I’ve always been nervous around needles. In college, I joined a group of my fellow students to donate blood. The nurse pricked my finger and I stumbled like a drunk into the other room where another nurse intercepted me, steering me to safety. “We won’t be taking blood from you today,” she said wryly. In University, while enrolled in the Dental Hygiene program and after being immunized, I was told I stood up and abruptly fainted, smacking my head on some nearby equipment on my way down. I woke up lying in a bed, unsure as to where I was, and, most unfortunately, pantsless. I was informed that, once on the floor, my bladder let go. Poor, prone, pony-tailed Polly lying in a puddle of pee in front of her peers! To this day, I use the restroom before any sort of procedure involving a needle. I couldn’t even watch my daughter get her ears pierced in the mall at Claire’s without sitting down next to the table and putting my head between my knees. Continue reading “Hangin’ in the Comfort Zone”
Category: Health Care
Impervious: Pondering the Pandemic
Let fear dictate your path and there won’t be a path to dictate.
In 2019, we visited our neighboring province at the end of October. “Why on earth would you do that?” some may ask, as Saskatchewan is not known for being a vacation destination due to its austere scenery. We happened to be on our way back from Manitoba, where we attended a seminar for my husband’s work as a pastor. We decided to take a day and explore Regina. Even though it wasn’t very wintery where I live in Alberta, I decided to throw in my winter wear as a precaution. Canadians know that winter often shows up unannounced, without regard for your preparedness, especially when you’re still sporting shorts and flip flops. On that note, last winter I did something I haven’t done in 20 years. I bought a new winter coat and not just any winter coat, but the mother of all winter coats. It’s a burgundy puffer jacket with a faux-fur trimmed hood that effectively turns me into the lion king. My daughter has informed me that it makes my head look like a shriveled pea, not a very attractive thought, but, let me tell you, I put that baby on and go outside and, despite the cold, I still feel nearly, and delightfully, feverish. Continue reading “Impervious: Pondering the Pandemic”
A Prayer for the World
You who are light and love, purity and power
Creator and sustainer of this whirling ball of rock and soil, sloshing blue, and leafy green
Whimsical mastermind of all humankind and creatures wild and wonderful
I normally do come to you with petty problems, small concerns
I dare to pray this day for the whole world
There’s a microscopic killer on the loose
But you know this
A tiny terror that has us by the throat
To take our breath away
And we’re getting crazier than usual down here
When giving is what’s called for
We’re worried bout an ever-growing list
The health of family and friends
Food on the table and bills stamped paid
Clean hands and butts
Yes, we’re a little nuts in this regard
To know what to believe
With all the cautionary and, at times, conflicting chatter we’re bombarded with
The only news in town for quite some time
And some of us do fear will lose our minds
Sequestered in our homes for endless days
Reluctantly withdrawing from the human touch we crave
To quell the spread of said uncaring, merciless bug
Oh, God, take out this miniscule thug!
You who’ve always been the champion of the vulnerable and weak
Come to our aid for some have no defense
You who healed the masses when you walked upon this earth
Do so again
Stretch out your hand and let your healing power flow
Allow the suffering among us to draw near and touch your cloak
You who give the breath of life
We need a fresh infusion
Yes, and more
Our scientists and doctors need your wisdom to advance against this wily invasion
Our healthcare workers need your strength and shielding in the fray
We all need your assistance, your divine provision
For every day, businesses are shut and jobs are lost
Our costs are soaring
Our children need tending
Our nerves need calming
As chaos threatens to engulf us
Please give us the peace you promise
Renew our trust in you and your great love for us
And fill us with compassion for our neighbours
Help us do what must be done to see that all of us get by
In this most troubling time
In Jesus’ name I pray this,
Amen and amen
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Later, Dad! A Reflection on the Death of my Father
Note from the Author: I’ve received permission from my family to share the story of my father’s passing. Some of you may have read parts of this on Facebook. I believe it’s so important that we share our stories with each other to draw comfort, inspiration, and wisdom from them and to help us better navigate life.
