Posts Tagged ‘hospital’
Yesterday, we went to a barbecue at my sister, Caryl and her husband, Mike’s place out west of Casper. It is a place they are actually working on, and plan to live on when the retire. For now, they live in Rawlins, where he is a supervisor at the Sinclair Refinery and she is a Respiratory Therapist at the Memorial Hospital of Carbon County. The land they purchased will give them the opportunity to do something Caryl has wanted to do for as long as I can remember…have horses.
When Caryl was younger, she decided that she wanted to learn to ride horses, and she began taking riding lessons…oddly in the same general area of the land she and Mike have now purchased. Caryl loved those riding lessons, and became quite good at riding. Then, as with all of us, life takes us down a different road than the one we expected to take, and the plans we had made in our youth are traded for the plans we will now make as adults. After moving to San Diego, California, and then to Bremmerton, Washington, and finally Twin Falls, Idaho, she found herself back in Casper, and then moving to Rawlins. There weren’t many opportunities to ride horses where she was living.
Now, coming full circle, her life’s journey will once again place her in Casper, and living in a place where she can finally realize a dream that she has had for so many years. It didn’t occur to me that Caryl might actually be a country girl. I had lived in the country for 16 years, before realizing that the country was not where I wanted to be, and Caryl had lived all her life in town, and now plans to be a country girl. It is so strange how life changes sometimes.
I’m so excited for Caryl to be able to realize her dream. She seems so much in her element. It’s funny how I never really saw the cowgirl in her before. It’s just right for her. I’m sure she feels like their retirement can’t come soon enough. Today is Caryl’s birthday, so I guess she is one year closer to that big day. Happy birthday Caryl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Sometimes, in the life of a child, a situation arises that brings out the extraordinary in that child. And even if what the child is doing, isn’t something so unusual, the actions of the child are still extraordinary. I have seen the extraordinary in all 4 of my grandchildren over the past 7 years of caring for 2 sets of their great grandparents, but this current situation is about my grandson, Josh. Josh is my youngest grandson, and he has been the one who has been able to help in the current care of his grandparents, because at 14, he is too young to have a traditional job. Tradition has certainly not played a part in the work that Josh does every week. Most 14 year old kids think only of playing video games or hanging out with their friends, but not Josh. He wants to go to his grandparents’ house every time he gets the chance. And he doesn’t just sit and visit, he wants in on the work…although it isn’t work to him…it is love for his grandparents.
Because, Josh has been more available to help in the care of his grandparents, he has had the chance to bond with them in a way few of the grandchildren have been able to do. His care and concern over their well being is so touching. Recently we had to put my mother-in-law, his great grandma in a nursing home, after she took a bad fall. It was the second of two falls in less than a week. Falls, are probably the worst thing that can happen to the elderly, but we were blessed in that she did not break a single bone. She did, however, tear the skin on her left arm badly. We took her to the hospital by ambulance, and from there she went to the nursing home. Josh wanted to know all about the nursing home. especially where it is. When his mom, my daughter, Corrie told him that it was in Paradise Valley, he said, “No, Mom!! No!! That won’t work!! That is too far from the hospital!! What if she falls?” Of course, once Corrie told him that there were nurses and CNAs on staff at the nursing home, he felt much better. He knew she was safe. He loves her dearly, and Josh has made her safety a top priority for some time now.
Josh comes with us to see his great grandma as much as he is able to, but now he has shifted his caregiving skills to his great grandpa. He is such a loving, caring boy, and his dedication to his great grandparents has endeared him to them all. He helps, my mom, his great grandma at church, to get up and get to her car, and anything else she needs, and he helps with the care of his great grandpa, my father-in-law, every chance he gets to get over there. I am very proud of Josh, and his caregiver’s heart.
A number of years ago, the local paper in Casper, Wyoming ran an article about my father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg. The article was about his hobby turned business, and was entitled, “Another Kind of Chairman”. My father-in-law took old lawn chairs that had damaged seats, and used cord to re-weave them into new chairs. The seats and seat backs of his chairs had designs in them for football team logos to musical notes. He also made tin men that hang from a hook and wind decorations for fences. He was known throughout Casper, and everyone knew his house, because of all the yard decorations he had up. It looked really cool.
Recently, my father-in-law was in the hospital for several days. At 83 years of age, this is a periodic occurrence. After a few days, he was released, and when we got home, he checked the messages at the house, and found that a woman had called about having him make some chairs for her. He told me that he couldn’t do them anymore. He had some to do already that he couldn’t get finished. You see, his vision isn’t so good right now, and he is weaker than he has been in the past. He had known this was coming for a while, but I hadn’t realized it. I take care of my in-laws, but I was too focused on health care issues to notice the unfinished chair in the living room hadn’t really changed over the past few months. And, since I’m not there every minute of the day, I was unaware that he was no longer making tin men, and in fact had given the last one he made to his sister, Esther…something she was very thankful for, because it is a treasure to her.
