Silent Screams (and other odd sounds)

This is what I'm thinking RIGHT NOW. It may not be what I'm thinking tomorrow.


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Glorious Day

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Yesterday was a glorious day!  The air was crisp in the morning, settling into a “just a T-shirt” kind of day in the afternoon, followed by a sweat shirt evening.  The precipitation stayed at bay and I was able to get out of my house and do some things that I have been putting off.  I cleaned up my yard a little, cleaned my garage that had accumulated boxes to be recycled over the winter.  Swept the garage floor and looked around at things I needed to get rid of, which is almost everything.  The stuff in my garage is mostly my father’s stuff and he has been gone now 4 years.  For awhile, I couldn’t get rid of anything, but the time has come that I need to shed the things that I don’t/can’t use and get rid of them.  Hopefully, they will make someone else happy.  Maybe this summer, I’ll rent a dumpster and get rid of everything I don’t want.  I know I’ll be throwing some valuable pieces of equipment away but if nobody has wanted them in 4 years,  they are going away!  It took me a long while to come to the realization that my father would have wanted someone to have them that would use them and appreciate them and if nobody wants them, then they are garage sale or garbage items.  More then likely garbage items because garage sales are too hard!

I’m not so far along in my attitude about my husband’s things.  He has so many pieces of stereo equipment I don’t know what to do with them.  I don’t want to just give them away because some of the pieces are very valuable; the problem is that I don’t know which pieces are valuable and which pieces are not.  I have time to take care of his many music rooms so I’m not in a hurry to get rid of his equipment or his vinyl just yet.  I have started to disassemble them after almost 2 years and put them in piles which is an odd feeling for me.  Whenever I touch his “music” it brings the burn of tears to my eyes.  He loved his music so much and since he’s been gone, I haven’t had the heart as of yet to listen to much of his music.  He has a myriad of music that he collected and downloaded over the decades.  He not only had a lot of music, he knew a lot about music as well.  When we took our children to the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” they were surprised to see that he had a lot of the vinyl that was displayed at the “Hall of Fame.”  In fact, as he was telling his children about the music and who influenced who, a crowd gathered around him and asked him question because they thought he was the tour guide.  That memory always makes me smile.

Who knows, maybe someday I’ll get rid of my father’s tools and decide what to do with my husband’s stereo equipment but until then I’ll just cherish the memories that they bring to me today.

 

 


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An Attitude of Gratitude

After the past few weeks of the STAY AT HOME order and the extension to May 1st and possibly beyond  to STAY AT HOME and continue social distancing I felt an immediate cloud come over me.  I am having a hard time staying away from people as it is (but I do) but the jolt (that I was expecting) hit another chord inside of me.  I’ve been inside of my house since May 22, 2020 and the thought that I’m going to be in my house alone except for my 2 dogs was overwhelming at least.  I think I even shed a tear.

This morning, I woke up with the same dread and discomfort that I had the night before.  I needed to get rid of it, but how?  My house is clean, the closets are cleaned out, where to I go from here?  On the bottom of my computer, I found my answer.  Taped to the monitor is a prayer that I say when I’m stressed or depressed.  I don’t know who wrote it but I am grateful he did.  The prayer is short and sweet so you can say it over and over if you need to.  It goes like this:  “God, please remove this fear from me and give me a vision of what You would have me be.”  Sometimes I have to say it over and over until I feel a tangible relaxation of my fear and anxiety.  It’s a small price to pay but a huge pay out.

Saying this prayer this morning has given me a whole new attitude.  It hooked me to write a gratitude list of my own.  Maybe if you read this article, you might even find some gratitude outside of this pandemic we are facing.  Feel free to post your gratitudes in the comments because in today’s condition, everybody needs them.

I’m grateful that I had a husband of 40 years before he died and went to be with his Higher Power.  He was kind, caring and compassionate, the best husband God could have selected for me.

I’m grateful that out of the union between my husband and I, we were blessed with two children who grew into two strong women.  They continually amaze me with their knowledge and compassion for others and for me.  I am grateful for technology that allows me to see their faces when I talk to them on the phone.  It’s just like the Jetsons but I don’t have one of those things to fix my hair before I talk to anyone.

