Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ten Toes Up, Ten Toes Down

Gladys comes into the office. Unbrushed hair, wringing hands, completely distraught. She is so upset I can hardly get her to tell me what is wrong. I have to ask multiple times. She finally sits down and asks "Did anyone say anything about me this morning?"

"Uh, no. Like what?"

"Oh good heavens it must really have been a dream! Well, not really a dream it was more like a nightmare!" She is extremely animated, sitting at the edge of the chair, taking big, deep breaths.

So I ask what the dream was about, assuming it would be about missing keys or someone breaking in or some other caper that goes along with her slight (but darling) paranoia. I was wrong.

"I dreamt I had a man in bed with me!! It seemed so real. I dreamt that I got up and went out into the hall and told him to come into my apartment and then when I woke up there he was in my bed! Can you even imagine such a thing??"

She is so serious, and so...frazzled. And so worried about "what would everyone think!" She is 91 years old! This is damn funny. I giggled. I just couldn't help myself! So I ask Gladys, "Well, was he good looking?"

Gladys, who has Alzheimer's, starts laughing, and rolling off the one-liners as fast as she can. She says "Well, it wasn't his face I was looking at!" Which makes me laugh even harder. "And if he was good looking, I wouldn't be down here telling you about him, I'd still be in bed!" She then describes how real the dream seemed and that she lay there for a minute and finally decided she had better check the bottom of the bed to see how many sets of feet there were. I am laughing so hard my eyes are watering, and Gladys is full-out belly laughing. It was so awesome to hear her laugh like that.

Like all good things, our laugh-fest had to come to a close. Gladys left the office. And then...

In walked Assistant. "What happened to your chair?" she asks, as I glance at it.

And right there where Gladys had been sitting... is a perfectly round, great big, Wet. Spot.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Knee Report

Well, I went to the doctor and the xrays "look good," according to Dr. Cutie at the Sports Med place. He said I have irritated something called my fat pad. Um...excuse me? Did you just say FAT pad to a girl who literally ran 30 pounds of ass off in the past year? So the inner dialogue totally trumped whatever he said. "He can totally tell I'm two pounds over my maintenance range! But I still fit in these size sixes fine! HOW COULD HE KNOW? That's it, I'm not eating for the rest of the summer." Good thing Hubby was along so he could fill me in on the way home.

Bottom line: I have an overuse injury, most likely from running hills. It's going to hurt for awhile. BUT, as long as I can stand it...I can run.

I'll see you after work, Trail!

Monday, June 23, 2008

You Just Never Know

"Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it."
~Anais Nin

This guy shows up here and is interested in an apartment for his father. He seems familiar, somehow, but I can't put my finger on it. After a long conversation he told me that they had been here over a year ago, but at that time it wasn't the right fit for his parents. His mom has since died, and now Dad needs a place to live. The reason he came back? Because Rock Ridge "felt good." He remembers how positive and happy the staff seemed, and said how nice and understanding I was when he came to ask for his parents' deposit back.

So I've been sitting here thinking, what if I had been having a bad day and didn't come off as nice or understanding? He wouldn't have come back! It's incredible to me how a five-minute interaction with someone can resurface over a year later. An encounter I couldn't even remember left an impression. Wow.

A similar thing happened several years ago. I was at the mall and this couple with a child kept looking at me like they knew me. Finally the husband approached me and asked if I used to work at the hospital. I told him I did. He said, "we thought that was you! We were there for an ultrasound and you registered us. We were scared to death because the doctor thought there might be a problem with the baby, and you were so nice to us. You told us you would pray for us."

I did not remember these people. I did not remember the discourse with them. But they remembered a simple conversation that made them feel a little better that day.

