Monday, November 26, 2007

Yet ANOTHER Long Night....

Yes, it was a cold, crappy rainy day here in lovely Ohio - it is days like today that drove all the west coast girls back to the nest. I wished to be one of you today!!! These are the days I usually HATE taking Chel out - dealing with 70 lbs of wet dog is no fun. However, unbeknown st to me, there is a maze of underground tunnels that connect several of the hospital buildings. My volunteer coordinator shared that with us today, saving me from having to walk in 40 degree rainy weather. I appreciated that greatly because I did not have to bundle up like the nook of the north and deal with wet dog.

Tonight, she was absolutely awesome. It started off well when we did not have to walk in the rain and just got better from there. Apparently, it was just not a good day at Dodd. There were several new admissions and one patient had just gotten some bad news (I never did find out what). Upon my arrival, we found all Chelsie's favorite nurses to be there - Clara, Angie, Kori and Gabby, just to name a few. Angie said I needed to go to 4147, they were pretty upset in there (the room with the bad news) and went to see if they wanted us to come in. Unfortunately, the wife was allergic to dogs, so we did not go in there. Tonight, she was very therapeutic for the nursing staff.

We finally made our way down to the end of the hall, and came across a very nice man who had been there for 5 hrs. He loved dogs, and had 2 great Pyrenees. We talked for probably 15 minutes - he had a stroke 17 mos ago, they did not know why and he had some mobility issues with his legs. Apparently he had passed out in the shower and could not walk when he came to. He had lost his wife three years ago to breast cancer, however, despite all of this, he had a great attitude and was a pleasure to talk to. He is not sure how long he is going to be there, so we will definitely look to visit him again if he is.

One very nice thing that happened tonight is that one patient who had been in isolation for our last few visits was finally in the clear!!! He had looked at Chelsie from his bed, and was very sad he could not pet her. After seeing her twice and just not being able to wait to get his hands on her, he could finally touch her tonight. When I found out he was out of iso, his was the first room I stopped at. He was eating dinner, so I told him we would come back. When we did, he was just thrilled and loved on her for about 15 minutes. A bunch of nurses walked by and saw Chel giving him kisses, and just smiled - they knew how much he wanted to see her.

One other patient we have seen in the past few weeks I don't think I have talked about was a blind lady. As many of you know, I have a very close friend who is visually impaired, and I affectionately refer to her as "The Blind Lady". We have seen this lady twice now - tonight was the last time we will see her, she is going home on Thursday, which is always good news. At one point, she used a dog, but has not in several years. She was very happy to see Chel, and loved on her also - all this love for the dog, what about the mama???? We talked at length tonight about blindness in general. I told her Sharon and I always joke about writing a book - "What the Blind Wished the Sighted Knew About Blindness". I told her some of the dumb things I have said to Sharon, and she laughed. For example:

Computer Use - when watching Sharon try to navigate Microsoft Word using shift+ keys

Nicole - why don't you use the mouse to do that?
Sharon - because I can't see the pointer. (duh)

Sock sorter - as a person who once had sight, sometimes she describes things I am not sure of.

Sharon - I need a sock sorter.
Nicole - Where do you buy one of those?
Sharon - It's you.
Nicole - Oh.

These are some of the funnier exchanges we have had.

It was also a rough night for a patient we have seen the last few nights. She is a lady who has had a rough like - has had portions of both legs amputated and has had a stroke. She shares a room with the lady who has the other Chelsie. She was asleep tonight when we got there, but the other Chelsie's mom told me she had not had a good day, they found a blood clot in her neck. The other Chelsie is coming to visit tomorrow, and apparently this kind lady shares her Chelsie with her roomie. She said the other lady was very down tonight. She sort of woke up but was out of it, so we will see her next week.

We were definitely exhausted tonight when we left. Mom had to go back to work today, and she is very tired from that experience. My day started off with a conference call where some signals were crossed and I looked like a yak, which was an outstanding welcome back present. Thankfully, the day got better, but after that and then going to Dodd, I am exhausted. It will be an early night to bed in this household. Hopefully, Chelsie will be a willing cuddle participant.

