Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Learning Finnish

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I have the interesting experience of being in a remote location that has attracted Finnish, Italian and Portugese inhabitants. People who love fish, wine and living near water.

My spunky patient, Ginny, was on a roll today. Carl had come by, and she fluttered with excitement.

When I told her it was time to head to the gym, out of her mouth flowed a melodious word. I think it was paskiainen. Her eyes twinkled. Her smile was wide.

"What was that, Ginny?"

She whispered the translation.

Son of a bitch!

We laughed and she headed willingly to the gym....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Love and the Single Elderly

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I've been proposed to twice this week!

It's not an uncommon occurrence to have an elderly gentleman respond to our "working" relationship by wanting to make it personal. They usually start off with, "You have a husband at home?".....

"No," I usually reply. It's best to keep the answers simple sometimes. No need to turn the focus on therapy off of them.

Of course, even that one-word answer can give an old man hope!

"Marry me!"

I have to admit, it always makes me smile. I soften the blow by telling them that I'm like a bird flitting from place to place, not a good choice for someone who is settled down. They take the bad news graciously.

It made me think about being single, old and wanting love in your life. I can count on several hands only (from my 16 years as a therapist) the number of couples who have been married 50-60+ years who look at and treat each other as if they had just fallen in love. I have a patient right now who has that kind of relationship with her husband.


Most single older people I know want to be connected intimately to a partner. I'm referring more to an emotional connection, though some want sex.

I worked with a new patient today.  Ginny is 90. We share the same birthday which created an immediate bond. She told me about her long, beautiful marriage to her husband which ended four years ago with his death.

"I have a boyfriend now.  Carl should be by to see me later."  Her eyes twinkled with joy and mischeviousness. "He is 38!"

"Wow!" I thought. I wouldn't mind a 38 year old boyfriend, either....then I laughed silently. That Ginny is spunky!

"So, Ginny, is Carl....a helper?"  I wondered if her intermittent confusion may have skewed the story.

"Oh, he helps me around the house, takes me to dinner. He's my love interest, too."

(Would you blame me for questioning this?)

I saw Ginny's son later in the day. He stopped by to see how her treatment was progressing. I asked him, "Is there a man named Carl in Ginny's life? She's telling me he is her love interest."

Her son replied, "Well, since she just introduced me as her husband, I'm not surprised!"  He told me that there was a Carl. He rents a room from Ginny, and he does, indeed, help around the house. He had already visited her at the facility.

I never really got the "skinny" on whether Carl really has the hots for Ginny, but I did find it supportive that this young man would visit an elderly lady at the nursing home.

I have witnessed the most interesting of relationships that grow, from residents who meet and marry in nursing homes, former staff and patients who come together after the treatment is over, and strange couplings of people who come in for short term rehab.

I'm not in any position to judge a person's relationships. There are relationships that outsiders may not understand, but it's not for anyone else to understand the bond except for the two people involved.

Tonight, I raise my tea mug
to all those lucky old people
who have spent a lifetime
with someone they cherish.
I raise a prayer for those who are sad and lonely.
I appreciate those who reach out to others around them
with companionship and a smile.

What will it be like for us when we are old?
With whom do we want to be?

Sunday, November 27, 2011


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I'm getting ready to return to work after the Thanksgiving holiday. It was the first year in many that I had Thursday and Friday off! In the rehab world, therapy still has to be done 5 days a week, so I worked on Saturday.

I spent the holiday with my "adopted California family." As I drove the three hours to their home, I was overcome by the beauty of the coast, the forest and, as I neared their home, the vineyards in fall splendor.

I nearly had to stop the car! I felt tears choking me. That led to a long list of other things that I felt thankful for. I literally spent the trip in prayer, Thanksgiving prayer...

There have been a number of years in my life in which I have not been able to see the good in everything. This hard work of forgiving and releasing all that does not positively serve my life is paying off.

It leaves only that which brings the best of thoughts.

May each of you focus on the best of your thoughts this week. Forgive. Let small things go. Give people the benefit of the doubt. See what happens!

Want to Heal? Or Not?

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I'm happy to see recent readers from Poland, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, United Arab, Germany, Indonesia and USA! I'd love to have your perspectives on the issues that I write about. Please comment!

In my years working with sick people, I have found that many people want to heal,

but some do not.

