Dictated to Mom Wednesday, October 28 and typed October 29
I can’t remember the last time I used an alarm clock! It was definitely the time I was home, even before I started using home health care aides. All I remember is that my alarm clock started to get tricky when light sensitivity began to be a problem. As my vibrating deaf alarm clock would go off under my pillow, my eyes were being “blinded” by my flashing lamp and I’d usually end up smacking my alarm clock endless amounts of times until I could find the snooze button! I pretty much ended using my alarm clock when I started home health care. My aide would come in the morning to wake me up in typical “good morning “ fashion. The first thing was to shake me awake then open the curtains! In typical morning grumpiness, I tried very hard to explain “no sunlight until I have my sunglasses on!” by the time we had a good morning and had the routine down, I entered Children’s Hospital and then I transferred here to the nursing home. Now I don’t use alarm clocks, snooze buttons, nor am I “blinded” by sunlight in the mornings. It does take me a bit to get a good routine down. The mornings are my favorite time of day here, for the most part. They seem to go by quickly and the best part is I control my own breakfast menu!
When I first moved in, learning the way things go as far as eating and the times in which to eat were one of my biggest adjustments. Everything is scheduled here. I could no longer eat whenever I wanted to or what I wanted to because that was all set for me. However, I did get a little break at breakfast. Our family considered pancakes, sausage and the farm-style breakfast to be a dinner. We always had a bowl of cereal in the morning. “All I want is a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee, that’s breakfast!” I soon got tired of Corn Pops and Rice Krispies. I even talked to the nurse about more fiber. She suggested oatmeal for a few days while Mom got me stocked on a few boxes of fiber cereals. At least that was an easy fix! However, it took me a while to figure out that I was being served decaf coffee, instead of regular coffee in the morning. Once we realized this problem, we quickly fixed it. I now have a large can of Folger’s and an assortment of powdered creamers sitting on my shelf next to my cereals. Just take it from my experience, if you’re ever looking for ways to cut the caffeine in your diet quickly, just try that method—DECAF all the way!!
My favorite part about breakfast here is the juice. They always bring me a cup of juice from the dining hall. It was about this time last year in which I was recovering from eye surgery and many stitches in my knee after a fall. Besides OT and PT, I did nothing but have my feet propped up and read on my Nook. One of my favorite books I read was Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. After I read the book, I realized that Disney’s Treasure Planet is based off the book. As I re-watched the movie, I found it all spectacular. In the movie, Jim Hawkins is off once again getting in trouble while his mom is overwhelmed at breakfast time in the diner that she runs at the end of the port. All these funky looking creatures are eating as she is trying to talk to a family friend who is a dog and all the ladies in the corner. One every so often waves a cup and yells, “Mrs. Hawkins, my juice!!” It’s a good thing most of my aides are somewhat my age or younger because one morning, I thought of this scene and told the aide, laughingly. She had seen the movie, so I didn’t have to explain anything further to her. I stopped talking and just laughed and finished my juice.
Anything past breakfast can make or break the day. Since lunch and supper times are a bit more set it has taken me awhile to figure out how much I like to eat at those times. It still has taken me awhile to figure out what my stomach and intestines like and what they truly reject! With my body constantly changing, it’s now not just my intestines that are a problem. I’ve had lots of discussions with my dad about my chewing and swallowing. I also discovered last night that I now have a lisp! That’s kind of besides the point of eating, but the fact is I’m having a lot of problems just in how I eat my food and even swallowing my water. One night though, I was really disgusted at dinner and when Dad came in that night, I started lamenting about the foods I was missing because a lot of food typical on the “outside world” can and are considered an expense here.
Since the season is changing and November is coming up, I started talking about my envision of a Thanksgiving dinner that I knew I wasn’t going to have here. “Oh, I know we will get mashed potatoes and gravy as we seem to eat that a lot here”. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized I really have nothing to complain about even if some foods make me sick or I find them gross. Also, I feel like a baby that is being fed and always asking for a drink because I cannot do it on my own. But the thing is I am being fed and fresh water is always available to me when there are millions around, not only in America, but also in the world who have nothing to eat or drink. I’ve never know hunger or thirst. Yes, I’ve been thirsty, but even then I get “filled”!
I’ve noticed in my time here, since going blind, how much more that I am spiritually “hungry”. Now that my eyes are darker, they seem dry, almost like the dryness that I sometimes feel in my soul when I am alone. But just when I need it most, God fills those longings with new songs and a few Bible verses I can think of on my own and I can fellowship with Him. Yesterday, I had two people visit me and read me verses from the book of the Gospel of John. I went to bed last night feeling more satisfied as if I had just eaten a piece of banana cake. That is the reason why I continue to trust God, even like the night before when I was in such intense pain thinking it was my last hours. Maybe that is why mornings are my favorites too because there are some mornings I don’t want to get out of bed. The fact that a new day has just begun is something worth praising God for. Now that I cannot see, I always ask if my shade is open and if it is a sunny day!
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.