We hope this finds everyone well. Take care and until next week.....


Nicole and The Chelsie Belle

Sunday, November 25, 2007


God bless Houston Nutt, Darren McFadden and the rest of the Razorbacks. All we need now is for the Sooners of Oklahoma to come through and beat the Tigers of Missouri and we are looking good!!! It would also be nice if Pitt could put the hurt to WV, but I am not holding my breath for that one. Chelsie's buckeye collar is staying for another week....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mommy & Chelsie
The entire family

With my baby brother...
Happy thanksgiving! We hope you had an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. As you can see, Chel and I went to grammie and grampie's house for some turkey. Grammie made sure the puppies, all three of them, got some "bird" on Thanksgiving.
Prior to going to grammie's, she did work this morning. There were not a lot of people there, but the ones we did see were very happy to see us. We saw some of our patients from Monday night, along with Angie and Kori, two of Chelsie's most loved nurses. We were standing talking to one of the day nurses, when Angie walked up. Chelsie was busy telling the day nurse her sob story about how mistreated she was, and I told her to give it up, Angie knew better. When Angie came up, she went over to Angie for some loving and butt scratching. Angie was happy to give it to her.
All three puppies are crashed out on the poor little baby angel has not had a nap all day, and after playing with her cousins all day, she is passed out on the floor behind me. Grampie and her chocolate lab cousin are also tired, they are snoring. Yes, the chocolate lab snores with the best of them. Thank god my little precious does not have a deviated septum like that brown dog. But we love that brown dog dearly.
We hope everyone had a nice turkey day - I will NOT be getting up for Kohl's and JC Penney 4AM sale tomorrow morning. For those of you that are, good luck, may you find your bargains. Tomorrow is tree day in the Paloney household - on my nice new carpet. Cheryl, getting carpet is a lot of work...but well worth it. It feels so nice and soft on my feet! It was pouring down rain yesterday and little Chel came in, all set to rub her wet head on the floor...and mommy promptly screamed NO!!!!! We will see how long that lasts...
Happy Thanksgiving!
Love, Nicole & The Chelsie Belle

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two Chelsie's????

This week is a FANTASTIC week - Mom is on VACATION!!!! Yea!!

Our week started off with a bang - new carpet. Yep, that nasty gross stuff that was in here before is gone. Chelsie was banished to grammie's - there were 4 people in the house, a lot of noise and it was HOT. I had to turn the heat up to make the carpet more pliable to stretch - so it was like 77 degrees in the house. BUT, getting carpet is a lot of work.

Chelsie came home in time to be able to go to work. Lots of people were in isolation last night, so right off the bat, we could not go into about 5 rooms. We were done with the first side of the hall in no time. The second side of the hall was a different story - all in all, we were there again for about an hour and twenty minutes.

We did get to see a few people we saw last week - the lady that had 2 labs was actually going home today, so she was very happy. She was very happy to see Chelsie. Her roommate was an older lady that we saw last week - she was pretty immobile, but I took Chel to the other side of the bed where she could see her. This lady was a dog lady, and she told me over and over how beautiful Chelsie was. Of course she is. :)

We also saw an older man we saw last week - this week he had a lady friend in there with him. I am not sure if it was his wife or not, but she saw us in the hall and asked us to come in. Chelsie jumped in her chair and immediately started giving kisses. They were laughing and loving on her - and she was just eating it up. Like she is so unloved at home.

The last room of the night was 2 middle aged ladies - and was my room of the week to be reminded not to judge. There was a very rough middle aged lady in there who kind of blew me off initially, but then was very excited when she realized I was the one with the dog. Apparently one of the nurses had told her I was coming, and she was very excited. Her roommate had an assistance dog - you guessed it, a black lab mix named Chelsie!!! My Chelsie was at the end of her rope by then, but she was able to gut it out for about 10 minutes. Thankfully, the lady understood. Her Chelsie was coming to visit today - she said that the poor puppy was confused, and missed her. I could only imagine. She had gotten her from some group that rescues the dogs and then trains them to assist people - I forget the name of it. She was 7 years old, compared to my almost 6 year old.

