Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cold hands, warm heart

Image from Deviant Art[a]
Even though the car was warm, and I had on gloves,  by the time I got to AgeCare Seton the -18 C weather had made my hands are cold.

Kelvin wanted to me to hold his hand when I arrived yesterday and I did, the warmth differential between his hand and mine feeling pretty good.

A health care worker came in and ask Kelvin how he was doing.

He haltingly said, "My hands are not as cold as Arta's."

Old habits die hard.  Before I knew it, I was off my feet and to the front of the bed placing my other hand on his chest and saying, "But look, this one is even colder."

I saw the fastest move from Kelvin I have seen in weeks.  He pushed my hand away and furrowed his brow to show me exactly how cold my hand had been. I doubt it was anywhere close to approaching zero, but his look made me think it might have been.

Shortly, the nurse came in to do a procedure on him and there was no way he was letting her hands get close to him, no matter how she tried to prove her hands were warm.  She put them on his arm.  She showed him that she had gloves on.  She laid his hand on top of hers.  But he was still living in the past.

I had seen Ramona just as I entered Agecare Seton and she said that she was bringing Grant to see Kelvin.  Grant is loosing weight.  It looks like Ramona has bought him jeans that are too big.  But I think the truth is that he is just getting smaller, even needing suspenders to hold his trousers up. Grant is good for not just one hug, but a series of hugs, reintroductions and hugs for about five minutes.  Then he walked right up to Kelvin's bed and in his clear army commander's voice barked, "What are doing in bed, brother?  Time to get up."

Kelvin really smiled.  One word at a time said, "I ... can't ... find ... the energy."

The four of us sat and told the story of our lives to each other.  Ramona is taking Grant on a family vacation to Pennsylvania next month.  I told Grant that Ramona would have a better time if she left him at home.  He told me, no, he wanted to go.  He has never seen Pennsylvania and she will make sure he has a good time.  I think he is right.

Ramona said that Grant sometimes forgets to eat the mid morning and mid afternoon snacks that are brought to him.  He tried to get her to eat his, and a little later, he saw it again, and this time ate it.

I can't imagine getting so old that I will forget to eat my snack.

Arta

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