Monday, November 29, 2010

Forget the kids...the Elderly say the darndest things!

Many of you know that I love my job, I work in long-term care, mostly with the elderly: the hours are great and flexible, I get to go from building to building making each day different and new, it's the great!
AND if you know me really well you know that I want to put every lil' elderly pumpkin in my pocket and take them home. I cannot pass an old man in Walmart without tearing up, especially if they are alone!!! ugh that's the worst! My mom used to have to make up stories so that I could emotionally move on from dwelling on why the little old man in isle 12 was shopping alone. She would say 'Oh Missy, he's got a wife at home cooking away and she was out of sugar', although I always knew she was completely pulling the stories out of the air, somehow I could get back to reality.
Because of this true love I have for the elderly population, it is only fitting to share the most funny moments I have been able to witness while working in long term care.

*As a disclaimer:
MANY of the elderly I work with have dementia or Alzheimer's so I like to think of them as: us, with no social filter. If they think it, it's gonna come out!
**Also the patients names were changed for the stories

Mrs. Jones wheeled up to a CNA the other day and said "I don't know what to do with myself today". The CNA, responded well there's plenty to do; there are recreation activities, we could put on a movie for you, and lunch is coming up soon."
Mrs. Jones responded, "well that all sounds fine, but what I'd really like to do is take a comb to that nasty hair of yours"


Mr. Smith, who is what we like to call very 'pleasantly confused' man just an absolute joy to be around. Recently he went home with his wife for Thanksgiving and stayed the night in his own home rather than returning to the nursing home that night. The morning he returned to the nursing home, he was singing and carrying on with a love song (which he usually does, but he was much more chipper in his tunes). I asked Mr. Smith, "How was your Thanksgiving, did you have fun with your family?" He responded very loudly and animated "It was great, I didn't want to go upstairs to bed, but my wife did and I'm sure glad I did, WOW, VaaaVoooom!" Then he went back to singing.


Jeff came with me to one of my nursing homes for a fall festival recently. Now it's important to know that women make of the majority of the population in most facilities. In saying that, every time Jeff comes to work with me the 'older ladies' act even more kooky and crazy than normal. One patient in particular made quite the scene when Jeff showed up. Asking Jeff to dance with her, and making hilarious inappropriate jokes. After a few minutes the patient pulled out her pills and said "Well, I better take my birth control just in case this goes any further" (she's 92)


My last story actually took place at Methodist Nursing home in Fort Smith , AR where my nana lived for a couple of years. Last Christmas Jeff and I were in visiting my nana as we always did and the nurse came down and said "Santa is here and he's about to make a presentation for all the residents in the activities room you all should go"
So Jeff, myself, & my mom pushed Nana down in her wheelchair to the extremely filled activities room- probably about 60 patients and their families all awaiting Santa to come into the room and sing, etc...
Jeff being the social butterfly that he is, stopped Santa from going in so he could get a picture with Santa and Nana before the big presentation, and spent a couple of minutes talking and joking with 'Santa'.
Since there was no room in the activities room for us, we sorta squished in and stood at the doorway where Santa was going to enter the room, just as they announced to the patients "Here comes Santa"...Jeff grabbed him by the arm in the doorway and in front of everyone yelled "Santa, knock 'em dead"
My jaw hit the floor.

There are soo many more, but they require to much explanation.
Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend!
With much love!

Friday, November 19, 2010


This blog is dedicated to one of the most kind, loving, god-fearing woman that I have ever had the privilege to love, Mrs. Mollie 'Jo' Tucker...aka...Nana
I lost her this year, on May 13th to be exact.

I forget she's not here though, isn't that the most terrify think nothing of picking up the phone to call someone you miss, just to realize a phone will not reach them, that their voice on this earth is gone. My nana was my voice of reason, my provider of faith when mine was lost, and the reminder that there is in fact a another place other than this, she helped me to believe. Women like this are rare. And my Granddaddy spent his whole married life making sure everyone knew that my nana was a honorable woman of God.
I can still hear her answer the phone now "Well hi shug" ('shug' being southern slang for 'sugar'), she would listen for hours to my troubles and concerns- she could talk me through any situation. It's weird not having grandparents anymore. It's like a reminder that nothing on this earth last forever. As I have struggled with my faith recently, I try and wonder what Nana & Granddaddy would say to my questioning heart. Sometimes I wonder if I mostly believe in heaven because I cannot bear the thought that those I love are 'no more' after death. When I start to think like this, I reallllly miss home. Things I miss about the south: Church, the openness of faith, KLOVE radio, praise and worshiping with friends, bible studies. There is just something very nostalgic about living in an environment that welcomes conversations about faith- now I'm not knocking the Northeast- it is what it is- and somewhere down the road I'll be able to understand the value that it has given us...but for now, i'm struggling with it.

