Patient #1 has been coming to us for hearing help for close to ten years. He's one of our younger patients, in his 50's. When I first met #1 he was a preacher with a promising, hopeful future. Today he is beginning to show signs of dementia and he has full blown Parkinson's disease. His sense of humor is still there... and we still laugh together when he comes in. This morning he was in to see us. It's hard to see our friend like this.
Patient # 2
Sometimes you just have to laugh so you don't cry. When patient #2 first started coming into our office, she was sharp as a tack. Then, we steadily noticed that she was forgetful and confused. One day she came in and forgot that she had her car running in the parking space in front of our office. I went out and turned it off, returning her keys to her. We laugh together and she swears that her lost hearing aid was carried away by little critters with long octopus-like arms that swooped it off of her dresser in the middle of the night. If you sit and talk to her long enough, you will forget where your keys are too.
Patient # 3
A retired pastor who would laugh hysterically at all of my jokes. I have never had more fun with a patient before! Before he would leave the office, we would join hands and he would pray for us. Just several months ago he and his son drove up and down National Hwy. looking for the big wooden deer in our yard by the road after I gave him directions over the phone on how to find our new office. They came in the office, father and son laughing together.... when they realized it was an EAR they were looking for, not a DEER. Today he shuffled into our office with his daughter. He had suffered 2 strokes not long ago. I tried not to let him see the tears that gushed from my eyes the minute he walked in. I'm sure he didn't see. His head was down and he didn't even know me. Before he left we hugged and he cried and cried as he begged me to pray for him and his wife (who is in the hospital).
Please, if you think of it... pray for my dear friends, and most especially patient #3. I don't imagine things will get better for him. His prognosis is not good.
An excerpt from Gracie's Diary (my memoir that will soon be finished):
Weeks later Mike came to visit en route to Pennsylvania from his Florida winter retreat and I spotted him walking toward our office wearing his infamous faded jeans and a cream colored jacket. He sported a deep healthy tan and his arms were full with a plant, a plaque that read Love One Another, a poster with ten rules for a happy marriage, and a package of multi-colored Bic cigarette lighters he’d bought for a dollar at a yard sale.
“Dad, welcome back!” Gary said, hugging him. I hugged him too and he handed me a lemon tree and a birthday card. He hadn’t told us he had lost weight.
“Happy Birthday,” he said. I examined the healthy tree, but didn’t let on that it would more than likely be in plant heaven within a matter of weeks in my care.
“Thank you!” I said. “You look great!”
He winced when he lowered himself to sit in one of the waiting room chairs, his hip still paining from the skateboarding incident. I opened the birthday card and read the heartfelt words; then tucked the $400 in my purse. Next year it would be $500. Every year he’d add another hundred dollars … it’s just something he did.
Gary's father passed away just weeks later. But his gift lives on, thanks to Gary and his green thumb.
Every spring we lug that tree outside.
Every fall we lug it back into the laundry room next door.
Mike was known for his frugal ways which included making free lemonade from his water, lemon wedges and sugar when we'd go out to a restaurant to eat.
He was also known for his positive attitude in general throughout his life. He'd take the lemons of life
and make lemonade.
This year (6 years later) we got our first lemon crop and today
his son took the lemons and made the most wonderful lemonade! Mike would be proud!
But I'm afraid our lemon tree is now in shock.
"How could you do this to me? You pulled me apart! I'm in shock!"
When we first met online in February of 2001, Gary and I got to know each other pretty well through the internet
and phone conversations.
One thing that he learned about me was that spring was my favorite time of year and that spring and flowers just kind of go together.
We were back and forth a bit about whether they actually appear on the first day of spring... I said of course they do! (and yes, I do believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy & fairy tales).
Our love was new then, so he didn't argue with me.
On March 20, 2001, I received a box in the mail from Flowerland. It was filled with colorful, gorgeous flowers along with a note... 'Bobbi, you were right. Flowers do arrive on the first day of spring'.
I know. Too sweet, huh?
We were at the grocery store the other day and I was eyeballing the most beautiful flower arrangement there... and said a quick 'I love those!' in passing...
I guess my hubby does still pay attention to me...
A few days later, here they are!
Thank you Gary. I love you.
Seriously, I don't know what all the fuss was about. Mom is as goofy as can be. 'look at gracie! look how cute! She looks like she's posing' then it's - grab the camera and see if I can't interrupt her sleep. The woman needs to get a life! Gracie.
Everyone is enjoying the first of Spring I suppose? I love the warmer temperatures. We didn't have much of a winter. A few snow flakes and cold.
I sent for some wildflowers and a strawberry bush. I don't do well with plants or flowers, but planting wildflowers is like boiling water. How can I fail. Right?
Gary is waiting for his cherry trees to arrive. After seeing The Lorax he promised Rissi that they'd plant some trees together and so... that will be this week hopefully.
I've been painting, cleaning, and organizing around the house. I thought of a yard sale for my overflow of 'stuff' but then I thought... Naaaaah! Salvation Army or Goodwill sounds easier and better.