You just never know when what you say or do might affect someone in a postive way. This is my reminder today that every interaction I have is important. If I don't feel good or am not having a good day or I'm stressed because I have so much to do that is no excuse to not still be friendly and positive. Because maybe five years later a couple will walk up to you out of the blue and want to introduce you to their beautiful, perfect son. Or maybe a son who just lost his mother will know that his Dad will be loved and cared for...just because he had a good feeling when he talked to you. You just never know.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Depth of Perception

I had to read Angels and Insects by A S Byatt for a class once. I didn't really love the book, but a short story within the story about Morpho Eugenia has a fairy who says "things are not what they seem" over and over. (I hope I've remembered this right, I'm not taking the time to google it) Anyway, there have been so many times that I have thought about that quote. It's really not a new concept, just said a little differently. It is no different than "perception vs. reality" or soothing someone's hurt feelings by saying "they really didn't mean it that way."

Working in a place with so many different personalities is an unbelievable life experience. I've had the opportunity to learn so much, and so much of it has to do with perception. A person's perception is their reality!! Regardless of whether it is your perceived reality, actual reality (whatever that is), or even in the same zip code as is still THEIR reality. They live with the fears or sadness or dissatisfaction caused by their own perceptions. And no million minutes of talking with them and trying to get them to see the other side of the coin will change it. It's incredible how strong the feelings are that come with someone's perception...and equally incredible how far off target they can be.

My hope as I go through life is to remain open-minded to the fact that my perception may not always be reality. To always have the awareness that any situation can have many different interpretations. And to always be the person who (gently) tries to help the other see that there could be other possibilities, there is always a different way to look at things, there is always another reality. And like the fairy in the Byatt book said: Things, indeed, are often not what they seem.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Knee My Knee My Knee

As I've said before (and will again!) I really love my job. Love it. Today, however, I had a wicked strange realization. I do not love it more than I love to run. How the hell did that happen? When did this happen!? I am the anti-runner! The hacker! The why-run-when-you-can walk questions asker! The person who runs just so she can justify buying new shoes every few months! I just can't believe it. When did I morph into a real runner???

My knee started hurting on what should have been a six mile run this morning. I made it three. And I'm not a weenie-girl, quite the contrary. I ran longer than I should have considering the significance of the knee pain. And now, today, at this job I so love I could only halfway pay attention to the resident who told me she needed to go to the bank so she could wire money to Costa Rica**. I didn't even get excited when a confused resident accused me of putting laxatives in her food because she had an embarrasing accident. And when I overheard Snarky Resident say she couldn't believe how fat another resident was, I didn't even snicker. And this is all because I can't stop thinking about why my knee hurts! Do I need new shoes? (no) Did I run the hills too hard last night? (hell no) Will I be able to run my 15-miler this weekend? Will I be able to run next week? Will this affect the marathon training schedule that Husband/Coach, Partner, and I labored hours over, revised, and revised some more? Will I be able to run the marathon? WILL I EVER RUN AGAIN?

I'm slightly preoccupied today, no?

*It pisses me off beyond belief that cruel, mean, horrible ogres actually try and do this kind of thing to old people. I would have no qualms what-so-evah about getting into my Jeep and running down some asshole if I knew they had done this to one of my residents. And then I'd back up. And drive forward. And back up again.

Monday, June 9, 2008

More Marvin

Remember Marvin? Well, in just one day he:

1. Yelled at the top of his voice demanding more milk at breakfast, scaring everyone in the dining room

2. Offered one WorkerBee money for some " lovin' "

3. Asked 88-year-old Resident if she would like to come back to his apartment and "lay" with him

4. Asked another WorkerBee if she "ever got busy in a hen house," and proceeded to tell her how much fun it was to "do it" with the chickens

And lastly,
5. Stopped to take a leak in the mop bucket, which was in the hallway*.

*yes, someone saw him do it.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Importance of being Prompt

I just breezed through the lobby and noticed a grumpy-looking resident.

"Good morning, Virginia!" says I.

Virginia responds with a short gutteral sound.

"What's wrong?" I query.

"My ride is three minutes late. She was supposed to be here at 9:10, and it's 9:13." She taps her watch. Looks completely put out.

"Isn't this her driving in now?" I ask.

"Yes, but that is so unlike her to be late. I've been waiting. I wonder why she is late. It's 9:13!" This woman is completely agitated.

I could say several things, but...Seriously!?! Three freaking minutes? And, yes, this is enough to have ruined Virginia's entire day. Wow.