In an effort to understand why, I turned long ago to the amazing works of Caroline Myss. Last week, I pulled one of her books off the shelf, drawn for unknown reasons. Tonight, I realized the connection.

I had been re-reading Why People Don't Heal and How They Can.  In the years since I studied the book, much of the information has integrated spontaneously into my practice; however, I always learn something new when I digest a book like this again. It's a new perspective driven by personal and professional experiences I have had since I initially held the book in my hands and mulled over its message.

Last night, I read about Myss' concept of "woundology." Myss writes early in the book, "when we define ourselves by our wounds, we burden and lose our physical and spiritual energy and open ourselves to the risk of illness." stop for a moment and think.

Is there a physical or emotional wound
you experienced earlier in life
that still drives your decisions or reactions?

Each of us has had either a critical parent, a rocky relationship in the household, a physical injury, the death of a loved one, a moment of terror, or a bad experience in school...

the question is,

Do you covet it?

Do you emotionally "feed and water" it like a houseplant?

Do you allow it to be the excuse
that you can't live authentically
or without fear, anger or depression?

A friend called tonight. His ex-wife has been diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer that has metastasized to other organs. He needed to brainstorm what to do.

I gave suggestions regarding the western medicine perspective (insurance talk/hospitals/recommendations for questions to ask). The discussion turned toward how he could support her.

They are both in anguish. Despite the fact that they no longer live together, he wants provide emotional, physical and financial support of a loyal mate. What a good heart he has!

I also wanted to know from an energy medicine standpoint what may have contributed to the illness. The location of her illness had to do with honoring relationships, learning to "let go", lessoning control issues, and finding balance in life.

My friend related that his ex-wife's childhood included the traumatic loss of her father, a controlling and negative mother, and a lifetime of focusing on negativity. I understood immediately these concepts that Myss wrote about in reference to this cancer patient.

In the book, Myss says that "we are not meant to stay wounded. We are supposed to move through our tragedies and challenges and to help each other move through the many painful episodes of our lives."

and this part I love!  She says, "Wounds are the means through which we enter the hearts of other people. They are meant to teach us to become compassionate and wise."

Myss talks about the concept of a cellular bank account. Radically abbreviated (read the book!), she explains about life force energy (aka chi, qi, grace, holy spirit or prana), "Everything in our lives - every thought we have, every action we are involved with - requires some of this energy."

If you can replace the image of the ebb and flow of energy in our bodies with the image of money in and out of a bank account, you'll get the idea of
the give and take of energy and how it affects the body. For example, if you attempt to take out more money than you have in your bank account, what happens? Your debit card gets declined or you bounce a check.

Myss says that we either obtain energy from other people (parasitic/not good) or from our own cell tissue. We have to come up with a fresh supply of energy each day to properly care for our bodies. If we spend too much energy holding on to events in our lives, the cost takes a toll physically on our bodies.

"Refusing to let go of past events, whether positive or negative, means throwing away some part of your daily energy budget." She mentions the positive energy part because many people spend way too much time revisiting better times in the past....the goal is actually to concentrate on the present!

"You have to accept the stage of life in which you find yourself and maintain it with consciousness."

What to do with others who are suffering? She writes, "Viewing a trauma or a tragedy happening in somebody else's life demands of us a compassionate response, since compassion is an energy charge that assists a suffering person."

By the way, Myss also writes, "We need to realize that in some cases it may be Divine will that we do not heal at the physical level but learn from a chronic or terminal disease certain lessons that our soul needs to discover. At other times, we are meant to absorb spiritual virtues that are available to us only through illness and perhaps by doing so, inspire others."

A lot to digest, isn't it?! 

I recommend this book to healers and those who wish to be healed! I've only scratched the surface...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bette Sings about Life

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I first heard this song 18 years ago when I was traveling cross country with my twin sister. I hit replay until she told me she couldn't handle hearing it one more time!
courtesy of Utube
This is a heartwrenching song that reminds me of many of my patients. They just "wind down." They stop living....

this is your reminder today not to just wind down...
live life to the fullest!!

I sometimes have this conversation with my patients who wish to die:

 "You are still here for a reason..." 

Sometimes we don't know what it is. Sometimes it's about the lessons that our situation teaches another. My patients teach me daily about grace, compassion, patience and forgiveness.

