As everyone here knows, I work for a SNF. I had been on personal leave for 20 months when my DON called and said she had a perfect position for me, if I was ready to come back to work: any hours, any days as long I stayed under 32 hours. I had an outside time line of 24 months, based on what Fred had mentioned about his wife-caregiver, so had been wondering what I was going to do come March.
Right about the end of May 2009, when I knew Bruce would be home by the end of the month, I called my Senior CNA at my work and she set up my caregivers. She did this out of the goodness of her heart. She could have just given me names and phone numbers to call; but for the first three months, she scheduled my help at home, called to make sure they came, found substitutes if someone was sick; when we first were using the lift, made sure I had CNAs well-trained in its use and eventually agreed that with the training Leo, Cathy and Jen received from Bruce's therapists, that the plan should be consistent caregivers to improve and ease things here at home. I didn't have to re-train anyone new, everyone could drive the truck and with the four of us, Bruce's daily schedule would be consistent-best thing for a Stroke Survivor.
She fed us for weeks and often came herself and spelled me off for some time away.
She and I have worked together for 10 years. Her Mom worked in Dietary with me for 10 years before she retired and she requested my team when her Dad came to us for Rehab and eventually Hospice care. Lots of history.
This winter she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Total Hysterectomy at 29 years old. Chemo and Radiation and still taking care of her Mother.
Tomorrow the facility is holding a bake sale, with all proceeds going to her. I brought the flyer home for Bruce and posted it on his calendar. This morning he says to me, I need to make cup cakes for her! I set him up at his counter. He made chocolate cup cakes with chocolate frosting. I had to wrap them individually-he still has not mastered plastic wrap with one hand-lol. Sat in the kitchen with his toothpick to test them after they were done baking (I had to go upstairs, so I could laugh and not disrespect him, but it was funny to see). I explained to the fellow employee in charge of the event that the cup cakes were from a box mix with container frosting, but Bruce wanted to give something back to his dear friend. Left that employee crying.
I am so proud of Bruce. He watched me put them in the car-lol-wanted to make sure I didn't mess them up. I was glad I dropped them off tonight, as a caregiver we never can be sure of what the next day will hand us. When I got home tonight, first thing he asked was did I deliver the cup cakes! But tonight I can reflect on the progress Bruce has made: checks his calendar, remembers to add his needs to the grocery list, makes sure I take them and then four hours later, makes sure I dropped them off. By the way, not thinking, I helped Bruce with a shower before all this and he was covered in chocolate after all this and needed a wash up and clothing change. It was worth it!