We have been concerened about if and how I could vote on Tuesday. My cousin Sue came by today with applications for emergency voting ballots! Post it, and things will happen!
In a previous post, I referred the the chicken salad here in the hopsital as being bland. It was not meant to be a complaint - I find that most such salads are bland. It's the nature of the salad, so to speak. When I prepare chicken salad, I add grapes, dried cranberries, walnuts, and similar things to "jazz" it up. But I would not expect that in an "institutional" salad. The bottom line, is that I did not mean to insult the hospital food.
In fact, the food here has been quite good. I have opted to eat two meals here daily, and to have my wife pick up the third meal from a local eatery. I was concerned that having hospital food would ruin my appetite, but it has not. When I was in another hospital for chemotherapy, the food was very good, but I think I associated the food with the effects of chemotherapy and I lost my appetite. Take-out became necessary for every meal.
The kitchen staff, in return for my "complaint," began sending me burnt toast and watered-down coffee. Just kidding. Now I went too far. Actually, on one occasion they sent me a special tray containing scones and capuccino (I think that I already mentioned this occasion) and, on another occasion, a special piece of peanut butter pie. I am grateful for the whole staff, for their professionalism, for their kindness, and for their desire to go above and beyond to serve the patients.
My family has a long history with the kitchen here. My grandmother, my mother and at least one of my aunts, and many other relatives have worked there. Many other relatives work here, or have worked here, as nurses, therapists, technicians, etc.
Not a day here goes by when I do not hear someone say something kind about my mom - about how kind she was to the patients and her colleagues, how hard she worked, how much she is missed. Thanks, Mom!
And I cannot say enough good things about the nursing staff. The care I have received has been absolutely wonderful. Despite how busy they are at any particular time, the nurses have taken time to calm my fears, to be patient and gentle in meeting my needs, to answer my questions. Each one has been professional and courteous.
The PT staff and the Social Services staff have been similarly professional, patient, and kind.
The hospice nurses, above all the rest, have been exactly what we needed them to be - advocates for my care. They are helping us to face these "last days" with a minimal amount of pain and discomfort. They are going out of their way to ensure that the needs of each member of my family are met. They have been eager to help us carry out Operation Determination.
Our family and friends have been a wonderful blessing. Praying with us and for us - for God's will, for a miraculous recovery (if that be His will); bringing us coffee, ice cream and candy (the plastic pumpkin full of candy from my cousin Diane was followed by a second plastic pumpkin from my cousin Betsy - this one filled with chocolate; Diane later brought another bag if candy to keep the first pumpkin replenished!); bringing us coffee; bringing "goodies" from Highlights for Children for our son; encouraging us; calling us; playing hymns on the harmonica for us; simply sitting with us and sharing memories; running errands for us. Calling us. And the list goes on. God has blessed us with wonderful friends and a great family.
Of course, all of this is in the hands of our loving Father. All good things are ultimately from Him. He knows and meets our every need - often before we know that the need exists.
It is now 4:30 a on Friday. I slept like a rock for about seven hours. But I did it again, I woke up with my laptop on my lap!
The night nurse brought me my medication at 5a to get me back on track for the day. We had a nice conversation about illness and attitude.
A little more about last night . . .
We had a steady stream of visitors from about 1p to 7p last night. From Joe, my high school Spanish teacher; to Betsy, our good friend from Canaan; to Pastor Matt, our caped, Holy-Spirit-led crusader/leader; to Dave, our artistic young friend from Highlights; to Ruth, a long-time family friend and mother of my best friend from high school (Sometime, Mark's story needs to be written for all to read.); to Beth (Mark's sister). And others - already mentioned above.
The Tuttles treated us to a take-out (eat-in the-hospital-room dinner from Pauli's. Last night I tried the chili cheeseburger and wings. It was good. My cravings these days are focused on sweets and spicy food.
Here, the Tuttles agreed to pose with me - before I made a mess with the chili cheeseburger!
I am looking forward to getting back on my regimen of having mint chocolate chip ice cream (MCCIC) twice a day!
My children arrived about 7. I snuggled with my son and did a Hidden Pictures puzzle with him.
My daughter gave me the school update and uploaded some pictures for me on the laptop. By 8, my wife had a bad tension headache and was exhausted, so they all left.
We have enjoyed all the company, but we are looking forward to a bit of seclusion so that we can spend more time togther. First, as a couple; second, as a family.
I answered a few phone calls and began writing a new blog post. Until I fell asleep sometime between 9 and 10.
I am thankful for this new day. Operation Determination is underway. The actual move is scheduled to occur within the next eight hours. I pray that I would use each moment of this day to honor and glorify my Father in Heaven. That I would take every opportunity to be an encouragement to others. That I would point others to the hope found in Jesus Christ. In Him alone.