I am grateful for my brother and his family who live behind me.  Their support during this time of quarantine has been invaluable.  They buy me dinner and then throw it over the fence for me to eat.  Just a little bit of levity there!

I am grateful for my dogs, Roscoe and Chloe, who keep me moving at at time I could just lay down and melt into my couch.  They give me “people” to talk to and they are learning!  They have quickly caught on when I say, “I think I’ll make myself lunch.”  That’s when my Doberkids fly off their perch and are right by my side.

I am grateful that when I woke this morning, I heard the birds sining outside of my bedroom window.  I had to smile because so often, I don’t har the birds singing, I just see them flying away.  They serenaded me for quite some time and I loved every minute of it.

According to the CDC guidelines, I’m considered a high risk person, but right now, I am healthy.  I don’t have any chest congestion, cough, temperature or body aches (other than what old age brings you).    I am grateful that my brother’s family is safe and healthy as well as my Aunt who is recovering from a heart attach and her family as well.

I am grateful to my ER family who is still maintaining the front lines of this disease and will be for a long time.  I pray that they get the proper rest and nutrition they need.  To be honest, I pray for them all the time.  I pray that they get the PPE they need to survive and continue the brave fight they are enduring.

I am grateful for all my Al-Anon friends who have set up Zoom meeting so we can continue to fellowship without touching. I have to admit, the only thing lacking in the Zoom meetings is the big hug you get from seeing everyone.  I miss those hugs.

I don’t want to go on and on about what I’m grateful for because this morning there is a long list but I would be grateful if you would comment on at least one thing you are grateful for today.  It certainly has changed my attitude, does your attitude need a changing too?Social Isolation.jpg

 


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TMH – A THING OF THE PAST

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Early in my nursing career, I worked at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in the Coronary Care Unit, but was lured away to work at Trumbull Memorial Hospital (TMH) which was suppose to be the best hospital in town.  I endured TMH 2000 which was probably the beginning of the end of the hospital.  As TMH 2000 ushered in, it appeared that the concern for the employees and patients started its downward spiral.  Still during those times of uncertainty, we remained a hospital of which we could be proud.  Nursing care was rarely compromised and neither was the safety of any of the hospital staff.  We just didn’t have time anymore to give the patients the “extra” they deserved.

The nursing staff, for the most part, got along with all the other disciplines and they worked together for the good of the patient.  It was something of which each department was proud.  If there was a difference between staff, the patient never knew it; they kept that part of their lies separate.  Yes, TMH was a fine place to work and I enjoyed working there; but I retired 10 years ago and still miss the personalities and technical aspect of the job.

Then last night I was stopped in my tracts as I listed to WFMJ news.  TMH, my beloved TMH, has set out a decree that they will “issue a face mask” to each employee that must be worn all day long at work.  At the end of the workday, they are instructed to put they mask in a bag in their locker to use the next day; some having to use their mask for 5 days all the while the hospital is putting some of the staff on furlough.

Oh my God, how does this work?  At a time when the government is asking nurses to come out of retirement, and they are talking about early graduations for medical students and nursing students, how can a hospital furlough staff needed to take care of patients?  I don’t get it.  I’m sure the hospital will come up with an idea that they are “non-essential” workers, but tell me who those workers may be.  WFMJ talked about X-ray techs and lab techs will be displaced as well as LPNs.  Why get rid of LPN’s?  They are nurses for goodness sake and can perform tasks that others are not permitted to do.  Why get rid of the X-ray and lab techs, they do things we as nurses and doctor’s can’t to.

Thank goodness I retired 10 years ago.  Since then I just listen to the stories and hang my head in shame if those stories are true.  Last night, as the news revealed that my workers and friends are facing the front line without the proper PPE made me sick.  Some hospitals have resorted to wearing garbage bags as PPE.

I understand that these are uncertain times, but in those times do we forget about the first responders who need PPE for their livelihood and that of their family?  Can an issuing of masks be the answer?  Don’t those masks spread disease when kept in a moist place like a plastic bag?  Aren’t they spreading disease to others by wearing the masks all day long?  So many questions that shouldn’t be.

 


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Bonuses to all except…….

