Sunday, April 18, 2004

I think it's time

to write a little about my overlong unscheduled hiatus this winter, and that strange species of place called "skilled nursing facility" or "nursing home".

1) If one is as persistent in asking as the widow with the judge, eventually even the most short-staffed skilled nursing facility will perform the treatments specified in the doctor's orders.

2) Patient endurance attains to all things.

3) Any outing is a good outing --- especially when it actually goes somewhere.

4) Occupational therapists have all kinds of interesting toys, some of which they are eager to give away. The same goes for physical therapists. All kinds of weird things can be done with a long piece of theraband.

5) GIRM warriors would have a field day with the nursing home Catholic congregation, and its Sunday Mass on Friday afternoon. The nursing home congregation is a powerhouse of prayer. However, _nobody_ kneels and _nobody_ stands except Father. Nothing is ever in unison, said or sung, ever, except "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." _Any_ priest is instantly beloved (because so rare). Also the catechist and the EEM. Eucharist is too precious to refuse.

a little piece of doggeral I found in my notes from my internment:

A Lady in Luxury

Hot cereal for breakfast every day.
Fresh fruit and green salad every day --- in January.
Used laundry disappears, and reappears, clean, three days later.
Food arrives, cooked; dirty dishes disappear.
Lounging in the penthouse, nibbling on a Twizzler, nursing a bubbly libation (diet dew).

The cost: enduring a total control institution.
Aides peeking to be certain that every bite of the hot cereal got eaten.
Dietitians scrutinizing a chart to decide which fruit one eats and which dressing, if any, goes on the salad.
No hot water, no hot pot it's against the law, only an aide can scoop ice you might put germs on it.
Wait, wait, beg, plead.
Name written on every piece of one's clothing.
Signing in, signing out, attendance taken everywhere and charted --- even for church.
Roommate one didn't choose, screamers all night down the hallway.

Damn the luxury, let me go home!
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