Friday, March 16, 2012

Free Friday

My Nook e-reader allows me to take advantage of Barnes and Noble's "Free Fridays" and this morning, I did just that. A free book will magically be downloaded to my very own reader. Free.
I have no idea of what the book is about nor do I know if I will like it, but the idea of a "Free" day was so appealing. For the past month plus, I have been getting up and out for my beloved writing class on Friday mornings. Not today! The college is on Spring Break and there is no class. So, I am "free" today. It feels great. I don't have to rush off to anything or do anything that I don't want to do.
The word "free" for the most unfortunate of reasons, instantly brings another word to my mind, "guilt". My mother is sick. Very sick. Not quite but not far from, terminally ill. My father is well. A healthy 90 year old. He takes very good care of my mother but can't do it all. He's lousy with food shopping and putting groceries away in the correct places. He has to be "watched". Earlier this week, I did Mom a favor and went over when they were out to clean her refrigerator. In it I found dry goods, things that belonged in the closet, not the refrigerator. Would be funny if it weren't so sad at this time. My mom was grateful when I told her that I relocated some food, in the slim chance that she might be mobile enough to actually cook. She knows my father does this yet she does not correct him. Neither did I. If we correct him, he might stop doing what he does for her and we can't take that chance. So, from now on, I'll sneak over to the fridge and take a peek. I don't always like what I see. Food not eaten. What are they eating anyway? Nothing.
The problem is huge. They need help but they don't think they do. I can't do much for them yet there is so much that I can do. Can't visit because I have a hard time coordinating my time with my mother's "good" times. Most of her time is spent in the bathroom or recovering from her lengthy toilet stays. If I go later, they're tired and it's time for their ritual TV viewing. I value my hearing and want to preserve it for as long as I can and know that their TV volume puts that notion in jeopardy so I refrain from visiting. Guilty as charged. I'm a nurse and will always be a nurse. Nurses make assessments, exchange ideas with their colleagues and their patients. That's what we do. We look, we think, we comment. We don't always get thanked nor do we always hit home runs in the field of intervention on behalf of our patients, our loved ones, our most precious charges. Ours is not an easy lot, we always teeter on the edge of good judgement but we can't not try.
Today might very well be the day that I work harder than I have ever before as a nurse. The day that I convince my mother to convince my father that it's time to let me help. Today might be the day that I start nursing, once again employing all of the things I have ever learned about communicating with my patient and my colleagues. Today I might teeter on the edge of sound judgement, knowing that I may not win my case and that I might have to suffer the consequences of having taken that step.
Free Friday? Only at the Barnes and Noble website. Not for me, not for many more Fridays.

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