An In-depth Update

Having all this free time really leads to a lot of boredom. I was able to go back and read a few of my older posts. I can’t believe that I really hadn’t written anything here since 2020. Now we are a full two years out from that and my how the world has changed.

I’m sure most of you are aware of how the world itself has changed. There has been a lot of political unrest as of late. There has been full chaos in our country as well as across the world. Many people are talking about “end of times” and how you can see it in the signs.

Unfortunately, I am in my early 30’s so this is not the first “end of times” that I have seen. Let’s not forget the Y2K bug that was going to end us all. There was also the end of times being prophesied for 2012. Yet, here we are still struggling and waiting for the next end of times.

I know that they say History repeats itself but I really didn’t expect to deal with the entire history of our country being crammed in the last 20 years. I mean really now, stock market crashes, inflation, racial inequality, taking women’s rights away, pandemics. What year are we living in?

Now I don’t want to get into any arguments with people. I have my right to my opinion and I will forever fight for your right to your opinion as long as we can mutually respect our opinions. You don’t have to agree with me to respect me. I don’t have to agree with you, but I will respect all people the same.

As I was saying though, I’m not here to catch us up on the world. We’ve got plenty of time for thoughts and opinions in later posts.

Truer words were never spoken

I’m here to update you guys about what has drastically changed since I was regularly posting.

Firstly and foremost, I was reading one of my older posts and it made me laugh because it said I was cooking at the home. I am no longer a cook. In fact, I have left my previous facility and went to greener fields. They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but sometimes it actually is. I will boldly state that all facilities have their fair share of turmoil regardless of how many stars they hold. I will say that even in the worst facilities you will find dedicated and wonderful staff. However, this facilities feels (or at least FELT upon my first arrival) head and shoulders above my previous facility.

I am no longer a Dietary Cook. I am now a certified Activities Director. This means that rather than trying to sneak away from my job to spend some time with my residents, my entire day is about spending time with the residents. I coordinate and run all of the activities for my residents. This entails everything from Bingo, to field trips, to just giving them someone to talk to who’s not there to check blood or pass pills.

An example of an Activities Director at a assisted living facility. In skilled nursing you’ve got more dependent people who might need adaptations to participate.

I basically get paid to make people happy. And I couldn’t ask for a better job. (Well, I absolutely could! But this job is pretty decent). Like all jobs this one has it’s ups and downs but my favorite part of my job is interacting with my residents. They are definitely wild and some of them say the craziest most outlandish things! I feel genuinely blessed to be able to be a part of their twilight years. I get to engage them, make them laugh, and we do a lot of neat and fun activities.

Aside from work, I’m very pleased to say my Grandmother Noni is still alive. She’s in end stages of her life and has been on palliative care and hospice for a while. She’s steadily declined. In March, they told us she wasn’t going to make it another week. Even though she couldn’t understand what the nurses were saying she started to repeat “[I have to die] NO WAY!” (I use brackets when I’m translating Italian)

Since her grim prognoses she celebrated her 89th birthday. She was bed ridden and couldn’t comprehend that it was her birthday but she was there for it. Surrounded by family.

In December I went back home to Boston for my annual trip and it didn’t go well. Most of my family ended up testing positive for Covid. One by one they started quarantining until about 4/6 members of my family were positive. It left me unable to interact with them as well as unable to go out anywhere because of the fact that I was trying to quarantine myself in case I ended up positive. (which if you read my last post you’ll know that that didn’t happen to me until this week!)

I was able to plan a surprise trip back in June to go back to Boston. Which was my first Non-Christmas trip back home since the pandemic began. My partner and I had a wedding in Rhode Island and it was just more cost effective to fly to Boston. I got to see my family as well as go to the wedding which was a win-win situation.

When I went back to town it was very hard to see my grandmother the way she is. She can’t leave the bed any more and hardly eats anything. She basically has comfort measures until she passes away. She doesn’t really speak much either. I saw my Uncle trying to speak to her only for her to continuously stare off into the nothingness without answering him at all. Not even acknowledging his presence.

When I tried to speak to her I imagined the same thing would be given to me. So I thought I would just sit and talk to her anyway. I sat down next to her bed and she looked at me eyes focused and she smiled. Tears welled up in my eyes and I was so grateful for that smile because it was so much more than I expected!! I truly felt blessed!

Then she said “[What a handsome young man]” which was always how she addressed me. So I knew she knew who I was. Even if she couldn’t say it she knew it was me! She had spoken! My aunt stood at the door mouth agape because it was not common for her to speak much at all let alone to recognize people.

“[Hey pretty lady!” I said back to her “[How are you feeling today]?”

She didn’t answer that question but she asked me “[Do you still cook?]” I couldn’t contain myself! “[YES! Yes I still cook!]”
She smiled again
”[Are you going to cook for me?]” which I knew she wasn’t eating but how do you say no to that?
”[Yes! I’ll cook you whatever you want! What do you want? Steak? Lasagna? Pasta?]”

She didn’t say anything else to me after that. I kept talking to her anyway. I started speaking to her in English because I knew she was there and although she might not be able to communicate that she could hear me. I opened up so much to her and told her I loved her. I told her I knew she was proud of me.

Now, you may or may not know, that I am an emotional bitch. So at this point in the conversation I’ve got tears running down my face, boogers leaking into my mustache, overall a 10/10 in the looks department. So I said in English “I need to go because you’re making me leak from all my holes, but I love you” to which she laughed!

I was floored! For the smallest of moments I had her back in the smallest way. The thing that is the most difficult about Dementia/Alzheimer’s is that it is a constant mourning. Everyday you loose something a little more.

Today I was told they recommended getting a priest for her because it looks like she may not make it much longer. Although it upsets me, it is not the first time they have said this regarding her and I will not accept it as fact any longer until I hear that she has actually passed.

I have another trip scheduled to go back home to BOston in August and I am praying that I will get to make yet another lovely memory with Noni.

Aside from Noni, I’ve had my own health scares recently too. My legs are in bad shape from a combination of weight, age, genetics, and diabetes. My diabetes has gotten a little out of control during the pandemic because I definitely was not watching what I ate.

Since going to the doctors and finding out that I’ve lost track of myself I decided to try and do al title bit better by myself. Compression socks, hydration, and watching what I eat. I went from 390 pounds in April to 362 as of now. It’s amazing how being scared can really motivate you to do better.

Diabetic goals!

All in all those are the big summations of what’s been going on in my life so far. Hopefully as I continue to write you won’t need to read a long post like this again about me.

Not stylish but comfy as hell!

What I’ve learned or reinforced in my mind since 2020?
Life is short, do what makes you happy.
Failing and giving up are different.
Keep getting up.
Do things for yourself.
Find the people who make you happy.

Well, until my next ramble stay blessed, I love you all and be good to each other.

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