Monday, June 3, 2013

#Slice of life 2013 The Days of Our Lives

Stacy's question this morning, about  the impact of writing on our teaching is a huge one that deserves another post of its own, but this week's slice of my life is an attempt to preserve fleeting memories from even the most daunting of days.

It's hard to imagine that she has lived for more than 90 years and never been in a hospital; however, that is the reality for my Aunt.  As she awaits surgery for a broken hip, there are many scary experiences, pain-filled hours, and some poignant conversations (I'm keeping those in my heart); however, there are also "new" and sometimes, even funny, hospital-Jello-filled-"slices of life."

  • I'm not sure they totally believed she had never been in a hospital before, so the ER staff kept asking questions about her age, address, medications, illnesses, and prior surgeries. "No'", she finally said firmly, "I've never had any surgery. I've never had anesthesia. Never been in a hospital. I never really wanted to come to a hospital. I wasn't planning to come today! I was planning to go to the grocery store, so I needed to put some clothes, get washed up, and comb my hair.  That is why I am here today!"
  • One doctor, dispensing profound wisdom ER style, patted her shoulder assuredly noting that her longevity was connected to her decision not to smoke.  "Well," she said, "I guess what they say about second hand smoke doesn't matter so much.  I had years and years of second hand smoke because my family, people in the subway, people in restaurants. and everyone in the bank smoked all the time!"
  • The first time she used the call button, the nurse walked in almost immediately.  "I didn't think they would come that fast." she pondered, "Do you think they heard us talking about calling them?"
  • Encouraging her the eat a little something for breakfast, a nurse asked if she would like some ice cream.  "I'm not going to start eating ice cream for breakfast," she replied, "that's not a good habit for me to get into!"
  • The pain is pretty significant when you break your hip, but fortunately there are effective pain medications.  However, the line between control and making you a "little tipsy" is fine.  As she laughed and giggled as if she was hanging out at a "pub", she noted, "I think the Jello must have had a little something extra in it!" 
  • Lamenting missing her afternoon soap opera after many years of faithful following  (because they came in at that moment for change in bed position and a bed bath) my Aunt sighed, "I guess I don't need to watch it anymore because now my life is a soap opera, filled with drama.""

So if I don't respond to YOUR post this week,
You know where I will be,
Who I will be talking to.
Because these ARE the DAYS of OUR lives!


Brian Kelley said...

Best wishes to her--sounds like a tough old soul. Your writing about her made think about writing and my family.

So much of my writing is about my family...the family who raised me. I reflect on the grandfather who died before I was born, and the cousin who was born in 1900 and died at 101. Writing has reintroduced me to those people and has changed my relationships with them--the older family members especially. Writing has made me see my family in a new light.

BK said...

THe first time in a hospital at 90. Amazingly wonderful. I'm sending her and you and the family all my best, most positive vibes for a speedy return home from that first visit :)

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Your aunt sounds like one heck of a lady. Wishing her a speedy recovery.

Chris said...

Your aunt is a great character for a slice. She's so real and practical - I wish her the best!

Anonymous said...

Though a bulleted list, it didn't feel like that when I got to the end. I felt like I knew your aunt after only those short pieces of her day. You do her justice in your writing. All the best to her in her recovery.

Linda at teacherdance said...

Sorry your aunt had to have this experience, yet it's rather a gift for you to spend this time with her, too, Anita. Best wishes to you both!