This morning on Facebook, I read that there are a quite a few companies giving bonuses to the employees who work through the Corona Virus pandemic.  Not wanting to get my facts confused, I researched to see if this is indeed true — and it is.  To name a few, Walmart, Kroger, CVS, and even Facebook are giving bonuses to their employees that endure during this time of need.  What I didn’t find is any front-line healthcare workers who get bonuses.  Why?

Well I’ve heard (literally) that nurses and doctors get paid “damn good money” to take care of sick people.  I’ve heard that the doctors and nurses “chose that profession” so they knew what they were getting into.  I’m not sure that any nurse or doctor thought they’d have to be taking care of infectious patients without the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); yet that is what they are expected to do if no PPE is available.

Yes, nurses and doctors want to give of themselves to their patients, but should they not be rewarded for such a noble sacrifice?  Should bonuses be withheld simply because they are dedicated workers who care for the infirmed?  I worked as a Registered Nurse in a local Emergency Department (ED) for many years and still have friends who work there.  I worked through the HIV crisis and SARS and was never afraid because I had the equipment to take care of myself.  I knew how to stop diseases from spreading to me and to my family.  This novel Coronavirus is a whole new ballgame.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is still debating whether or not the small droplets from coughing or sneezing could be airborne for longer than anticipated.  Everything we touch is in danger of transmitting the disease.  I can only imagine that the nurses and doctors are afraid of this disease and it’s transmission.

I know that nurses get incentives to work, but those incentives are based on the hours they work and how long they can stay taking care of patients.  They get paid overtime for working long hours and coming into close contact with infectious patients.

Nurses and doctors are not the only front-line caregivers that are exposed and don’t get bonuses.  I can’t forget about the secretaries, patient care technicians, custodial employees, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Respiratory Therapist just to name a few.  Where are the bonuses for these people?

I hope I’m wrong.  I hope that front-line healthcare workers are in line for some sort of bonus; maybe not from the hospitals but from the government.  They are being talked about like they are unsung heroes — and they are.  Let’s give them some monetary backup to go with the praise.


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Social Creature

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I don’t think I can stand another day of self isolation.  I’m about ready to jump out of my skin.  Until this virus hit, I didn’t realize how much of a social person I am.  I am finding I miss human contact.  I stay in touch with people by phone, but I find that it’s not as satisfying as being able to see the person’s expressions when you say something.  I know there is Skype and Facetime but it’s still not the same. There is an intrinsic something that face to face contact brings that I just can’t explain.

I miss the simple expression of hugging someone.  I don’t think people realize what all is involved in a simple hug of friendship.  A hug does and says so many things.  A hug can say I’ve missed you, or it can offer sympathy if you are feeling sad.  The act of hugging and not saying anything can offer more than words can express at times.

Along with hugging, I miss the “smell” of people.  I’m not talking about those smells that scrunch up your nose, I’m talking about those smells that make you smile.  Have you ever said to yourself, “that smell reminds me of……?”  That’s the kind of smell I’m talking about.  When you get a whiff of a perfume that reminds you of your grandmother or that cologne that reminds you of what your dad smells like.  You may not realize that you think of smells associated with people, but you do.

I think as a whole, people are social creatures.  There are but a few people that can survive happily alone.  I am not one of them.  In the scheme of things, this self quarantine is only a “few days” but it feels like an eternity already.  I don’t even get social contact at the grocery store because I have my groceries delivered.

I wonder if this social isolation will effect the way we communicate in the future.  Once this self quarantine is over, will we still be socially distancing from other people?  Will we be conditioned not to hug freely or shake hands?  Is that kind of response from this pandemic a good or bad thing?  I wonder.

 


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Self Quarantine

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Such a pretty little sphere sharing so much havoc in the world right now.  How can those bright red clusters be causing sickness and disease?

Wash your hands.  Cover your mouth with your elbow when coughing.  Sneeze into a tissue.  Throw the tissue away.  Use hand sanitizer.  Don’t shake hands.  Don’t hug each other.  Don’t visit people in the hospital, especially if you aren’t feeling up to par.  Don’t bring sick children around the elderly.  Stay away from crowds if you have underlying health issues.  Don’t assume others take virus prevention precautions.

Think about self-quarantine before the government tells you to do so.  As the CDC says, use common sense.