Well, we made it back to work tonight. The trip last week was from hell - I did not walk into the hotel until 2:45AM Monday morning and spent 11 hrs trying to get home on Wednesday. I did not get aggravated until my bag did not show up when I got back to C-bus - then I got pretty ticked. But it was all worth it to get home to Chel - luckily for her, I had to stop at Walmart on the way home (the airline did not know where my bag was and my hair dryer was in that bag - ladies, you are with me on this one) and I got her a new toy at Walmart. The whole situation also forced me to eat for comfort, and she ended up with an empty ice cream cone from Graeter's as well.
Tonight, she was awesome - amazing from start to finish. As usual, she was very excited when we got there, whining and carrying on so. She was all ready to go - we got there and did not even have time to see what rooms were in isolation before one of the regular nurses (Kori) was yelling at us to come down to a room. It turns out it was the older gentleman we had seen the last 2 times we were there. It was an exciting day for him because he had walked with a cane. He will still be here for awhile, but his motto is "it just takes time". He told me tonight that 3 weeks ago he could not even walk with a cane. I could tell he was proud of himself.
The first room of the night tonight was my reminder room. I went down to the end of one hall - by this time, it was pretty dark. The door to the room at the very end of the hall was open, and this woman was in there laying with her stuffed animals. As someone who gets comfort from animals - stuffed and live - I immediately had a soft spot for her. I could not tell if she was awake at first, but then she quickly realized I had a dog and that I was there to see her. She was very much a dog person, and Chelsie knew it. She jumped on the chair - all be it facing the other way - and let this lady scratch her back for a long time. We did a world of good in 4096 last night.
There were a number of people tonight who wanted to see us - we were on the floor from about 6:40 to 7:50. Chelsie's attention span is about an hour, but tonight she did very well far past the shank of her hour. The unit was actually pretty full tonight - maybe only 5 or 6 empty beds. Tonight, there were many patients that had an impact on me personally.
There was one lady in a single room in a big electric wheelchair - she did not have control of her faculties, as evidenced underneath her wheelchair (all contained in the proper containers). Her portable tray was in front of her when I asked her if she wanted to see the dog, and she said yes. She bent over to try and touch Chelsie, but it was a little crammed in there - once I moved the tray and sat on the floor with Chelsie, we had a nice visit. The woman told me she had not been raised with dogs, but that her daughter had a dog and loved it - so she was trying to get more used to being around dogs. She was a nice lady that asked a lot of questions and really made an effort to touch Chelsie.
We also came across a room that is at the top of the list for "Most Mobile Patients Nicole and Chelsie Have Seen at Dodd" There was an older African Amerasian gentlemen and a 20 something baby faced guy. Our first stop was the older AA man - and he was a hoot! He was able to sit up on his own very quickly, which was nice. He appeared to be in relatively good physical condition. In our conversation, he told me he was all over the place with the grandkids - basketball, swimming , football, you name it. He ran, worked out, etc - and then one morning had a stroke and could not pick himself up off the ground. He said - Life can change like THAT! - and I left there a better person after talking with this guy. There was a man that lived life before his stroke, but will definitely live more after.
After Dodd tonight, we had to go over to the main hospital to get a volunteer shirt. All the ladies in the gift shop loved on Chelsie, and then we stopped at the information desk where more people loved on her. She is so worn out from the love she has gone to bed.
We hope this finds everyone well. We are especially grateful for the safety of the Axline and the Scott/Tom family in California, as they were affected by the horrific fires out there. Out here, we are also grateful that the Buckeyes survived yet another week with a strong showing in Nittany Lion country on Saturday night. Thankfully, they quieted the beast - and for those of you who have heard that awful cat roar, you know what I mean!!
Have a great week!
Nicole and The Chelsie Belle