Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An exhausting, exciting day

[Actually written and posted Thursday, June 4th]
I woke up very early Wednesday morning, around five, then fell back to sleep till about nine. Lauren, the nurse from the new hospice program, had said she'd come by about then, and actually arrived about nine thirty. She had a lot of forms for me to fill out, and got the process started for getting everything switched over. The guy from the new oxygen provider will be here tomorrow to review all my equipment and arrange for new stuff to be delivered. And I will get a visit from a new volunteer on Monday. So that seems to be going smoothly. I hope will like the new people as much as I liked everyone from the old program.

Laurel was here most of the day. I was feeling very tired in the morning and forgot that Anne was coming to give me an acupuncture treatment until she arrived at noon, when I was half asleep. I lay down on the daybed in the office and, as usual, acupuncture put me into a very relaxed state, and when Anne left I fell asleep for a short while, waking up feeling much more alert and energetic. Laurel said she could notice the difference.

I wasn't hungry, so didn't have any lunch, but I was quite thirsty so just kept drinking ginger ale and iced tea. In the late afternoon, Laurel helped me to get dressed in a simple dark brown jersey dress with a iridescent shawl, and purple strappy high heeled sandals. (Since I ride around in the scooter, I can wear high heels without having to worry about walking in them!) Laurel combed my hair and I put on my jewelry, including a necklace Evelyn made for me from a bunch of single earrings that I had lost the mates to.

The limo arrived on schedule--very long, complete with a uniformed driver. Julie and Marty took pictures of us all posed in front and sitting inside. The scooter got loaded into the trunk (I made sure this time that I had the key!) and we were off. As expected, the kids found it very exciting to be riding in a limo, and were having fun waving at people as we rode by.

The event was held at the Seaport Hotel in the new Waterfront District. There must have been about two hundred people there, but I immediately was greeted by a number of people I knew, and we were set up at a table right in front just for us. There was a buffet dinner and Marty got me a plate of food. Several awards were given, and mine was the last. It was presented by the Commissioner of Mental Health, who talked about the changes that had come about in the mental health system, largely through my efforts. Although everyone else had spoken from the podium, a microphone was brought to me so I could speak from my seat. (I didn't realize it but Julie called Florence and put the phone right in front of me so Florence heard my speech.) I didn't have any notes, but I talked about how, when I first started doing advocacy, people with psychiatric diagnoses were not seen as able to speak in their own interests, but now they are involved not only in their own treatment, but in all aspects of the mental health system. I talked about the importance of rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and how important that was in changing the situation of people with all kinds of disabilities. I was able to get through the talk almost without a break (I think I started to cough once), but when I was done I was exhausted, and I was glad the evening was over.

The driver had left Julie his number so she could tell him when to pick us up, and he arrived quickly. By the time we got home I was exhausted, and needed help getting into the house and into bed, but once I was lying down I felt a lot better, and I was happy that I haven't been extraordinarily tired today. I've taken it very easy, and Lisa came and gave me a massage, which also helped me to feel relaxed. I've also napped a bit today.

Also today we got a visit from Katrina, the social worker for the new hospice program, who said she would be visiting about once a week (unless we didn't want her that often), and she is also arranging for the chaplain, Marie (or maybe it's Maria) to come see me.

I hope after a good night's sleep I'll feel even stronger tomorrow.


  1. Dear Judi,
    Congratulations! I'm so happy you could go in style and give a terrific speech and be honored for all your years of work. How wonderful! Love, Dayna

  2. I agree with every word in the above comment! Love, Hopey