Friday, March 27, 2009

Not my Jovial Self

I have a confession to make. While the occasional flying fork makes pretty funny dinner conversation, and knowing and loving Gladys is one of my life's greatest pleasures....the Alfer Life isn't always shits and giggles.

Sometimes it flat out sucks.

It flat out sucks when someone has rheumatoid arthritis so crippling that all she can do is moan...or even worse....cry if someone tries to move her. It flat out sucks when my 102 year old has to stay at the nursing home because the heart attack that should have killed her didn't (and trust me, she's pissed about it).

And selfishly....did I mention SELFISHLY? It flat out sucks when someone falls in the middle of the night and I'm the only one who can go help. I like to sleep!! And when the phone rings at 3:54 a.m.....well, as I said, it flat out sucks. The ugly self-talk that follows my poor reaction pretty much sucks, too. No one is meaner to me than me. After I spent an hour holding the hand of an 88 -year old resident with the worst skin tear I've ever seen (I could actually see the fat under the skin, and it ended up taking 17 stitches to put her back together) all I could do is berate myself for being annoyed that my slumber had been interrupted. What could have been more important than being with and comforting someone in pain? NOTHING. Yet, I was annoyed that I had to drag my selfish ass out of bed and drive the 2.2 miles from my cozy, warm bed to Rock Ridge at the ungodly hour of 4am.

Current Status:
The bad:
I'm exhausted. (Did I mention the phone rang at 3:54 in the freaking morning?)
I'm racing tomorrow.
The weather forecast is lousy.
My IT band is killing me.
I wish I wasn't going.

The good:
I spent an hour this morning learning things about a resident I never would have known had I not had the opportunity to sit with her.
I've had two glasses of wine.
My TrueLove (aka hubby) is making me cheese crackers as I type.
It's Friday.
I'm racing tomorrow.

Oh, and this Foto Friday picture:

This is my "Grammie D," Ellie D'Ambrosio. This picture was taken last December in Boston. She died in January.

I do miss her...but I visited her faithfully at least once a year from the time I was able to scratch together enough dough for a plane ticket, up until she was diagnosed with the lung disease.

We were all good.

What more could you ask for?


Diana said...

What a great pic of you and Grammie D!
Life at the ALF I'm sure is so hard and yet so rewarding...if it wasn't, you wouldn't go back everyday! I seen of GMA the other day of a 107 year old who took a NASCAR ride for her 107th b-day! Now that's livin'. I love old people, it's such a shame they have to spend their "golden" years having to have so much help.
Good luck on your race this weekend, you will be happy you did it!

brenda said...

If every single post were grins, I'd worry about you. And if you pulled yourself out of a warm bed at 3:45 a.m. and made it sound like a run in the park, I'd be inclined to have you committed for an evaluation. So cut yourself some slack. From what I've been reading (and yes, I went to a bunch of older posts after I first found your blog), the residents are lucky to have someone who has the love and compassion -- and humor -- to be a great administrator. Good luck with the run.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Hey, sister, I'm not what you would call a particularly religious person, but I think there is much to be said for those who are selfless enough to work for the benefit of the most vulnerable among us, as most religions exhorts us all to do. I certainly have not made a career choice that puts me among that number, but people like you and joyRuN (an IC unit nurse) definitely fall into the category of people who are doing what a religious person might call "God's work" - helping the weak, the most vulnerable, the sometimes-forgotten.

No one's getting rich doing that work; and during times when the world seems to me particularly sucky, I marvel at and take comfort in the fact that this world also contains people like you who are willing to do this; who find a real joy (not always, of course) in doing it, and who bring REAL comfort to the people most in need of it.

It is human to feel, sometimes, irritated at things the better angels of your nature tell you that you should bear in silence.

But you are doing great work - important work. You are making a difference for the better in this world.

As the son of father who recently had to go from living at home to an assisted living facility, I thank you for all that you do; because everyone is someone's father, someone's mother, someone's child.

Good luck in your race and in you life, sister!

Amy - the gazelle said...

People who are cheery about getting up at 4 AM for minor (or even major) emergencies are psychotic. You're not. I think it's awesome that you do what you do - I don't think I could do that (what with my hatred of all people). I hope you had a good race this weekend.

Carolina John said...

hang in there. and hope you did well at the race. nobody has good days all the time. i'm here at the work desk on sunday morning when i should be playing with the kids. might be easier than 4 am, but it still sucks.

Sarah said...

Sorry you're having a rough time. I think it would be hard to stay upbeat around so many sad and cranky people (the old ones and the people that do or don't visit them). You deserve to have an off day. But I'm sure you'll bounce back to your happy self soon. . . especially after some more wine, cheese, and crackers!

Alisa said...

Who is happy about a 4am wake up call?

Not me!

HC said...

The fact that you got up at all makes you 1000 times nicer than most people (including me). Chin up -- your sunny disposition will return in no time. :)

And that is an adorable pic of you and your grandma -- so sweet!