The objective is to live as fully and gracefully as possible
during this wonderful opportunity we have with life!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

How to Choose a Nursing Facility

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As baby boomers age, it's vital to be aware of  what to look for when you are in a position to place a loved one in skilled nursing. Skilled nursing is available to adults if they are not ready to return home after being in the hospital or if they have been living at home and they require too much care to maintain independence.

It is important to do due diligence when considering potential skilled nursing facilities for your loved one!

Before You Visit
Check out the following website, Nursing Home Compare.  Click on the tab that says "Find and Compare Nursing Homes." You can search facilities by the name of the city, zip code, state or the name of the building. This website will reveal recent state survey results and will post where the building was deficient in giving care to its residents. It also provides a 5-star system to rate the quality of care in each home, with 1 star symbolizing underaverage care and 5 stars indicating exceptional care.

That being said, I've been assigned to 2-star homes that gave better care than homes with higher ratings. You have to look deeper than the 5-star system to make a good decision!

Call the prospective building during the day and in the evening. Count how many times the phone rings before someone picks up. If you get put on hold, does someone get back with you? Does the person who answers the phone sound friendly and professional?
When You Visit
Scan the outside of the building. It is the first impression! Check your gut feeling.

What is the atmosphere like when you walk in the door? Calm, friendly, chaotic, stressful? What do you hear? Make note of it - overhead music, people calling out, laughter, you hear overhead pages? Door or wheelchair alarms going off?

Look at the lobby furniture. Does it look clean and comfortable, or does it look like hotel furniture from the 1970's?
Walk past the nursing station. Stand there for a there a buzzer beeping to indicate that a call light is going off? If so, how long does it ring? This reveals a potential response your loved one may receive when he or she hits the call light.

Look at the seats, the wheels and the frames of the wheelchairs. Are they all clean and well maintained? Are they dusty, covered with crusty food or other substances?

Check out how well groomed the residents are...
  • is hair combed?
  • are faces clean?
  • are teeth brushed?
  • are fingernails trimmed and clean?
  • is there food from the last meal on the residents' clothing?
These are good indications of how nurse aides would give daily care to your loved one.

If it is mealtime, observe the dining room. If music is playing, is it generation appropriate? Are the aides talking to each other, or are they addressing the needs of the residents?

What is the volume around nursing stations? Is it loud or quiet? Remember, this is a home - there should not be so much noise that people cannot rest.

Ask to look at the showers. This is where your loved one will be taken at least twice a week to be bathed. Has it been sanitized and tidied between showers? It should be.

Look in the bathrooms. How many people will share this bathroom with your loved one? Is there enough turning radius to get a wheelchair in easily if your loved on is wheelchair bound?  Look at the cleanliness of the visitor's bathroom. (It's like checking out the bathroom of the restaurant; you get an idea of what the kitchen is like, too!)

How large are the rooms, and how many roommates will your loved one have? I am currently assigned to a building where most of the rooms house three residents. They have very little personal space.

Ask about the rehab team. How many therapists are in the building? If your loved one is on Medicaid, will the building provide rehab to Medicaid patients?

If your loved one is a younger adult (under the age of 60) who has had a catastrophic accident or illness, and who is on Medicaid, I recommend talking to the Administrator or Executive Director of the building to determine how invested they will be if you wish your loved one to have access to rehabilitation. In some cases, the building may be compensated for providing therapy to your loved one, and in others, the building will have to provide it at their expense.

There are other things I will add in the future. Other SNF OTs, please feel free to add on to this list! I'm working on a checklist, will publish soon...

Family members,
what are the issues you are facing?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reminiscing Can Heal our Childhoods

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I had a playful discussion with Bertie yesterday. We were sitting on the mat in the gym trying to "open up" her shoulder blades. (When people lose range of motion in their shoulders due to injury (like a rotator cuff tear) or disease process (like arthritis), they also lose motion in their shoulder blades. You have to  get the scapula (shoulder blade) moving in (rotating) in order to get the arm moving above shoulder height. Just a little fyi.

We were chatting as I mobilized the scapula. She started telling me about how she spent summers in New York with her grandmother. There were no little girls to play with there, but there were two naughty little boys who really didn't want her around.

She got tickled when she related a story about throwing apples into a cider press, a contraption that squeezed out the juice and made cider. The little rascals turned a hose from the cider press on her, the way a fireman points a hose at a fire.

"I can still feel the way it knocked me down!" she exclaimed, laughing. "Those boys got in such trouble!"

