i like my job. i take care of old people. i love sitting around and hearing their stories and listening to their wisdom.
i like to hear about what they did when they were younger. sometimes it's kind of sad to hear, b/c they're not like that anymore. for example, one lady i take care of once a week at a nursing home has alzheimer's. she used to be a very active woman... hiking, camping, rock climbing, traveling, tennis. in fact, she won a tennis tournament when she was 76 against a forty-something-year-old. her body didn't loose much of it's ability, but her mind has forgotten how to stand up. she used to play the piano and sing too, but her mind has forgotten how to make words. in fact, her mind has forgotten how to do almost everything except sleep and exist. pretty soon she'll forget how to eat, then how to breath, then how to pump blood. it's morbid, i know. but it's true.
it's not always morbid. sometimes it's inspiring. one lady i take care of in her home a few days a week also has alzheimer's. she still remembers how to stand and have simple conversations, although she sometimes forgets that she's home and who her husband is. the thing about altzheimer's is that you forget how to control yourself. some people who were admired for their generosity when they were younger turn cranky and mean, but i think they're still admirable b/c that just shows that those things weren't necessarily natural to them before and they had to work hard to be so lovable. this lady isn't that way. she's naturally kind and generous. i think that says so much about her character. kindness and gentleness are so much part of her, that she can't forget how to be that way, she just is. she's my favorite.
sometimes, when people age, they start to lose control of their life. people that love them, start telling them what to do, for their own good (usually). sometimes it bothers them. one guy i check on a few times a week refuses to take a shower and his insulin when i'm not there because his family is always nagging him about it. i don't really have to say anything usually and he does what he needs to do. but then his wife started talking to me in front of him about how i have so much control over him and can get him to do things... it's been going downhill since then. he's been more reluctant to take his insulin and his showers. even though it's hard to get him to do those important things, his wife nags at him about shaving his beard. they don't even sleep in the same room, so i know it's not for intimate reasons. she just nags. (i refuse to ever become that kind of wife.) who cares if he shaves! he won't take his insulin and his blood sugar is through the roof! anyway, a few days ago he was getting agitated with me because i asked him to take a shower for me "so my boss won't get mad and tell me i'm not doing my job." i asked him why he's been refusing to take showers lately and he got really defensive and yelled that he would just take a shower if that would shut me up. when he got out, i could tell he was feeling bad because he was avoiding eye contact. i asked him when he would prefer to take a shower, mornings or afternoons, because he shouldn't have to work around my schedule... he's a grown man and should take them when he wants to and i don't want to annoy him by trying to get him to do something he doesn't feel like doing yet. he said he likes it when i come in the morning. even though nothing changed, it was still his choice and he's back in control. he still doesn't shave though. i'm not going there. i'd rather put up with his nagging wife. that's the one thing in his life that he can rebel with that isn't bad for his health. if he wants to grow a beard, let him.
so far i've learned a few valuable lessons from working with these people:
- i want to be healthy now so that i'll be healthy later.
- i want godliness to be such a part of me that, even if i lose the ability to make myself that way, i will just be godly.
- i want to be the kind of wife that bullies my husband but the kind that emboldens and encourages my husband.
this is a good job for me.