Friday, 13 January 2017


This morning has been a bit of a schmozz, you know, a schmozzle, a chaos and confusion to start my day. It begins with a phone call at 9:00 AM from the AHS Wound Care Nurse telling me she would be here between 11:30 AM and 12:30 AM. Then, 10:00 AM while I am half asleep, I get another call telling me that my HCA for today just called in sick, a half hour before she is scheduled to be at my place. They were trying to find a replacement. The earliest someone would be here would be 11:00 AM. A collision was on its way.

I got myself up at 10:45 AM, fervently hoping for someone to show up at 11:00 AM to help me with my shower, personal care, and exercises. I knew better. I still hoped. Rather than simply take this as it happened, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I got onto my commode chair, did the required pre- and post-shower set of towels, clothing, pills and such. Then I went and did my morning routine as if the HCA was there. It was a bit more difficult; some things are easier when you have help. Nonetheless, I had my shower.

Drying off, particularly in my hard to reach areas, is never easy. This is where the HCA helps. Today, however, my only viable option was to lay on my bed and air dry. I was doing just that when the AHS Wound Care Nurse rang to get into my building. I quickly put on a pair of underwear, or at least as quickly as is possible for me these days. I slapped on a shirt and was just in the process of buttoning it when the nurse walked in the door.

I explained the situation, including my lack of pants. She seemed unconcerned, going about her business with the cuts on my feet. After about 30 minutes, she was done, and just as she was done my front door called again. It was an HCA coming to help me with my shower, the one I had an hour ago. The nurse gathered her stuff up and left.

No sooner than the nurse was gone, the HCA came in. She was completely new to me. This meant she could not do my exercises without a supervisor, and heaven only knew how long that would take. The supervisor thought I was getting a shower and personal care first. So I had her call the supervisor to let her know that I had done with my shower. I decided at that instant to skip exercises too; I just did not feel like being a training exercise for a new HCA once again. I just didn't want to do it.

The HCA asked what she could do. I asked if she would tidy the kitchen, take out the garbage and recycling, and make my bed. Her idea of tidying the kitchen did not include emptying the dishwasher despite my specific request that she do so. The routine here was new for her; I get it. She did take out the garbage and recycling, although she did not replace the recycling bag, That's another task for me.

There is, however, a powerful redeeming and rejoicing point for my day, now that the schmozz of the morning is done. In a couple of hours, they will start arriving. My brother Peter and my two best friends, both Englishmen named Chris, are coming to spend the weekend with me. I will head to the airport to pick up Chris Smith at about 3:30 PM. Then Chris will go get the other Chris and Peter at about 8:30 PM. Then all of us will spend a terrific weekend together; talking, drinking, laughing, telling stories, reminding ourselves that life is still a lot of fun.

I'll take a schmozzle morning for this kind of afternoon, evening, and weekend. For the next hour or two I will get food ready. Then it will be time to get in the truck and start having fun.

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