We had such a delightful session, with me asking bunches of questions, and Bertie sharing from her past. I asked her, "Bertie, do your children know these stories from your childhood?"

She paused...."no, they don't!"  She paused again.

    "Bertie, have you thought of telling them all the stories you just told me?"

"No, but I really should."

     "I think they would really enjoy knowing this side of you!"

And from there, she formed a plan. When she is with her daughter and son this weekend, she is going to start telling her stories.

Of course, this made me think of my own parents. My parents both experienced traumatic events that affected their childhoods, which always made me and my siblings hesitate to ask them about details of their growing-up years. I can count the number of fond memories they have shared with us on one hand.

It's been a closed book.

As a healthcare professional, I think that it's time to open the book.

We therapists have animated discussions among ourselves about how our parents will listen to other therapists but not their own children who are experts in the field! My parents may not agree with my opinion, but here it is:

When people have experienced great grief, trials or heartbreaks in early life, it's as if a piece of them splinters off to protect themselves. Some people hold that part of themselves tightly guarded without ever reintegrating and healing that part. I'm not saying people disassociate, like multiple personalities! I'm saying that we lose a bit of ourselves when we experience some loss as a child.

We have the opportunity to heal ourselves when we come to understand our childhood from an adult perspective, when we allow ourselves to be in touch with our Inner Child, when we laugh at all the things we thought were hilarious when we were little, and when we revisit what life was like.

It's important to remember both the good and the bad.


The good reminds us that there was, indeed, good in our lives, that we had friends, that we laughed, that we were (and still are) beautiful souls on this earth learning our way. It helps us remember the kindness of other people, whimsical events, magical moments and joy.

Sorting through the bad allows us the opportunity to surround the incident with love, forgiveness and healing, to let it end, to diffuse its potential to hurt us again. We are free to release it, to stop carrying it with us like rocks in our pockets. It's okay to let it heal!

Some people do not want to let go of what pains them. They want to carry it like a visible scar. They want others to know they are a victim.

Let me ask you this:

Does it serve you to be a victim?

Does it serve you to forgive? To let go?

Is it difficult to revisit painful events?

It is necessary to "close the circles" as we age. The earlier we can do it, the better. We live more life with greater joy and less anger, bitterness or depression. When you go to the places that have held you back, sit in those places, heal them and move forward, you take off at warp speed.

It changes your life.

Who were you as a child?
What made you laugh?
Who made you cry?
Have you told your children your stories?
Have you asked your parents to tell you theirs?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Advice from a Tea Bag

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This weekend, I felt a twinge of a sore throat. Time to pull out the Yogi Tea Cold Season Sampler. Yogi is one of my favorite brands. 

I heat water and pour it into my favorite mug. As the tea bag seeps, I squeeze in some honey.

As I stir, I turn over the paper tab at the end of the string. On the tab is printed the best advice I have ever read on a tea bag:

What's the best advice
you've ever read on a tea bag?
Pass it on!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Effects of the Full Moon

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I hop out of the Forester, happy that it's the eve before Friday. I open the gate of the white picket fence to head to my little cottage. Gazing up into the dark sky (dark at such an earlier hour since the time change), I stop to relish the full moon shining brightly through a few wispy clouds.

My senses shift from visual to auditory. I suddenly realize that every dog in the neighborhood is howling at the moon! Seriously... It must be every dog in the neighborhood!

I instantly knew what tonight's blog entry would be....

the effects of the full moon.

A great website called Neuroscience for Kids says:
  • A full moon happens every 29.53 days.
  • Sometimes there are two full moons in one month. It IS possible to have a month without a full moon, but this does not happen very often and it can happen only in the month of February.
  • You will have to wait until February 2018 for the next month without a full moon. 
(Hey, if you're really interested in the phases of the moon, check out

I went online convinced I would find interesting correlations between the full moon and crazy behavior.  It was a stretch to find valid research results confirming a connection between the full moon and outrageous behavior in humans and animals.  I found only a few research results that supported my beliefs.

Would you guess that Assaults and crimes (J. Psychology, vol. 93:81-83, 1976) occur more often around the full moon?

So do animal bites, according to one study....

...and nursing home residents? Alan Beck of Purdue University conducted a study that found that wandering, anxiety, physical aggression, and verbal confrontation in Alzheimer's patients significantly increased and lasted longer during periods of the full moon.

