Loving & Caring

Monday, March 09, 2020

Yesterday, I visited my ailing friend, Virginia, in St. Charles Hospital. Her son, Joe, had to leave for several hours and wanted company for her while he was gone, as she tends to panic on finding herself alone. Virginia is very elderly and fragile after recovering from a series of strokes that hospitalized her for over a week. She’s weak but alert, and concerned about her longevity and Joe’s future.

At first after Joe left us, Virginia seemed disoriented. Over time as we talked her voice grew in strength and she stated her opinions (as usual) clearly. Her greatest concern is that if she passes away, her son will be left alone. They’ve lived together for years as the last survivors of a family. Her concern for Joe’s welfare highly motivates her to recover, and it appears she’ll get better. Meanwhile, Joe will continue to take great care of her.

They live in LaPine. A little train of vehicles got Virginia home. Joe drove his car, with the EMT van following and Virginia inside. We thought she needed company, and so, I rode along in the emergency van. My seat was located behind her and she couldn’t see me. Later, she said it wasn’t a problem for she knew I was there.

In their LaPine home, a hospital bed had been delivered and set up in the living room near a television and a blazing wood stove. A Hospice Nurse was there waiting for Virginia’s arrival and took her vital signs. That nurse and Joe went aside to discuss future steps while Virginia and I talked. She has high determination to get out of that bed and probably will. Meanwhile, Joe will provide medications and reassurance.

My trip to LaPine was spontaneous, and created questions about how I’d get home. Joe would have ordered a taxi, but I wanted to avoid that expense. I asked the EMT guys if I could ride back with them, but they were concerned that a new call immediately could divert their direction. Fortunately, it turned out that the Hospice Nurse lives in Bend, she kindly gave me a ride home.

Serendipitously, that nurse and I discovered we’re neighbors living just a few blocks apart. We shared what we knew about a nearby large development under construction on Butler Market Road. Both of us had in “sister stories”. Her sister, in ill health, lives with her, and recently having lost my sister, I’m familiar with Hospice.

The day was eventful and full of learning for everybody involved. Overnight, I thought lots about Virginia and Joe, with hopes that both had become more calm and managed to sleep. I’ll call today to ask how they’re doing.

Dear Friends: Yesterday called for “going with the flow”, and we all exactly did that. Diana

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