COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

bad luck“He’s not usually like this.  He usually is totally in control and has a lot to say.”  Jeff, hearing this comment, opens his eyes briefly to glare at his sister, but with good humor.  He tries to start and finish some thoughts but is dropping off to sleep, after a rough morning and some additional morphine doses to manage his significant pain.

So many things are “not fair” in life.  And for this man, as I learn a little of his story, life has been more than unfair this past year.  I am reminded again that people find ways to cope; find ways to laugh in the midst of misery; find love in their families, though they are so very imperfect.  Yes, making jokes about the marijuana that is helping with his pain and nausea, and being gentle with his wife who has early onset dementia in her late forties, and allowing his sister to begin taking over some of the things that he has always independently managed; these are things that Jeff is learning to do as his tumor is pinching off the blood supply to his heart and lungs, “changing” now becoming his new mantra more and more each day. 

My kids used to say when I became a nurse I stopped giving them much consolation for their injuries.  My saying, “No blood, no Band-Aid” has been repeated to me years later, they actually wanted to have Band-Aids applied for all the little “owies” even without evidence of bleeding!  (Who knew?)  So much in life is experienced in the unique way that we “see it”.  I am reminded today to “pay attention”!

Perspective changes when the small things become bigger, until they demand to be noticed.  We go our merry way throughout the day, often unaware of the gifts we enjoy each day.   I guess one thing is evident, when large glaring truths are screaming to be noticed, the mundane becomes overshadowed.  

I was aware today, like I often am, (thank you, Jeff), of the blessing of health, comfort, mental acuity, loving relationships and so much more.
Things I do not want to take for granted.  They are gifts. 

Today I am thankful. 

About Amy Getter

MS, RN, CHPN
This entry was posted in end of life care, family of the dying and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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