I would definitely say that there has been an increase in yelling, calling out (there's a difference!), crying, and unexpected emotional distress among the dementia patients in my building this entire week. The alarms on the exit doors have rung much more frequently as our wanderers seek freedom outside.

Am I glad it's almost the end of the work week during a full moon?

You bet!

A wealth of studies may not exist to support what healthcare practitioners observe and experience around the clock, throughout  days, months and years of providing care for dementia patients. doesn't mean these influences don't exist...
Enjoy the beautiful full moon tonight, everyone!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Washing of the Feet

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If you're a occupational therapist with a really tough patient,
I recommend
focusing on the FEET.
You know what, though?
Cleansing of the feet is for every ONE of us..

What do feet do for us?  They:
  • transport us everywhere we go  
Your feet travel approximately 7,000 steps a day, and the average person walks 115,000 in a lifetime (
  • lead champions to the podium
"I let my feet spend as little time on the ground as possible. From the air, fast down, and from the ground, fast up." Jesse Owens
  • provide grounding  and a connection to the earth
"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." Henry David Thoreau
  • help us make a stand
"I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet." Nadia Comaneci
  • bring us pleasure or sensory experiences
Foot rubs, pedicures, barefoot walks on freshly cut grass or on the beach..

You get the point!
Every time I have a difficult, defiant, depressed or emotionally detached patient, I pull their basin out of the nightstand drawer. I fill it with warm soapy water and slip their feet into the healing liquid.

You may think, "That is not a skilled service.
 And I will tell you that, indeed, it is.

Not only is it ultimate self care, but, as a therapist, you can address
  • posture,
  • cognition,
  • strengthening, and
  • psychocial aspects of healing
while the patient is soaking his feet.

Arnie had been taking every bit of encouragement possible to even get out of bed. For two weeks straight. It was time to have a meeting with him and his wife. He was going to have to demonstrate a little more initiation to prove he didn't want to stay right there in the nursing home for good.

Arnie's feet looked as if he had not washed for years. I tried not to gasp when I spread his toes to check his skin integrity. The toe jam was so thick, I could not see his skin. The odor was foul. This was not just a quick footwash. This was an hour long endeavor and commitment to service to this man who seemed difficult, surly, and unmotivated to do anything.

I went through three basins of water, half dozen washcloths and a couple towels. I removed dirty layers of skin that should have shed off months ago. Clean, pink skin became visible over time, and I was relieved to see an end in sight.

Despite the discomfort of this task, I became intensely aware that this was an act of service to Arnie. A humble demonstration of caring. It changes people when you do this for them.

While I was doing this, Arnie began to talk. He told me of his childhood growing up and working hard on a ranch in Colorado, his adult life shared with a devoted wife and his children. He shared information that would not have crossed his lips had we not been in this intimate setting. He worked on strengthening his neck and trunk, and I dried his legs.

I applied A&D ointment (looks like vaseline) on Arnie's lower legs and feet, then he lifted his legs to receive a clean pair of socks. His facial expression had changed. Softened. I was no longer the pesty therapist trying to get him to stay out of bed. I was someone he had begun to trust.

The next day, I entered Arnie's room. He looked up and did something he had not yet done in his two weeks there - he pulled the covers back and sat up. It took him a l-o-n-g time, but he did it - in his time, not mine. I just stepped back and let him follow his pace.

I was so proud of him! He had turned the corner. I have to believe that washing the feet was a catalyst.

Gregory S Neal shared something really beautiful when he wrote Footwashing as a Means of Grace:

 It is a means of grace
for the person who does the washing
as well as a means of grace for the one who receives it.
It is a means of grace when we wash,
for in our washing of our fellow disciples’ feet
we learn what it means for us
to serve as Jesus served,
to give of ourselves in order to provide cleansing
for our sisters and brothers in Christ.
When we wash another’s feet,
we experience just a little bit of the self-giving love
that Jesus had in great abundance for everyone,
and it is this love that we are called to express to others
by washing their feet.

My job is not glamorous. It is sometimes a bit disgusting.

...It is, however, an experience of daily grace. For that, I would not trade it.

When you need to show someone you care,
consider the feet.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


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Remember my first post about the "new place?" There was a lady with dementia who repeated over and over and over....

"What do I do?   What do I do?   What do I do?"'s time to deal with it.