As I called the woman back to tell her that my father-in-law wouldn’t be able to make the chairs she wanted, I decided that we needed to take down the sign he has on the outside of his house, advertising the chairs. Later, when I mentioned to Bob that we needed to down the sign, it occurred to me that this was the end of an era. He had been making those different things for so long that I couldn’t really recall just when he started. I do remember him making a stick pony for my girls when they were little. That would have to be more than 30 years ago. So many people have been thrilled with their chairs, but sadly, as people age there are things they can’t do anymore, I know that, but this didn’t seem like something that he wouldn’t be able to do, and the fact that it is makes me very sad. Sad for him, and for the people who will not get to enjoy the things he made. Sad that this is the end of an era.
Knowing the kind of man my dad was, makes me wonder about the journey that his life took to reach that place of being the most wonderful dad in the world. He was a man who was respected, and who has been remembered by people I would never have expected to remember him, because the amount of time they knew him was so short, and yet, he made a lasting impression on them. How did he become such a charismatic person. Dad was the kind of man who always treated women like ladies. He was a gentleman to the end.
So often, we look at a child, or a picture of a child, and wonder what they might become. Even their teenaged pictures make us wonder about the adult they will become. It’s normal to wonder about the future, but sometimes, I find myself looking at pictures of my ancestors and, especially my dad, and wondering who they were as children.
I know about some of the antics my dad and his brother pulled, as well as some of the good things they did, especially for their mom. I have a feeling that I would have very much liked the boy that he was. Dad might have been a boy who was full of mischief, but he was also a boy who loved his parents and siblings. He loved the Lord, and lived his life for Him. His letters home from World War II proved that to me. He discussed church services and his own Bible study with his mother. His relationship with God was very apparent. The boy was growing into a man, and I think he would have been very much my friend…if he hadn’t been my dad, but I wouldn’t want to trade the dad he became for anything…not even the friend he might have been.
Because Dad and I thought so much alike, I can imagine that we would have had lots to talk about, but because we both also had a teasing, mischievous side, I can imagine that we would have probably gotten in a little trouble now and then, because…well, teasing and mischief are just naturally followed by the opportunity to sit in a corner, or spend time thinking about it in our room. I know that my dad as an adult loved to tease my sisters and me, so I’m sure his sisters were an easy target…not that I expect they minded much. His teasing was always in good fun.
I very much think I would have liked the child and young man my dad was. He was just mischievous enough to be funny and enough of a gentleman to treat people right. I suppose that is why so many people remember him 5 years after his passing. Even people who treated him for a short time at the hospital, like the respiratory therapist who asked me if he was my dad. That really shocked me, especially when I asked how she remembered my dad after all these years, and she said, “Some patients are just special.” Of course I cried, but she couldn’t have said anything that would have made my day more than knowing the my dad was not forgotten.
My daughters were born 11 months apart. When I went into the hospital to have Amy, Corrie stayed with my sister, Cheryl. Back then, you stayed 3 days in the hospital when you gave birth to a new baby, and that was if you didn’t have a C-Section, which I did not. Also, the little ones couldn’t come into the hospital then. A child had to be 13 years old…no exceptions. It was very hard on those young siblings, especially if they had not been away from their mom’s much. So, Corrie got to wave at me as I looked out the window of my room. Things are much better now, for all concerned.
When I was released from the hospital, we went straight to my sister’s house to pick up Corrie. For a minute, I thought she was mad at me, and maybe she was, but really she was just more interested in the new baby I brought her. She wanted to hold Amy immediately, and really didn’t want to ever give her back. I know that many kids have some jealousy issues when a new baby comes into the picture, but she did not. Corrie was convinced that Amy belonged to her, so just you deal with it!! Of course, if Amy cried…I could just have her back until she got herself calmed down.
The girls were best friends throughout their childhood, and still are today. They seldom fought, but when they did, I have to say, that little sister usually won. I remember Corrie coming out of the bedroom one day to say with tears running down her face, “Amy hit me!!!” I told her to hit her back, to which she screamed, “Nooooooooo!!” I don’t know if she just loved her little sister too much to ever hit her, or if she was totally scared of Amy, which wasn’t a bad plan either, since Amy is very feisty!!
Whatever little fights they had as little kids, really haven’t mattered much, either since their childhood, or during their childhood, because they really loved each other very much. Many babies aren’t too sure of having their older siblings holding them very much, but not Amy. She truly loved her big sister, as you can clearly see. Corrie was gentle and so loving with Amy, and that love was always returned to her in every way. You can just see it on their faces. They just seem to say, “I love my sister!!”
Every year on July 10th, I take a few moments to reflect of the wonderful gift that God has given me…my husband, Bob. When I wake up on July 10th, it just hits me. Almost 2 years before I was born, the man God planned for me…to be my husband…was born. Bob is so perfect for me. We are good together…a good team. Our personalities compliment each other and we share like interests. What could be more perfect.
