“Life’s Daily Inspiration” When Helping Hurts!

  “Life’s Daily Inspiration” When Helping Hurts! 

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” When Helping Hurts!
“Life’s Daily Inspiration” When Helping Hurts!

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” When Helping Hurts!  today is about a former Hospice patient Ms. Lorene.  Who lived in a  little two bedroom house. That would have been adorable if you could have gotten through it, that is. Ms. Lorene had Cancer as a physical diagnosis. But she was also unfortunately a hoarder.

  That definitely was not a “life’s daily inspiration” and her illness certainly was not. Ms. Lorene even with her hoarding was an amazing woman. 

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” When Helping Hurts!
“Life’s Daily Inspiration” When Helping Hurts!

Her second bedroom was full of dolls, on the bed, the dressers, you name it. Hanging on the wall even a few hanging from the ceiling. Around the wall where there was a free space. And stacked in boxes that you couldn’t see. According to Ms. Lorene anyway. And sitting on top of said boxes. 

   But that was the “good” room or neat room. 

From there it was downhill. The kitchen was piled with takeout containers, and throw away cups from every conceivable fast food you could think imagine.

There were empty hamburger containers. Used aluminum foiled she’d wiped off and pressed out flat to reuse. Stacks of different food napkins from all those restaurants. Not to mention mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup packets, and straws galore. Then there were piles of dirty dishes. Or what I assumed were dirty dishes.

In her bedroom, there was literally only room to walk if you turned sideways. Not so difficult for me but, Ms. Lorene had to walk sideways with a walker… it was a shipwreck waiting to happen. Her bed was a mountain of bedclothes, piles of blankets, and clothes of unquestionable cleanliness.  

  Her dressers and vanity were mountains of stuff. I remember in one corner thinking there must be twenty boxes of Kleenex. 

   Funny how certain things stick with you. But, that Kleenex just stuck. I think because even though the quantity was certainly excessive it had at least been stacked orderly. Where the rest of the house was like a bomb that went off.

With that being said, It was home to Ms. Lorene.

It isn’t our job to judge someone for their choices. Or more aptly there lack of choices. My concern was Ms. Lorene herself and her safety in her home. Now the question was how much help and assistance would she allow? And how best to bring up the conditions she had surrounded herself.

  Elaine and I have often found in Hospice you need to wear many hats. Go that extra mile to get the right help for our patients. 

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” When Helping Hurts!
“Life’s Daily Inspiration” When Helping Hurts!

Ms. Lorene needed a Hospital bed. Not a problem getting one. Just a matter of calling the medical supply facility.  That was the easy part. How to get it in her room? That was the question of the day. And how to do it without offending her. 

   So a couple of days later I went back to see Ms. Lorene. I’d talked to the chaplain and the social worker. Who in turn spoke with her church pastor. The  pastor spoke with her Sunday School class. 

  They, of course, were aware of the situation. As many had visited and were more than willing to help. Now we had the how “to” in place.

  But, more importantly, we needed permission from Ms. Lorene.  To us it was helping ,to her it might be an unwanted intrusion in her space.

  I let myself in as Ms. Lorene didn’t answer the door when I knocked. Hollering as I entered to alert her it was just me. She wasn’t feeling well that day. And said, she had stayed in bed all weekend.

  So that gave me the opening I needed. Ms. Lorene, don’t you think you would benefit from a hospital bed? Well, honestly this bed has gotten really hard for me to get up and out of she declared.

   But, all my things whatever would I do with them? 

We explained we could take this bed down and stand it against the wall. We were sure we could get some help with the clothes. Personal thing things could be put in boxes and put around the wall.

Would you be interested in getting some help in the kitchen and bathroom? It would make it so much easier to get you, walker, around. You wouldn’t have to turn sideways anymore, as we explained, she appeared interested.

   She said  I would love to get it where I could walk around again. It wasn’t a big deal till I couldn’t walk anymore. But, who will you get to do it?

We explained that hospice frequently has volunteers to help out. So we would see.

   That day there were 7 of us that showed up to help. We brought boxes garbage bags, and cleaning supplies. Because of the Hospital bed being delivered, we started there first. Taking down the bed and placing against the wall.

  We sorted clothes with Ms. Lorene’s direction. We had those needed for now and those for winter in another pile.

  We even had a church member to volunteer to take care of her laundry weekly.

  We packed boxes along one wall to clear a path for Ms. Lorene or anyone else. What an awesome feeling to know she was safe to navigate it again.

   The kitchen and living room went quickly with seven pairs of hands pitching in with the cleanup. We filled up some 30 green garbage bags. Yes, thirty. We took turns washing dishes and putting them up in a nice and clean cabinet.

The bed came and was put up for use. Her face was priceless, to be able to sleep in a clean,clutter-free and comfortable bed.

  The one thing I think we will all remember was the tears of gratitude by Ms. Lorene. She apologized for the mess her house had become.

