Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Feeling good again

To make up for having such a horrible day on Saturday, I have felt strong on Sunday and Monday, although today I'm a bit tired and just want to stay in bed. Yesterday was acupuncture day and, as usual, the treatment left me feeling quite relaxed. There are just two more weeks left in the current semester, after which I'll be starting with a new student. I'm going to ask if I can continue to work with the same supervisor, as I really like his approach.

Afterwards, Marty and I went out to lunch, and on the way back, still feeling strong, I wanted to stop in a crafts store that sells ribbons, and lots of other things, as I wanted to put a new ribbon on the neck of the cute little bear that came with my Valentine's Day candy. His ribbon said "Russell Stover" and I didn't particularly like it. The store has ribbon on the lower level, and there is no elevator, just stairs, so they gave me a stool to sit on while one of the clerks went downstairs and brought up a selection of ribbons for me to look at. I was very glad that the storeclerks were aware that this is the proper way to meet their obligations under the ADA to make their facility accessible. I found a lovely irridescent magenta ribbon that goes beautifully with Elbee's brown fur. Although it was a grey, cold day, with occasional rain, it felt good to be out.

Florence left first thing on Monday morning (Julie drove her to the train station); it was hard to say goodbye to her, but she promised she would be back for another visit soon. Last time she was here she was sleeping upstairs, and she was going up and downstairs repeatedly, which resulted in her doing some damage to her knee, which she is still being treated for. So this time she stayed down here in my extra room, which has a comfortable daybed, and she limited her times on the stairs. Last time we kept urging her to use the front stairs, which are much wider than the back ones, and she was poo-pooing us, but this time when she did go upstairs she was using the front stairs, so I hope at least she hasn't done any more damage.

Marty is planning to host a seder here tomorrow evening, and he has promised to do all the work involved. He's going to roast a turkey and is asking his guests to bring various other elements of the meal. I'm hoping to feel strong enough to sit at the table the whole time, but if necessary I can go lie down for a bit and then come back. I think I will volunteer to make the gravy (if I feel up to it)--as far as I'm concerned, the gravy is the best part of a turkey dinner! On the second seder night we'll be going to some friends of Marty's.


  1. Hi Judi, I've just caught up with your blog after a trip to Italy. It is such a vivid picture of your daily struggles, delights - lovely friends, comfort foods, helpful treatments, I feel as if I am there with you.

    Have a wonderful seder. I went to one with Lauren Spiro somewhere near Washington, when I visited the states 2 years ago, it was fabulous. It was the week after I visited you.

    Many good wishes and love

    Jan W from England

  2. Hi Judi,

    Have a good seder hope the dinner is delicious.


  3. Hi, Judi! i just saw the article about you in the Boston Globe (Ideas, 22 March 2009). I was fascinated on two accounts: one, regarding your hospice experience (my mom was in one recently) and two, your mental health advocacy. You mentioned, in the article, using the hospice model for mentally ill folks. For the most part, i agree. The hospice model definately "puts the patient in the center". When my mom was at a hospice, the staff was absolutely wonderful. It takes a special person to work hospice; not just for dealing with dying but just for the everyday stuff. There were nurses who sat with my mom and talked to her (about serious things but also about everyday things such as local politics and the birds outside the window).
    I obtained a psychology degree in 1992. I worked in the mental health field for about ten years before being burnt out and being frustrated by the lack of "functionality" (for lack of a better word!) of the mental health facilities. Mental health workers have such a low status in our culture (sure, psychiatrists have a high status but the everyday MH worker has low staus, low pay, low mobility).
    I don't know how we can elevate the status of mental health workers (also that of preschool teachers!)but that , i think, is the first step in attaining a better and more efficient mental health system.

    Thanks for your work! I admire that you continue promoting the dignity of mental health patients!

    My sister also lives in Arlington.
    Have a good day!!

  4. Hi Judy,
    Found your blog just yesterday. Will connect other friends like Melissa Marshall who, like, me are admirers of your work, your mission, and the spirit you always bring to it. Have been remembering the keynote address you gave at Advocacy Unlimited graduation at CT Valley Hospital