I overhear a conversation by the nurses talking about how Nadine's adaptive clothing needs to be replaced, so I figure that is my cue to step in. "I can help you with that, guys."
They are so busy, they are happy to turn it over. I let Nadine's family know I can address not only the clothing issue, but I would like to determine her cognitive level and identify some activities appropriate to her current cognitive level that  that may help reduce her behaviors.

Adaptive Clothing
So, first, adaptive clothing - what the heck is that?  Clothing that is modified to take care of a person's special needs. Here are simple examples:  cutting a seam on a pair of jeans to make room for a leg cast. Putting velcro closures instead of buttons if someone is unable to manipulate buttons any longer.

Nadine needs all her clothing to open/close behind her back. She has a problem that is common to more older adults with dementia than one would think. She puts her hands in her brief (aka diaper) and occasionally gets her hands and fingernails really dirty.

Sorry!! But it's reality.

You take care of that nasty little problem with clothing that secures down the back. I go online and print a few options off for Nadine's daughters. I will discuss this with them when they visit next.

Next step is the hard part.

How do I connect with Nadine? How do I actively engage her and keep her attention?

Nadine has a designated parking spot at the nurses' station. From there, she partakes in a constant line of questioning, over and over,

"What do I do?
"What?"(she can't hear well)...
(and again...) "What do I do?"
and when the nurse answers,

I meet her where she is most comfortable, at the nurses' s station. I slowly put a tray over the frame of her merry walker. Merry walkers are used for people who are dangerous to walk solo, but who need the support of holding on to something or a seat when they feel like resting. It's for people who are stable going from sitting to standing or standing to sitting, but not someone who needs help standing up. Got it? Let me know if it doesn't make sense!
I must start with a very simple task. I bring a package of sugar and sweetner packets with me. My mission is to get her to separate the pink from the white. That's all.

 The pink from the white.

I put a handful on her tray.

"Nadine, pick out the pink."

Rule #1 with dementia patients, esp. hard of hearing ones: SHORT SENTENCES

I demonstrate.

She doesn't register my slow demonstrations until about 15 minutes in. She occasionally watches what is happening around the nurses' station. I continue to clearly articulate short verbal cues while I lift the pink packets and slowly lift them into a container that I hold straight in front of her. She follows my calculated movements.

...and I see it click.... after 15 minutes!

"The pink?" she says.

I demonstrate again and put the packet in her hand.
She holds it a while, then puts it in the container.


I continue to move slowly, and for the next 5-7 minutes, she puts three pink packets in the container. Then, a turning point. She picks up a packet and holds it to her face.

"Sweet N Low," she reads,

and she proceeds to discipher the small print on the packet!

I tuck that away for the next treatment two days later. I print out Robert Frost's lovely poem, The Road Not Taken.

  The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;       
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,       
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.       
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I hand it to Nadine. She picks up the paper, and starts to read.


She has obviously recited poetry in the distant past. WOW.

A nurse walks in and sits down shocked. She starts to cry. Nadine keeps reading Frost. I print off Elizabeth Barrett Browning. EE Cummings. Amy Lowell. Louisa May Alcott. Others.

She continues to read....recite...and read some more.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lesson of the Day: End the Day with Something Special

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I've made it just in time...
pulled the Forester into the bumpy dirt parking lot
on the cliff directly above the rough Pacific waves,
cut the engine, and
taken several deep and appreciative breaths.

I try to end the busy portion of my day right here.
Taking in the transition.
Reviewing the beauty of the day that I have been given.

Some of you already know that I dig sunsets.
Really, they make my whole day.

October 23, 2011  Spectacular Sunset over the Pacific

I am going through a recent shift.
I can't describe it, but I can tell you
that it has to do
with concentrating on what is really important in life.

God, family, loving each other, forgiving each other, being the best people we can be, helping others...such valuable priorities.

What we must do is
take care of ourselves
so that we can honor those priorities.

If we are exhausted, hurt, angry, hungry, lonely or depressed,
we can find it difficult to focus.

how about transitioning every day with 5 to 30 minutes
of something that
feeds your spirit?
I watch sunsets.
You can take a bath,
rub your feet with lotion (or let the kids do it!),
put on your favorite music,
rest in your favorite chair,
read an interesting book,
write in your journal,
choose your 5 favorite things that happened today,
make love with your one and only,
talk with your best friend,
thank our Higher Power,
be gentle with yourself!