Saying it got out of hand and then she didn’t know how to start to clean it. Then she got sick and couldn’t clean it.  She feared she would die with it like that. She did not want to be remembered as a hoarder.

 Now she could die with her head held high.

Amazing what a little caring and compassion can accomplish.

 We hope you are encouraged and inspired to make a difference in someone today.

  Please leave us a comment if you enjoyed our article today. Maybe share one of your own with us.

Blessings,

 

 

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” Ship Wrecked!

 

 “Life’s Daily Inspiration” Ship Wrecked!    

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” SHip Wrecked!
“Life’s Daily Inspiration” SHip Wrecked!

Well we’re off on an adventure today to the land of memories. I’ve had such fun recounting some of my brother Carl and I escapades. Thought I’d share this one. Another “Life’s Daily Inspiration in a childhood memory of days gone bye.

   At the time of course I never would have thought about this being written about. But, Oh at the things we could dream up!

   Again let me say are main source of entertainment was our imagination. There wasn’t all the options kids have today. Which is immaterial because there wasn’t any extra money for those kind things.

  So that helped along these recounting of my “life’s daily inspiration.”

  I was about 9 years old and we lived in Florida, Orlando to be exact. And ever the tomboy my brother Carl and I went down to the lake behind the house. I now realize as an adult it wasn’t very big. But, back then it was huge! With a little Island in the middle. One side backed up to woods. Another to the road. And another to a large hill. And the last to the row of houses. One of which was out our back door. Complete with a creek running into the small lake. 

  I tell you all this to try to give you a picture of our playground. It was visible. But, still secluded. Enough so my brother and his two friends Mike and Kyle could get into plenty of mischief.

   For instance Carl loved model cars. Back then he usually got a couple for Christmas. Yep, that was it. And we thought it was wonderful to boot. 

   But, Carl got this particular year a car. Don’t remember the type/kind just that it was a car. And the other was a boat model. You know like the old sailing ships with masts rigging.

  I have no idea what I got. I just remember getting a sketch pad and pencils from my Aunt Lonnie.

   What I do remember is Carl and I spending hours putting the ship together. I loved the detail so even though I was younger I’m the one that did all the rigging. Carl just didn’t have the patience to sit and read those directions. He wanted instant gratification. I also painted it with his model paint. Which came in little 2 inch bottles. Carl hated the tedious process. Me, I loved it. I was and am still somewhat of a perfectionist.

   It was finally finished and I thought it was awesome. So this beautiful sunny day we head down to the creek. I know you thought we were going to the lake.

We were but Mother wouldn’t let us go that far. Or at least not  if she knew about it. So we would go out the back gate and over the embankment to the creek and follow it to the road. It had one of the huge culverts that run under the road. Yep, we were sneaky no doubt about it. Hee hee.  Don’t judge I bet you’ve done the same. 

   So we go on through that culvert with Carl’s ship and proceeded to sail it. Carl had tied a fishing line to the little ship.  Well, we did that for about 30 minutes. Then big brother says why don’t we make a raft out of the old pallets over there. Then we could sail out to that little island ourselves. He let it  be carried over by the waves to the island. Then he let go of the string and said now we have to go, to get my ship. 

    Oh, let me say I knew this wasn’t smart. But, he could sell ice to the Eskimo’s and make them think they needed it. 

   What can I say he was my big brother and I always fell for his shenanigans. Even when my common sense said, bad idea.

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” SHip Wrecked!
“Life’s Daily Inspiration” Ship Wrecked!

   So we took those pallets and put 4 of them together in the shape of a square. Kyle ran to his house to get some rope. Which we then put to use tying the pallets together. Not one of our brightest moments. Well, they say you learn by your mistakes! If that’s true we all four should be nearly brilliant Lol.

    Because our escapes were just getting started. We pushed those pallets out to the waters edge. And they did float. We all got on and used a couple of boards to paddle toward the island.

Surprisingly it was uneventful. We were all laughing and hollering feeling so proud of ourselves.

  We made it off the island.

   We explored every inch of it. We found a few turtles and some coke bottles to sell. Then we started back to where our raft was waiting. Except it wasn’t sitting waiting anymore.

It was almost underwater. So like the good little goofs we all were. We decided we could make it back  to shore we’d just have to hurry. So we all climbed on with our boards for oars. We made it about halfway before the wooden pallets became soggy enough we were knee deep in water literally.

   Mike couldn’t swim so Kyle, Carl and I jumped in thinking we would have to save Mike.

Imagine our shock when we realized the “Lake” was only waist deep.Imagine Mikes relief when he realized he wasn’t gonna drown on that day!And somehow in the sinking of our raft we sunk Carl’s ship. Of course since we were already wet we looked or pretended to as as swam around. And how did we explain being soaked when we got home? That’s easy because Carl told Mother I pushed him in. And that he pushed me back. That way we both got fussed at. Of course I just had to hear how girls shouldn’t play in the creek.

