Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What's the Deal?

Just a little thought... How ironic is it that on the last Thursday of November every year we use our vacation time to have a feast to celebrate all we are thankful for and then on the last Friday of November every year is the most violent shopping day of the year. You can almost hear the "gimme, gimme, gimme's" ringing out all over America.
Most of those people we saw on TV practically killing each other for a discounted TV most likely went straight home and ate left overs from the aforementioned feast of thankfulness.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Of Course!

On one particular Friday 2 weeks ago, I really wanted an Arby's Sandwich. I could taste it. Its actually been years since I ate Arby's so who knows why I had such a hankering for it. I drove through Arby's on my way home from running errands.

I was sitting in the middle lane of the street waiting to turn left to go home. A homeless man in a wheelchair was holding a cardboard sign that said he was hungry. I quickly deduced that it was not God's will to give him my sandwich. I was in the middle lane, not the left lane, after all. Then I realized I was lying to myself and that I would never enjoy that sandwich when someone blocks from my home was hungry. The light turned green so I turned left and looped around the freeway back to give the man my lunch.

When I made it back to the intersection, I noticed my poor friend in a wheel chair had been booted from his corner by another, younger man, who was holding his own sign. I felt the Lord tell me that it was not my call who I was to feed, I was just to be obedient. So, I rolled down my window and asked the man if he was hungry. "OH Yes, Ma'am!!" was his quick answer. I handed him my Arby's bag and felt a little better that I could help my fellow man.

As I drove through the light, I noticed the man in the wheelchair under the bridge. I decided to loop back around and stop at Arby's to replace my sandwich and get one for the man who first got me on this mission. I was too embarrassed to drive through Arby's again, so I went inside and asked for 2 sandwiches each in a different bag. No eye contact, no questions, I just wanted to give the man some roast beef and be on my way.

I made it back to the intersection and drove up to feed the man in the wheelchair, and wouldn't you know he had a friend with him. I rolled down my window and reluctantly handed them both bags. Full of thankfulness, the men shouted "God bless you, baby!"

I drove off. 30 minutes, and 3 homeless men later I had no Arby's sandwich, and there was NO WAY this fat kid was going back to Arby's for the third run in 30 minutes.

I drove home and ate a bowl of cereal.

Friday, November 18, 2005

What I "Use-ta Think" Part II

The appendix is what collects all the pennies you swallow
(in a nursing school lecture I had a moment where I said….wait a minute…..)

I actually was Wonder Woman whenever I had my costume on

Holly would really stop being my best friend if I didn’t lose the “math bee” on purpose (we’ve been best friends for 27 years…but I did lose the math bee on purpose so I guess we’ll never know :) j/k Holly)

The Sonic sign said “Happy Easter” (It really said Happy Eating)

Maxi pads were for women’s bras

My dolls would get jealous if they did not rotate who got to sleep by me.

Every hairy fat man was a kidnapper.

What did you “Use-ta think?”

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What I “Use-ta Think” Part I

When asked if I wanted to go to heaven someday, I asked for the option of coming back after a short visit there.

The way you got to heaven was Jesus flew down to get you and you put on your superman cape and flew up to heaven with him. Imagine my horror and grief when my sister sold my superman cape in our neighbor’s garage sale. I thought I had lost my salvation.

For those without superman capes, God made staircases (what I now know to be jet exhaust) for them to climb to heaven

When you “gave your offering to God” at church, the offering counters would put it in the plate and set it in the middle of the aisle after the church service and it would levitate up to heaven while the counters peeked through the sanctuary doors.

Witnessing to my friends meant taking my Sunday School book to school and telling everyone they better come to our bible study at recess if they didn’t want to go to hell.

What did you "Use-ta Think" about God and heaven?
(Next issue will address all the other aspects of life)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mrs. Miller again

The next day I returned to work and who was on my patient load again but Mrs. Miller. I can’t remember if she was still seeing the little boys in bear suits or not, but I’ll tell you what I do remember about that day.

It was time for Mrs. Miller’s bed bath. She was a paraplegic and needed 2 of us to bathe her. My co-worker Janeen and I were half way through with the routine, chatting about something unimportant, when we hear Mrs. Miller exclaim “Gentlemen, DO YOU MIND! I’m getting a bath!”

