This and That
It has been a long few months for me, between working on my master's thesis and dealing with some serious cardiac issues. As a result, I never wrote some of the entries I had intended to write never. So I'd like to take this opportunity to update my readers on some of the goings-on in Winheld's World.
I visited with my friend and former neighbor, Branden, in mid-August. Despite his physical disability, he has now lived independently for more than two years, and I wanted to check out his place. Though he is several years younger than I am, we got to know each other when we used to share paratransit rides.
After being on a long waiting list, he was able to move out of his parents' home into an affordable, fully accessible apartment (see photos) in a housing development for people with physical disabilities in Philadelphia. Living on my own is something I have always hoped to do. But beside the fact that there is such a shortage of affordable accessible housing in general, it would be a bit more challenging for me because I require nursing care and cannot be left on my own. Still, I was encouraged to see that there are options out there. Meanwhile, I plan on visiting Branden again -- the guy has a fully stocked refrigerator!
In early October, I attended an engagement party for my friends Sarah and Vinny. Sarah and I have known each other since 7th grade. Sarah was the new girl in school that year and practically every guy, including yours truly, had a crush on her! I was pretty shy around girls in those day, but because she lived around the corner, I always made sure to pass by her house in case she was around. Over the years, we have remained good friends. Not only did she come up with the title for my book, but she is also the subject of a humorous anecdote in the book. So it was really wonderful to be in attendance at her engagement party. I've gotten to know Vinny over the past few years and we always seem to hit it off well. July seems like a long time away, but I hope with all of my heart that I will be there to watch them walk down the aisle together.
Finally, in recent weeks, there has been a changing of the guard with my caregivers. First, I lost my long-time evening attendant, who moved out of the area. Then, one of my nurses, who was not only a good nurse but was also available on Saturday evenings so I could get out and socialize with friends, quit in a squabble with my nursing agency.
The details really don't matter. But the point is that in the course of two weeks, I lost two really good caregivers to whom I had grown close. I'm not one to hold a grudge. I appreciate all that my nurses and aides do for me and when it is time for them to move on, I always wish them luck and hope they stay in touch.
The good news is that where one road ends another one begins. My other aide who works in the morning recommended a friend to fill my evening hours and she turned out to be extremely pleasant and dedicated. As for Saturday evenings, a new nurse that had recently come aboard offered to take those hours. I immediately agreed in light of the fact that she is an excellent nurse and we get along well. It helps that we are fairly close in age and she is also a rabid Phillies fan like I am.
Of course, training new staff requires some energy and patience on my part and unfortunately, as I have grown weaker in recent years, it has become a little more difficult. In the end, however, it's always good to see some fresh faces, especially if they are good caregivers.