I was talking to Bob’s dad today, and he mentioned his memories about the day of Bob’s birth. It is quite a story. The family was spending the day in Billings when my mother-in-law went into labor with Bob. Since this was her third child, things can go very fast. My mother-in-law was determined to have her own doctor deliver Bob…her doctor was in Miles City, which is 145 miles from Billings. My father-in-law said that he sure didn’t want to leave Billings, but she was so determined, so he gave in. I don’t know how much time they had to spare, but I do know that there was definite concern that Bob might arrive somewhere on the highway between Billings and Miles City. Bob waited, and his arrival was in Miles City…after which, my father-in-law breathed a huge sigh of relief.
As my father-in-law spoke about that hurried trip, I could picture the whole scene in my mind. My mother-in-law has always been very strong willed, and my father-in-law has always been pretty soft hearted where she is concerned. I can just imagine how she felt too. At a time like that you want your own doctor, not a stranger, in a strange hospital, is a city you don’t live in…especially since hospital stays for births weren’t 1 day or less then. She knew it would be a hardship on the whole family if they had to try to go back and forth.
In the end, it all worked out, and Bob waited until they reached Miles City to be born. I believe he would have been fine either way, and I suppose being born on the highway would have given them all a story to tell, but it would have been scary too, and I’m glad they didn’t have to go through that. Happy birthday my sweet husband!! I love you very much, and thank God for you each and every day!!
Our family is no stranger to miracles. Sometimes things happen that change lives in an instant. In the blink of an eye you are faced with a situation that is so serious that you have no time to think, and it is just as well, because you can’t wrap your mind around what you are seeing anyway. You find yourself running on autopilot, because it is the only thing that keeps you going. It is at that moment that your faith in God to take care of your child is the most important thing in your life…and theirs.
When my grand nephew, James was six, his dad brought him home after a visitation, and he and my niece, Toni were talking in her back yard while James played. Boys being who boys are, James decided to jump off the deck and swing on the clothes line wire. Unfortunately, the clothes line pole was not very solidly in the ground. When James hit that wire, the pole came down and hit him squarely across the back of the head, cracking his skull. Blood went everywhere, and Toni and Jim couldn’t believe their eyes. Here was their precious little boy injured and bleeding in front of them, and their minds were struggling to come to grips with what they were seeing. They sprang into action, grabbing a towel for his head and rushed him to the hospital.
James began to ask for his grandma, my sister Cheryl, because he wanted her to reassure him that he was going to be ok. Cheryl was called to the hospital, and when she arrived they all prayed over James, and the doctors took him into surgery. James was in surgery for 4 hours, during which time a Titanium plate was placed inside his skull. That plate will be there for the rest of his life.
So many things could have happened that would have brought this situation to a very different ending…but they didn’t. James came through the surgery with flying colors, and the doctors were amazed. He couldn’t have visitors, for a time, because too much movement and stimulation makes it hard for the brain to heal, and there was much healing that needed to happen.
James did remarkably well in the healing process…miraculously so. No other explanation works. He was back to himself very fast for having had a serious head and brain injury, and there were no ill effects from it. It was a miracle. Today that walking miracle is turning 15. James is a sweet, loving young man who is a joy to his parents. His has grown tall, strong and handsome. I don’t know if he knows what a miracle his life is, but we, his family know. We can never forget what God has done for James. His life was repaired and given back to him by a loving and miraculous God. Happy birthday James!! We love you!!
I was at the hospital yesterday, bringing my father-in-law, who had been in the hospital for surgery, home. A nurse on the floor, who was not his nurse, and so didn’t know his last name, came in to see if the transport team member needed any assistance. When he said he didn’t, she looked at me and said, “You’re Amy’s mom aren’t you?” I laughed and said, “Yes, I am.” She told me that she had gone to school with Amy and asked me to tell her hello.
As I was leaving the hospital, I thought back to the first time someone had asked me that question. Amy was in Kindergarten and I was volunteering at the school, doing throat cultures to check for Strep Throat. As I walked into the nurses office to get my supplies ready, I saw two little girls sitting on the bed. One of them had apparently scraped her knee, and the other one was there for moral support. The little girl who was there with her hurt friend, said, “Are you Amy’s mom?” When I said that I was, the hurt little girl said, “Amy who?” The first girl said, “You know!!! Amy Sugarberry!!” That encounter put a smile on my face the rest of the day.
I have been told many times that Amy looks like me, although that is not alwyas something I can see. It must be so, however, because in recent months, I have had several people who know that I am Amy’s mom, tell me that I really look like her. Still it is surprising to have someone who doesn’t know me as Amy’s mom already, be able to just pull her name out of the hat when they see me. It really brings to light that we look very much alike.
I have always known that I bear a strong family resemblance, because I have had people recognize me as being my sisters’ sister many years after the graduated from high school, and ask me if I am my dad’s daughter, when it has been years since they have seen him. I guess with that said, I should not be surprised when they can see a strong resemblance between my daughter and me. Nevertheless, I find myself still amazed that even after all these years, I am still known as Amy’s mom!