The raisins and gin have not helped my hands at all. I'll try eating a few more each day until they're gone. I'm not likely to buy more then. Some people swear by it... It just isn't working for me.
My hands really hurt and typing stiffens them and just makes it worse. I love to write though, so I'll continue until I can't. I love reading all of your blogs, but I don't always comment... I hope you understand. It's not because I don't love reading what you have to say.
Last night - I didn't sleep, not at all. Ugh!
I hate it when that happens.
Well, it's Monday; the start of a brand spanking new week. Does anyone else have any complaints/health issues/gripes/or happy thoughts they'd like to share?
Ok then. Let's get busy.
If you have to go to work, have a good work week.
If you're retired, do something fun and enjoy!!
Every day is one more opportunity to make a difference.
I sit in the front pew of the church feeding the baby, jiggling her so she won't cry, and holding my camera ready to push the record button. I'm not a multi-tasker. I cannot rub my tummy and scratch my head at the same time. The wedding is already fifteen minutes late in starting. The organist is repeating her selections and glancing towards the back of the church... looking for a sign of life.
The photographer, who is also my husband (Gary) goes downstairs to see what's taking them so long. When I left downstairs fifteen minutes earlier the girls were half dressed and Marissa sat with half-a-head of curls while her stylist kneeled beside of her with a lock of hair held tight to the curling iron waiting for another to set. Jake raced back and forth through the rooms, looking for something to get into.
Gary returns with the news that they are almost ready. It seems Jake dropped the ring down the steps... tink.. tink.. tink... His mom and dad laugh, three rows back, hearing the news. It's so... Jake.
Soon the wedding begins. My daughter marries the father of her two children... and they are officially family.
I was talking to the sales lady who rang us up in front of the store and started backing up to leave when I ran into 'someone' almost knocking the 'person' over.
"I'm so sorry..." I said as I turned around to apologize profusely- but I was talking to a pole. We all had a good laugh... I'm such a klutz.
Lindsey didn't find a dress.
The wedding is a week and 2 days away.
Sorry I've been away for so long. I've got a lot going on right now. My living room is half painted, Lindsey's wedding is next week, our office has been very busy, I'm putting some finishing touches on my book "Gracie's Diary", business meetings next week in Gettysburg, and Gracie is complaining that it's nice out and that other dogs are going for walks and why isn't she?
~Breath in ~ Breath out ~
A few days ago I ordered wildflower seed for our garden. Is anyone else excited for spring?
I need a haircut. Mom wonders why I can't jump onto the bed anymore. "Jeepers creepers woman... if you had a two inch thick wool coat velcro-ed to your chunkyfathugegigantic pleasingly plump self 24-7 you'd have a little problem of your own, don't cha think?" She cut some of the fur around my face leaving me the laughing stock of all around. "Woman! Why don't you leave the profession of grooming to the professionals? Really! And get these paint cans away from my nose. ... -n- stop moving my chair for crying out loud. I need to look out my window and observe those other dogs who are more fortunate than I - taking walks with their peeps every day". Enough on that soapbox. **Yawn** Hibernation is over for me and I feel like doing something fun. Now what can I get into? Gracie.
I'm obsessed with wallpaper border. For two nights in a row I studied every wallpaper.com on the net and pieced together all kinds of possibilities on printshop to see what would look good.
hey... it's not done yet... don't judge me
My house is a mess. Paint cans everywhere. Gracie, annoyed.
So I took a sample of my newly painted living room into Sherwin Williams and asked the guy if the border I was about to buy would look okay with the color I painted my living room. He took one look at the sample (the color I painted my living room) and said, "I don't like it." I said, "Well, it's too late for that now. It's done. Now help me find something that will go with it." And he did. lol.
Nate Berkus, design expert and star of The Nate Show,
Next weekend we spring forward. I love this time of year!
We have a hearing Expo in Gettysburg Pa.
to attend this month.
My daughter Lindsey (Rissi and Summer's mommy) is getting married on the 18th to Robby (Rissi and Summer's daddy). It's about time!
We have TV advertising that starts this month and several newspaper ads. Gary has done interviews on talk radio that will air this month.
In the hearing aid business, March usually proves to be a good month for sales. But then again, our February was fantastic!
Today I worked on our web page. I like to keep it up to date... because believe it or not, a lot of people go there. What do you think of my newsletter for March?
Gracie has been mysteriously disappearing at night. She starts out sleeping with us in bed, but then she's gone. I'll get up and look around to find her little white legs sticking out from underneath the bottom of the bed. Then after a while, she'll try to get back up on the bed but she is afraid to jump up. She'll whine and go out the door and try to get a running start. But when she reaches the bed she stops and whines. At first, I'd get up and pick her up and put her into bed with us. But then it was happening 3 and 4 times a night and I'm thinking... what is wrong with me? Gary brought her a comfy doggie bed. I laughed. "A new toy box?" I said. (That's what the others are used for). But to our surprise, Gracie has been using her bed during the night. She wanders at night.... and it makes me sad to think she's getting older and maybe isn't feeling quite as well as she used to...