I always knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when. Death, that is. It’s rudely brushed past me before, but it’s easy to distance yourself when it’s someone else’s loved one. When it’s your loved one, when someone from your inner circle exits, death is no longer a curiosity and an occasion to show empathy, but a piercing of the heart. I had no idea that I would be consumed by it, that my dad’s face would take up residence in my mind, and that his departure would so ravage my thinking that keeping track of anything would become a considerable challenge. Continue reading “Later, Dad! A Reflection on the Death of my Father”
See if I Care
I lost something recently that I cherished. No, there’s been no death in my family. I like to use big words and have a tendency to exaggerate. I lost pictures I’d taken on my holidays, pictures I’d admired and played with and hoped to share on Instagram, probably 500 of them. I went on a hike to a lake this summer and impulsively took my phone, the keeper of my precious pictures, on a swim and, nope, I didn’t have them backed up. My phone is dead, blank, unyielding, even though I smothered it in quinoa, rice, and silica crystals, took it in to have it checked out by people who know more about phones than I, stroked it and prayed over it. I’m still praying, but to date, sadly, there’s been no resurrection.
Continue reading “See if I Care”
The Gift of a Giggle
Salty patient without a filter, grabbing my flab, as I leaned over her to adjust her pillow: “I see you’ve got your winter tires on.”
Me: “They’re all season.” 😀
Author’s Note: This was written when I worked as a health care aide on the geriatric wing of the local hospital.
The other day, my daughter and I made pizza together. I bought some pizza dough in a tube which, as I’m writing this, sounds gross, but what are you going to do, if you’re not a domestic goddess? We started well in advance of when we needed to be done. We read the directions, popped the tube, and Rose went to work rolling out the dough. Only, it didn’t roll out. While I grated cheese, I watched her grapple with it, her frustration increasing with every pound of her delicate fists. I figured it needed a little more muscle. I put the big guns to work. I kneaded, pressed, and patted it. I massaged it with all the pizza love I had in me and, if you’ve seen my wedding cake, you know I have some formidable pizza love. It remained on the cutting board, a cold, unyielding lump the color of death. Even the rolling pin hardly put a dent in it. Meanwhile, the time was fast approaching when my big husband would bound through the door, growling like a hungry bear. I began to get desperate and a bit silly with exhaustion. Why not? I thought to myself. Nothing else I’ve tried has worked. I whipped that inflexible blob into the air, tossing it just like I’d seen elderly, Italian gentlemen with moustachios do it. I whooped and hooted and tossed, delirious, insane, no longer caring about the time or that what I was doing was making no difference in the dough at all. The difference it made was in me. It released the tension I was feeling. It melted away the frustration.
Continue reading “The Gift of a Giggle”
The Scent of Unexpected Blessing
The other day I was doing a shower for a delicate, little bird of a lady. When I shower people, I usually try to ask questions about their lives to put them at ease, because it’s such an intimate thing I do for them. As they share their stories and the warm water droplets contact and cleanse their bodies, the tension seems to drain away with the dirty water.
As the shower progressed, I began to open and use the bath products she brought with her. I massaged her head with oil of macadamia nuts. I scrubbed her down with raspberry shower gel. After gently patting her dry with the scratchy, white, hospital towels, I massaged a lotion called “Hawaiian Island Flowers” into her arms, legs, and back. I oohed and aahed and she giggled. I felt her happiness in this most unlikely place, enveloped in a cloud of heavenly scents. I’ve never been one to use a lot of bath products, nor have I ever really considered the virtues of aromatherapy, but in that moment, I was grateful for them and the effect they had on a delicate, little bird of a lady in a hospital shower.
Author’s note: This was written when I worked on the geriatric unit of my local hospital.
Complete the experience. Read this article The Right Way to Shower. I had been showering people some time before looking this up and was surprised at what I learned.
Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂
I spoke with a doctor recently. No, it wasn’t concerning my health. He sat down to talk with me about my chosen profession as a health care aide on the geriatric unit of a hospital. He told me a story about a woman who worked in his office as a medical receptionist. She was a bright, intelligent lady and he thought her giftedness was wasted in her current position.
Continue reading “Dirty Work”
What a Day that Will Be
My daughter and I were nearing the end of our nightly walk and the sun was dipping low, the color of an orange Creamsicle. It flung its glow across the earth making the landscape appear soft and subdued, as if it were robed and ready to turn in. I looked over at my daughter’s face and that glow was resting on her, too. She looked prettier than I’d ever seen her look and I felt compelled to tell her what I saw. She responded,”Your face looks the same way.”
Continue reading “What a Day that Will Be”