Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A sparkling day!

No pain today! What can I say—Gerri sparkled.

I found Gerri dressed to the hilt, getting ready for a walk outside. Was it only last week when she told me that getting up from her bed and walking down the hall was a very big accomplishment? Well, today the ladies were taking the air in the garden.
Gerri Graber eyes!
See all the sparkly pictures of Gerri
Seriously, it was wonderful to see her looking so great. She truly was her old self. Look at her eyes! They are, like they always were, blue lasers.

I commented on the beautiful outfit she was wearing and got back that she decided to wear her good clothes from now on. She likes being dressed well and where else would she wear them now?

It's been over a week since there was a bad crisis. Gina and Gerri now know that she'll pay a price if she overdoes it. Getting up and sitting for more than 30 minutes is too much. Everything has its schedule, visits of home care nurses, registered nurses, therapists, occasional visitors, even naps.

We reminisced about the old fashioned type of nursing care that was available in hospitals once upon a time, especially the (often talked about in other contexts) sponge baths. If you ever have been the recipient of a real sponge bath, including having lotion, baby powder, or alcohol rubbed into your back, you know how incredibly wonderful that feels. Well, some things are still right with the world when you hear Gerri say that she is looking forward to a sponge bath every evening when her home care nurse comes to help her get ready for bed.

I guess it's not quite right to feel little twinges of envy...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Friday was a very good day!

It was sunny-ish day, and if you really looked for it it felt just a tad like Spring. When I arrived at Gerri's with bags of groceries, notebook and treats, I was received with big smiles. Gerri sitting on her hospital bed, dressed, comfy with an air mask on her face. No, it isn't oxygen, it's just air that is mixed with some medication. This does two things, push air into the lungs and the medication is instantly absorbed at the same time.

I could tell right away that Gerri was having a very good day. Her voice, never timid before, was strong again and her eyes sparkled. While the air mask was being put away I put the ice cream in the freezer. Gerri had a craving for ice cream, so I got some. Bryer's French Vanilla. The original full fat, creamy, tasty treat, as ice cream should be. Did you notice that the majority of the frozen products in the cooler at the store have taken the cream out of the ice cream? Low fat, no fat, no milk, no cream, soy something, yogurt. No question though, when Gerri wants ice cream, she'll get the real thing.

This Friday, February 4th, was the 56 year anniversary since Gerri entered the nunnery. 56 years ago the 16 year old Geraldine Graber walked through the front door of the convent to become a nun! She said that sitting in her hospital bed now, remembering her time as a nun, she felt transported back there. She felt like being in the convent infirmary while three other women tended to her, one nursing, one cleaning, and one writing for her.
(Of course I have to mention 'The Book' here.)
This visit we wanted to catch up on emails and the blog and its comments. I read all the emails that have 'stacked up' to Gerri and then read the blog posts. Gerri wants to thank you, her friends, who have written or commented, for your good wishes and prayers. She feels the love that you send her way and the prayers help. Don't stop writing to her because she cannot personally reply.

She hadn't seen the blog for about two weeks. Gerri loved it. When I read the description of the glider and the tow plane she cried a little (so did Gina) and then said, "that's how I see it too."

It's a funny thing, when Gerri and I, and now Gina too, have an animated discussion we get very—let's say—emphatic. If a stranger were to listen to us they might think we were yelling at each other. I've often thought how wonderful that is, to be able to just make a point, or protest with ever increasing emphasis and decibels, and knowing that the other understands you perfectly.

This Friday was like old times. I was getting very emphatic, yelling 'no way' when Gerri insisted that I should be know as Gerri's blogographer rather than Gerri's blogger. OK, Gerri, I've written it, as promised...

Leave it to Gerri to coin new words.