I want to share some old photos of my Nana & Granddaddy- because they are to precious to not share.

While her last 2 years on this earth were not pleasant, selfishly I was just happy that she was still here. The entire staff at Methodist Nursing home in Fort Smith, AR were incredible. They gave her some much dignity and peace her last few years, and I will never forget the efforts of those who cared for her.
It's amazing that the bodies we try so hard to perfect, will indeed fail us eventually.
I hope everyone has at least someone in their life, this special, to remind them of what is important. I can only pray that I can live up to an ounce of the woman my nana was.
Proverbs 31: 10-31- thank you for teaching me these things nana.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

13 months later....

It's amazing what a job change will do to you...
Last October (2009) I quit my full time job at Aetna to pursue a full time job with the long term care company I was working with on the side. Since working at 4 nursing homes around the state requires much travel and go-go-go time, and less sitting in front of a computer time, I totally lost touch with my blog. (my apologies) Recently wonderful hubs gave me my first *Apple laptop so I have no excuse to stray away again!
The 13 months between my last post and today has brought much change. For starters, from Oct 2009-April 2009 Jeff was in pursuit for Grad school and was accepted into Columbia, UT, and UPENN in April of 2010. In May of 2010 Jeff and I decided UPENN was the best option for us (after many long nights of discussion & prayers)
Little did we know this was not the only decision we had to face:
The next few months were spent trying to decide if I should stay in New Haven or if I should go with Jeff to Philly- why you ask...well, the UPENN Architecture grad program is only 9 months long, and Jeff's employer in CT left an open invite to return after school. Being that I loved my job at the time and finally felt like I was making huge strides in my career, moving away was not #1 on my agenda. BUT, I felt like in order to be led by God I had to pursue every option to the fullest until his plan was revealed, so I did. I stayed 'mum' for 3 months at work- have you ever heard the expression "act like a duck: elegant on the surface, and fighting like hell under the water to stay afloat"- this was me. From May-August I let no one in my immediate world in CT know what was going on behind the scenes, for fear of losing my job. I applied for job after job in Philadelphia, not one equal to my current position. I drove down to Philly 1/2 dozen times to interview....oh my gosh the interviews-- they were brutal! I felt like I was living the biggest lie, going to work with a smile, staying up all night filling out applications and searching for anything that could support us in Philly. Meanwhile, we finally found an apartment in June, it was beautiful, new, and way out of our price range- but we splurged. We never splurge, we had lived so minimally for 4 years we just couldn't help ourselves. OH, to have a washer and dryer again-- AND a garbage disposal!!! I was elated! BUT... 3 months of interviewing, negotiating, compromising the jobs I was offered in Philly were never going to be able to support us for a year. We had to make the tough decision for me to stay in CT while Jeff was in school in Philly, so that we could make it.
So... apartment in Philly for Jeff (check), totally out of our price range (check), where the heck is Missy going to live....that was the next hurdle. With the end of July (and our current lease) nearing I was getting nervous. One morning a friend at work (one of the only people who knew my situation) told me of a women that wanted to rent out a room of her beach house and was pet friendly. It was music to my ears, I still remember the feeling I had when I drove up to her home, and met her, and instantly knew...this is actually going to work. Within a few weeks we moved Jeff to Philly, myself to my new rented room on the ocean and I still to this day have no idea how we got so lucky. God is good. It is not easy living away from your husband of almost 4 years. 'Displaced' is not a big enough word to describe it, but we are making it work and have one hell of a story.
Max and I try to visit almost every weekend and when jeff is able he takes the train up to CT to see us. The best part- Jeff is pursuing his dream, I got to keep my wonderful job and I can say that for a short time in my life, I got to live at the beach (which was my dream).

While there is so much more this is where I'll leave it for now... so glad to be back!