Love thy neighbor…

December 1, 2007

First Day of December

Can’t believe it’s December…almost two months since I started this hip replacement project! I expected to be out Christmas shopping by now, and even had a couple of consulting workshops scheduled for this month—I was going to be doing leadership training sessions in Southeast Michigan, and well on my way my ‘new’ career.

I am getting anxious to get home, in part because OC is a little less serene these days. I think the building I am in is filled to capacity, and the two newest residents are in the rooms next to mine or across the hall. Admitting someone here requires a whole barrage of interviews—nurse, social worker, therapist, and so on, plus lots of conversation between the new person and the aides and other daily staff. Because our doors are open, usually, and most folks are fairly deaf, this all results in more information than I really want to know—and last night some of that was imparted in the middle of the night, somewhere around 2 AM. I awakened to a conversation in the bathroom adjoining my room between my new neighbor and a perky (yes, perky at that hour!) aide.

“Boy, that anti-whatever soap is really hard on your skin, isn’t it? My skin gets so dry in winter anyway, and I really use a lot of cream. I like the Vaseline products, don’t you? When my skin gets dry it itches and I can’t stand it. I use a lot of cream. My skin gets so dry and itchy.”

Remember the interactivity skills you practiced yesterday while visioning Patty’s hat? Try this one: it’s 2 AM, and you are lying in a narrow hospital bed with a rubber-covered mattress that squeaks when you move. You’ve been sleeping the sleep of the pain pill-drugged, dreaming of elevators that never stop at the floor you’ve ordered them to, and are given to leaving the building through the roof and turning themselves into self-propelled space ships (I TOLD you that medicine has a kick to it…). Suddenly, a voice booms out into the night air, sounding hollow and resonant and loud (that bathroom has tile everywhere): “Boy, that anti-whatever soap is really hard on your skin, isn’t it? My skin gets so dry in winter anyway, and I really use a lot of cream. I like the Vaseline products, don’t you? When my skin gets dry it itches and I can’t stand it. I use a lot of cream. My skin gets so dry and itchy.”

Now, repeat that same conversation a couple times more, loud as you can make it. Then, drag some small hard rubber wheels back and forth over the one-inch tile floor, and slam a door.

It’s now 2:30 AM. Close your eyes and try to get back to sleep……. No luck? Well, this is Saturday, with no physical therapy. Feel free to plan on a morning nap during the AM cartoons. And don’t worry about that slap on your right shoulder—it was only the fitted bottom bedsheet slipping off the mattress and sliding down onto your arm.

On another note: Gwyn stopped by with some Dove chocolates. Chocolate thought for December 1: “Love is always the perfect gift.”

Here’s my house as it looked at Thanksgiving:

house21.jpg

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