Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Full Contact Grocery Shopping

Today was a sunny, bright, fall day. The flies were buzzing sleepily in the windows, the calves were practicing Pilates in the barn yard, and the Beagle was migrating in the sunbeam on the living room carpet as it slowly crossed the room. With the dismal outlook of foul weather for tomorrow, I took the opportunity to get outside and go grocery shopping, run some errands and just get some air! Little did I know, that while searching thru a bin of cake mixes for my favorite kind, I was holding a desperately busy woman back from completing her own errands. Apparently she was getting very impatient, because she rammed her buggy into the backs of my legs. Then, when I looked up in surprise expecting an apology, she backed up a bit and did it again. At this, expecting imminent injury to my person, I moved out of her obviously- more- important- self- than- me, way. As she passed me, a thunderous look on her face, I softly moo'd. She turned and I looked her square in the eyes and said "Its a sunny day, get a grip.". A huff of disgust and she was on her way once more.

Would that she could walk a mile in my shoes as I work with my palliative patients. They would love the opportunity to go outside, smell the fall air,feel the sun on pale, thin, faces, and have the opportunity to forget how much they hurt and long for peace.

I don't pity the dying, however much I care for them and the desperate fight they wage. I pity the ignorant, like this self- important cow. She will feel pain, know heartbreak, and peace will elude her all of her days until she realizes that time is the only thing we all do have. All the rest, well, its all borrowed and fleeting, til we wonder why we ever cared anyway how long we had to wait as someone made a choice.

And, as I have found, some cows just never "get it".

Today I'll go to work with a new story to share with my patient, of a sunny day and a raining soul.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Christmas in Hospital

Our local hospital is all decorated up for Christmas, perhaps a tad too soon as it was all done prior to Veteran's Day. Which sort of over-shadowed the special services in the chapel for the veterans curently residing on its units. However, decorated it is! Garlands hung heavy with colored satin balls, angels in blue glitter, trees in alcoves with bright packages underneath, in front of the stained glass scenes of guardian angels, spreading mercy to the sick and injured. The gift shop is alive with red velvet, sleighs, bells, snow people and brightly sweatered bears. Very eye catching displays indeed greet visitors as they enter the lobby. Patches of Positivity to distract the visual brain as people begin and end their lives in quiet rooms, off polished halls. The click of approaching footsteps, herald more visitation from family, rustling cotton announces nurses making rounds and deep voices of Doctors giving detailed instructions of care, most of which passes by the door by which I wait. Distant rumbles of air Ambulances passing overhead, trucks passing by on the highway outside the window, and sparrows fighting over the last dregs of seed in the feeder in the garden, add to the quiet air, the sense of waiting, always waiting for the next stage of Life to begin.
Hospitals are busy places, with sadness and joy filling each corner, but always someone tries to brighten the loads we bear with decoration to cheer and reassure that Life still happens despite that which happens behind closed doors, in quiet rooms, off polished halls.