Friday, June 26, 2009

Busy, active, and energetic

Today has been a long and busy day, and I've been pleased to see my energy level being higher than it's been in awhile. I spent most of the day in the living room, which is working out very well. I was able to move there by myself, and several times I walked back to the bedroom to get some small things I'd forgotten (Marty or Ann were available to move bigger things, like the computer).

Marty was out a good part of the day, attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Islamic Society of Boston, so the weekly visit from Marie, the hospice chaplain, was just her and me. We had a good, wide-ranging talk, about books, about my recent activities, and about the value of hospice in people's lives and how to get that message out. I think for a lot of people, when they hear the word "hospice," they think it's all about some comatose person in the final stages of dying. They don't realize that hospice can be a way of helping seriously ill people to live as fully and joyously as possible--that's the message I want to try to deliver.

Although he was hoping to get back in time for my appointment with Chris, the CEO of the agency (which does visiting nurse services and home care as well as hospice), she actually arrived about twenty minutes before Marty did, giving us time to get acquainted. Everyone has told me how dynamic Chris is, and I have to agree. She's a nurse by training but has worked mostly as an administrator, and she is very excited about the agency adding hospice care to its mission. She said that, with the sponsorship of a local civic organization, she recently made a one minute promotional video that will be shown on local cable, and one idea we discussed was me making a similar video aimed at patients and families, trying to demystify hospice care and break through the fears and taboos. I also showed her the message I posted on the Obama health care site about the importance of including hospice care in overall health care reform.

Marty had said that if I was feeling up to it, he wanted us to go to a pot-luck sabbath dinner, for the members of the social action committee of the temple he is affiliated with. Before Chris arrived I'd gotten dressed, and I told Marty I definitely felt up to going out. The dinner was held in a member's home, just a short drive away, and there were maybe a dozen people gathered, a few of whom I'd met before. Although I had to sit when others were standing, I managed quite well, and enjoyed some good food, nice wine, and conversation, until I told Marty that I was running out of energy (we were the first to leave).

We've spent the rest of the evening relaxing, doing the crossword puzzle, and watching TV, and now it's time to go to sleep. The weather continues to be iffy--the sun tried to come out today, and it's rather muggy (we've got the air conditioning on for sleeping purposes). If it's reasonably nice tomorrow we may go out. I've sat on my glasses so many times they're completely bent out of shape and I can't really see out of them, and Marty thinks we should go back to Sears (where I got them) to get them worked on. If we do, we'll be right near the Legal Sea Foods in Burlington, where we can have a nice lunch.

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