We hope everyone is doing well, and wish you all a happy thanksgiving. Chelsie and I will call Dodd on Thursday morning and see if the house if full enough for a visit - apparently many people are getting a pass for Thursday, so we will see. We will be having turkey with the family and then decorating for Christmas on Friday. On Saturday, we will be Razorback and Husky fans for sure, hoping the victorious Buckeyes can end up in the Natl Championship. But the Rose Bowl is not a bad place to be...anyway, safe travels and enjoy your time with family!

Nicole and the Chelsie Belle

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lots of Dog Loving Patients = Long Night

After a week off, we were back on the job. I have been a totally terrible mom, the weather has SUCKED and I have been exhausted, so poor Chel has not had her walks like she is used to having. She was quite excited to put on her vest and go to work.

So we got there last night as usual, and while Chelsie was rummaging through the trash and getting her butt scratched, I happened to look in and see nurse Clara sitting in a chair - and very OBVIOUSLY expecting. I said to the nurse coordinator...Um, is Clara expecting - like the answer is totally obvious. Keep in mind we see her on a pretty regular basis, and she is due in 6 weeks - can we say DUH? Clara is a trooper - still on her feet moving everyone around.

As you can tell from the title, there were a lot of dog loving patients last night - we did not even make it down the hall, when this older lady saw us and said, Come in here! They were total dog people, and Chelsie knew it. She jumped right up on her chair - this lady wanted kisses, and mommy is not too crazy about letting her give kisses. I was able to keep the kissing under control, but this lady was loving on her big time. Her roomie had people in with her, so we skipped her, but when we came back down the hall, we got Come back in here, she wants to see the dog, she thought she missed you. We went into another dog lover - she had a picture of her dog in with her, and she teared up. She loved all over Chelsie too - and asked if she could sit on the bed. I normally do not let her do that, but this lady appeared to be mobile enough and was situated on the bed in a manner in which I felt OK about putting her on the bed. It actually worked out very well - Chelsie snuggled right up to her. As if she is SO mistreated at home...

We had yet another interesting encounter last night. We came into a room with a man who clearly had some mobility issues and was deaf. If I had to guess, he likely had cerebral palsy - fists were sort of clenched and it looked like his muscles were pretty tight. Anyway, when we walked in, he was very excited to see the dog - I asked his interpreter if he wanted to touch the dog, he said yes. It was a challenge to figure out the best position to get her in so he could pet her - I decided on the floor was the best option. Unfortunately, he had dropped food, and she was scrounging. I got after her, and this upset the man terribly - and he told me to leave. I quickly assured him she was still a good dog - and put in the chair and hugged her. I asked his interpreter to explain that like a child, when the dog behaved bad, she needed to be corrected - but that she was a good dog. It was better after that, but I clearly upset him when I corrected her.

One of the last rooms we came to was a room where there was a husband and wife who had 2 labs of their own (wife was patient). She marched right up to him and started sniffing - the guy laughed and said he had been wrestling his dogs an hour ago. He started scratching her back end, and she just went nuts - I mean nuts. Picking her feet up, going around in circles and then came over and did her somersault in my lap - all signs of a very happy dog. I managed to get her calmed down, and we talked to them for about 10 minutes. As a lab owner, this guy knew all the right spots. It was a happy 10 minutes for her.

We were there for about an hour and twenty minutes last night - which is a long time. Her attention span is somewhere around an hour, so I knew as soon as we passed that, I was on borrowed time. She did get a little antsy at the end, but all in all, her behavior was pretty good. I can honestly say that she did great last night - so many people wanted to see her and pet her, and even though she got a little antsy, she was a perfect little angel. It was good to be back.

We hope this finds everyone doing well. I can hardly believe next week is turkey day and then Christmas not too far after that. We are going to try and make it to Dodd next Thursday before going to grammie's house. Mom is on vacation next week - much needed. Getting new carpet on Monday - yea! Not especially looking forward to the sheer labor involved in moving everything off the carpet, but the old stuff is so nasty, a little elbow grease won't kill me.

Have a great week!

Nicole and the very spoiled rotten Chelsie Belle