It wasn’t lady like. Not sure how to take that because tomorrow she’d be telling me to go outside and play with your brother. Grownups were sure weird.

   We hope you’ve enjoyed our life’s daily inspiration story please leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts. Maybe share a story of yours.

 

 

 

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!

 

    “Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!
“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!

A few years ago I had a darling of a Hospice patient who had dementia.  She had short gray hair and wore wire-rimmed glasses. We will call her Katherine.  Kathrine was a “Life’s Daily Inspiration”  She was cute as cute  as could be. She had a few strange behaviors she had done for as long as her

family could remember. 

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!
“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!

 

First, she loved corn, but only whole kernel corn. Which she chewed one kernel at a time. Then would spit out the hull. Yep, No kidding! Now you would think we could fix her creamed corn. Nope wouldn’t eat a bite of it. It was by her interpretation (no good) Lol. Not exactly a “life’s daily inspiration” of a moment.

 

  For the same reasons, she wouldn’t eat green peas. Unless she ate them one at a time and spit out the hull.

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!
“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!

 

I stayed with Ms. Katherine at night and she was delightful in her personality. We all have quirks .Ms. Katherine liked to hide things.Her Uncle gave her two dollars a month-mad money. In his defense, she didn’t go anywhere. But, she had to have her money. Then she would up and say she was going to the bathroom or bedroom to get something. She always came back without her two dollars. Actually, she would hide it. Unfortunately, she couldn’t remember where she hid it.

   Sometimes I would spend an hour before I’d find it. Sometimes in a pair of socks. Sometimes it would be at the bottom of the clothes hamper. And once under the telephone. Who knew that was such a good spot to hide things Lol.

   

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!
“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!

Inevitably  she would say those darn kids have gotten my money again. That was the really strange part because she didn’t have any children. When I would finally find her money she would say, “your just as handy as a pocket on a shirt.” (For those that don’t know, it’s an old saying.)

   Sometimes I’d bake a cake for Ms. Katherine. She’d meet me at the door with a smile and a hug and blurt right out, what did you bring us? Come on. What did you bring us? (Plural) then am I gonna like it? Or love it?

  Sometimes she would get restless .So I would take a large jar of coins to her .Which I kept in the trunk of my car.

Why? Because she loved to count them and separate  them.

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!
“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!

She loved counting them although she never did get a  finished count. She’d pick them up and start sorting. Then she’d get sidetracked and start over. Hey, it kept her happily entertained. Some evenings she’d say don’t think I ever saw one like this, did you? When you work with someone with Dementia or Alzheimer’s you learn to find what can entertain them. Sometimes it’s  a small jigsaw puzzle with large pieces or a stack of washcloths. I had about 2 dozen Of them. Hey, don’t laugh it keeps the patient pleasantly occupied. And helps the caregiver keep their sanity. A win, win situation. We often get questions from family members. What can I do to keep him/her busy? 

   Ms. Katherine and I played checkers almost daily. We matched socks, or I should say I match them and she rolled them. All these things if for only a few minutes entertains. As well as giving them hand an eye coordination. It also keeps them out of the closets and dresser drawers.

   A case in point. One evening when I got to Ms. Katherine’s house , her Nephew was on a business call. He motioned me in, and out of the bedroom walks Ms. Katherine. She had on  a  jacket and a winter scarf. Oh, did I mention it was 98 degrees outside Lol? Next, she had on a pair of long pajama bottoms. With two pairs of old lady white underwear on top of the pajama bottoms. A real Kodak moment Lol.

   I took her back to the bedroom and she asked me if I was gonna get ready to go to? You gotta love when they do silly things like this. And the moral of that story NEVER take your eyes of Ms. Katherine. Back to my story.

  I quickly made up that my car was in the shop and we would have to postpone our trip. Our trip to where? Beats the heck outta me. I wasn’t gonna stir that turd! Lol.

  We then played checkers and counted/sorted money till Ms. Kathrines bed

“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!
“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!

time. I helped her get all ready. I put her in bed and covered her up. Turned off the light. Then I went to the ladies room. “I was doing my business” when the door opens up and Ms. Katherine sticks her head around the door. And says are you in here? Not sure who she was expecting.  But, she got little old me.

   Ms. Katherine you’re supposed to be in bed. I know but I want you to sleep with me I’m scared in there. Ok, pumpkin let’s go I replied.

    This was not new .We did this 3 or 4 nights a week. I would read to till Ms. Katherine started snoring. A fairly sure sign she was asleep.

  She loved books that were appropriate for young adults.Sometimes we would finish one she really enjoyed only to have her ask me to start over and read it again. I know your thinking just like a child. Well, she was childlike in most ways. But, a true “life’s daily inspiration” to take care of.

   She in her own way still loved life an didn’t want to miss a minute of it.

  We hope you have enjoyed our story today if so please leave us a comment below. And share with us an inspiring moment in your life.

Blessings