I decided to start a blog about my life as a volunteer. And since I only volunteer once a week, I will also post my crafting projects and what is happening in our daily lives.
I volunteer at local Hospital. A hospital that I got to know very well 4 years ago. My husband, Bryan suffered a severe stroke on July 15, 2006. A day that changed our lives forever! Bryan also volunteers at the hospital helping current stroke survivors. My goal is to make someones day a little brighter. Some patients are crabby, happy, depressed, funny, grateful, angry, tired, hurting. But most of all, they are people. People who are in the hospital for anything from illness to injury. I wish I would have started this when I first started volunteering, as I have met some awesome people. But, I guess better late than never!
Yesterday was Friday the 13th. I only had 4 patients in my program today. First I went to see Mr K. He is an 88 year old man who has urinary retention. He was watching tv when I entered his room. The shades were pulled. It was a cloudy rainy day, but I asked if I could open his drapes. He said sure. We talked about what he could see and the great lakeside view he had. He asked me if he had to pay more for the view! I knew this was going to be a good visit. We talked about what to order for lunch. He really was not that hungry, but agreed to look over the menu with me. I would mention something..nope that did not sound good. Finally he agreed on a turkey sandwich, soup and milk. I placed his order. We got his tray cleaned and ready, he was looking forward to eating. Put the news on his tv and I told him I would be back when his lunch arrived. Off to visit Mr W. He is 82 and was taken to the hospital with confusion and weakness. Heck, he is 82 I think he is entitled to be a little weak! And confusion, I have that everyday! He was not having a good day. He was pretty grumpy, just wanted to go home. I tried to get him to talk about something positive, but this was not going to happen. He just wanted to rest. I got him a warm blanket and tucked him in. He touched my hand and said thanks. I was hoping when he got up from his nap, he would be feeling much better. Next on my list is Mr L. He got the news that he has lung cancer. His attitude was GREAT! He has a "lady friend" told me he was too old to have a girlfriend. He told me the story of his grandson (who is 13) was told by his parents that he is too young to have a girlfriend. He said to his Grandpa, "If you are too old to have a girlfriend and I am too young to have a girlfriend, what is the right age to have girlfriend?" Mr L had just gotten his lunch. I helped him set up his tray and open all the packets of goodies. Ok, hospital food really not that many goodies. But he ordered a vanilla shake, and was so excited to start with that! He said that you should start with the good stuff in case you get full and can't eat everything. Made perfect sense to me! Next was Mr F. He is 82 and had an pulmonary embolism. He was really tired and had a lot of company this morning. He did want some fresh water and ice, so after I filled those. I left him to rest. On my way back to the volunteer office, I met an elderly couple trying to find the cafeteria. This frail elderly man pushing his wife in a wheel chair. I walked with them to the cafeteria. It is pretty hard to find. I helped with their trays. They were so happy to have help. Those are the things that make volunteering such a great experience! Then back to see if Mr K had his lunch. It had just gotten there when I got back to his room. I helped him open up the sandwich, soup and milk. He said he wished he had ordered dessert...maybe there is something to the theory to eat the good stuff first. I went to the nutrition room on the floor and got him a little cup of orange sherbert! He was so excited, you would have thought he won the lottery! He opened that and began eating, with a big smile on his face. Tonight for supper we had taco pizza, but I started my meal with a cookie....just in case!