I caught Janeen’s eye and we gave each other a strange look. Here we go again.

“Mrs. Miller, what is it?” I probed.

“ Don’t you see those men in the room watching me bathe?”

“Mrs. Miller,” I say in my sweetest, non-judgmental voice, “there are no men in here. It’s just you and me and Janeen and we will make sure the gentlemen stay out until you are clothed”

This calmed her down for a bit, but in mid scrub she yells again, “ GENTLEMEN, REALLY!!”

There was no winning. So right then and there I scolded those men and informed them to leave the room immediately.

Hey, there is a time and a place to talk to imaginary people, and I’m certain that was one of those times.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mrs Miller*

“Do I really have to go to work today?” I whined to Joseph. “I have to take care of Mrs. Miller again and she calls for me every 30 minutes”

In the dreary midst of my whining I had no idea of the entertainment that would be this day.

I was right. From 7:00am to 10:30am, religiously Mrs. Miller rang her call bell. “Send me that nurse!” Then, I got busy and looked up at around 11:15…no call from Mrs. Miller.

My first thought was “Oh, NO! She’s dead!” I rushed to her room to make sure I’m wrong. I opened the door and peeked in.

“Oh, do close the door!” she begs. I’m ok with this. I know she’s alive and I have tons to do.

Another hour passes. No call from Mrs. Miller. I’ve got to know what’s going on. I went back to her room and open the door and begin a shallow “how are you” conversation with her. She seemed panicked. “Please close the door! You’ll let them out!”

“Let who out, Mrs. Miller?"

“The little boys in bear suits, giving me a magic show from atop that cabinet”

Mrs. Miller was usually quite sane and spry. I tried the technique of reorienting her to her surroundings. “Mrs. Miller, I do not see these little boys in bear suits”

“ Oh you should,” she replied, “They are fabulous!”

I tried again, “Have you seen these boys before?”

“No, are they local people?”

There was no reality to be introduced to her. I then learn that they entered her room through the hole in the tree outside her room. I called the doctor to report this mental status change, as is protocol.

He responded “I did not order little boys in bear suits! Well, is she happy? Then let her keep them”

Thank goodness! I had so much to do. And Mrs. Miller’s “babysitters” kept her entertained for the rest of my 12-hour shift!

I can’t make this stuff up!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Mrs. Jones* The Final Chapter

On a heartwarming note-- one day a co-worker “Miss Inella” (as named by Mrs. Jones) and I were assisting Mrs. Jones. I asked her to “tell me why you love God today.”

“Oh, I love the Lord because he blesses us!” Here is a woman who is medically fragile, that needs me to feed her and provide her every need, whose family is too far away to even visit her or escort her back to the nursing home and she is exuberant about how the Lord blesses us.

I looked over toward “Miss Inella” and she had tears in her eyes. She is not a Christian, and to hear this woman’s testimony of God’s blessing must have really spoken to her heart. I know it changed my entire worldview at that moment.

Whether she asks for a warm blanket, chitlins, or thanks the Lord in her circumstances, certainly she lends a fresh light on living a life that embodies Phillipians 4:6.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

When they finally allowed her to go home from the hospital, they wheeled her down the hall in a gurney. I said, “I love you Mrs. Jones, and God loves you.”

And I heard her voice clearly as she moved farther away. “He blesses us! Thank the Lord for you, Sista Crista”

Thank the Lord for Mrs. Jones.

stay tuned for the adventures of Mrs. Miller*.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mrs. Jones Part III
(we’re almost finished!)

“Mrs. Jones Do you know my name?”. Probably I asked this question for a little entertainment on my part. I knew she didn’t know. I knew that she could distinguish me from others, as everyone had a different moniker besides their own name. The only one she called by their real name was the cute male night nurse, Jesse. She started calling for him the minute she heard his voice at shift change. The ladies always know, I guess. “Why sure, your name is Miss Betty”, She answered.

“No, Mrs. Jones, my name is Crista”. Her reply has now become legend.

“Oh Thank the Lord for Sista Crista!”

And that is how one of my nicknames was born.