Monday, December 5, 2011

It’s probably good she is farther away… AKA Stay away when you’re sick!

I’m missing Mom right now!  I haven’t seen her since last Tuesday – almost a week!  Usually I see her two times a week, sometimes three, and I visit for a couple hours.  I’ve stayed away since last Tuesday because I just didn’t want to take the chance of spreading an illness to her or any of the other residents.

Some things don’t stop me from visiting.  I hurt my back the Monday before Thanksgiving but I still visited.  When my husband came down with a cold or infection of some sort after Thanksgiving, I visited last Tuesday because I had no symptoms and we were being careful.
My next visit was to be last Friday but I received an early morning call that my littlest grandson was not feeling well.  God must have been watching out because I started having headaches that day – not caused by my little Hurricane J - and by Saturday was well on my way to the same thing my husband had.  Here I sit today, still not 100% but hoping that later this week I’ll be in good shape to go.

I’m especially sensitive to visiting if there is a possibility that I am ill because many years ago, I worked in a nursing home as a dietary aide.  I loved my work!  I helped the cooks prepare the meals and kept everything clean and neat for them.  My favorite part was serving the residents – knowing each one’s quirks and favorite foods and joking with them as I made sure they enjoyed their meal.  After the meal it was my job to wash the dishes and put them all away but industrial dishwashing equipment made that a fun and easy chore too.
So what does that have to do with spreading an illness?  There was a day during my time there when a cook came in with a stomach virus.  She should have stayed home and certainly should not have been handling food.  Within one week, three of the most vulnerable residents passed away after having symptoms of a stomach bug.  I can’t say it was the cook’s fault because the bug was going around and visitors were coming in and out all the time.  All these years later, however, I still remember that lesson.

So, in this case, I’m happy that Mom is farther away because if she was close, I would feel that I had to see her every day because no one else would be close.  And I’m happy to say that, while I have not been able to visit, our very large family has more than made up for it!  Mom has had MANY visitors this past week!
Two of my grandnieces take Mom and another resident for a walk.  It makes me SOOOO happy!