stamina.
My rescue puffer was on duty 4 to 6 times a day every day.

What can you do when you live in a climate your body will not adjust to?
I thought I was better until I laughed today.
I laugh alot. I am a happy amused person.
But this laugh was almost fatal.

What do you do when your life is one place your body can't manage?
I have a home, a life, family a job I adore.
What can I do?


Is it really 0733?

I am late!

oih uh oh


--- *

Had a great sleep tho


The Blessed Rain

The last month(s) have been decidedly rain forest weather.
Of course we of the wet and wild west coast realise rain to be an inevitable fact of our existance but every now and then we so enjoy a few hours of sunshine.
This winter has been composed of months on end with record darkness. No sunshine.

This last week we had the winds.
Storm after storm assailed the South Island (and mid too) resulting in trees down everywhere and power outages not to mention ferries that stayed in the dock.
Oh its a wild one.

Tonight I am sitting in my cozy home so very thankful not to be working an evening shift. So very very thankful.

Bless the rain.