Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nursing Home Visit

It's an Episcopalian home, so it's nice. So, I found my parishioner. I wheeled up back to her room. Her roommate was sitting in a wheel chair, slumped over and drooling all over herself. I thought that this was awful. I also assumed that this was the way she was and I was depressed. I hope that when I get that way, I'll just die. My parishioner was complaining about severe pain and so I set out to find a nurse. I asked a worker and she said she'd tell the nurse. The nurse didn't come, so I went to find one. My parishioner's nurse was at lunch and so I found another. (I'd like to swap nurses.) The second nurse said that my parishioner had a pain pill earlier but she would see if she could do something for her. Then she saw the roommate and went into hyper drive. Evidently the roommate isn't usually like that.

My grandmother, in her 90s, cooked until almost the very end. She got pneumonia. She was unable to care for herself for about three months before she died. Despite the fact that I am not ready to die, I sure don't think I like the way we stretch out death these days. One of my aunts just quit eating. The nursing home sent her to the hospital for IVs. I was there with my son. Almost as soon as he arrived, she died. It was too late. Fortunately. My cousin said she thought my aunt just decided to die.

We need to come to grips with life and death.