Sunday, December 23, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Divine Intervention and Why We Visit

Over the past few years, I have really come to believe there is a higher power with a master plan - I especially try to remember this when the idiot in front of me can't differentiate between the gas and the brakes, when the checker in Walmart takes 15 minutes to check out the person in front of me or the car in front of me at the McDonald's drive thru can't seem to figure out what they want.

Tonight, divine intervention took me to the same elevator as Kim Weaver's father - on his way up to the third floor of Dodd Hall. Kimmy is the patient I wrote about last week. I was a little off on her age - she is 20, not the teenager I thought she was. Whatever - she is still very young. At any rate, I ran into Mr. Weaver on the elevator and he told me the picture the nurse took last week was on Kim's website. I told him we were on our way to the 4th floor, but that we would stop down and see Kim on our way out. The "nurse" turned out to be Kim's sister, Nicole.

When I knocked on the door in her room, Kim was just finishing a home cooked meal of pot roast and potatoes. She was glad to see us - and even I could see a difference from last week. She talks very softly, but is aware of what is going on around her. Say a prayer that Kim gets a 2 day pass for Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

Many people ask why I do this - tonight, I am tired and really gave thought to just curling up on the couch and staying home. I had the opportunity to crash a birthday party tonight, but opted out so we could go volunteer. Everyone has a story, and tonight I learned Kim's story. Tonight, I said a prayer for her and her family, and gave thanks for my own health and the health of those I care about.

You can learn about Kim on the following website. Her friends put a video together on You Tube, I would encourage you to watch that as well. Chelsie is also on the site.

name: Kimberlyweaver (all one word)

As usual, Chelsie was just fabulous. Kim was the last patient we saw, and she did great - was very patient and we spent about 15 minutes with her. We will no doubt be seeing her for awhile, but to date she has made tremendous progress.

This is why we do it. Have a very merry Christmas!


Nicole and Chelsie

Monday, December 10, 2007

Everyone Deserves a Treat!

As many of you may or maay not know, Chelsie LOVES peanut butter - further evidence she is truly her mom's dog. We have 2 kinds of PB in this house - human and dog. Yep, I get Jif, she gets Kroger brand. Call the pound.
Mom is exhausted tonight. Between work, trial-ing and volunteering tonight, I am DONE. Stick a fork in me (as Chel just let out a big groan). Tonight, as usual, she was awesome. We actually had a new adventure - we went to the third floor tonight. The patient population on 4 was very low, we were only there for about 30 minutes. With that in mind, I headed down to three, to see what the climate was like down there. We did see a few people on four, but many were asleep already. It was a cold gray day in Columbus, so I can hardly blame them. Today would have been a good day for a nap.
I have to say, the level at which she has become SPOILED at this hospital is RIDICULOUS. Tonight, as the weather was horrid, we again went to Dodd in the tunnels. About halfway through the tunnel, this horrible, loud noise started - I thought something was taking off over us. Chelsie was definitely agitated. Just as fast as the noise started, it quit - the only thing I could think was thank god, because it was loud. I don't think anything of it, until we see the meal lady in the hall. She says - I was pushing the trays in the tunnel and I saw it was scaring her, so I waited until you got in the building before I kept going. Unreal - where do I get treatment like that????
Once we got to three, I introduced us to the nursing staff. They immediately sent us to a room where an older man was visiting with his son. He had a German Shepherd at home, and was very happy to see Chelsie. She was happy to see him to - he had some crumbs on his front, and she put on her best display of manners and went after his crumbs. We had a really nice visit.
The room after that was tough. There was a young girl in there - and I mean young. She was maybe 15, maybe 16 - not older than that. Kimmy was her name. If I had to guess, she has been in some sort of car accident. She had some sort of brain surgery, and had the leftover of a trach. I also saw she had some staples in her stomach. She had just returned to Dodd after going off to another hospital for her brain surgery. I asked if she wanted to see Chelsie, she said "Yes, please". She was petting Chelsie's ears and Chels was just waiting patiently. It is amazing to me how she knows when to be patient. Kimmy moved very slow, and she just let Kimmy rub her ears - I think she liked how soft they are. For those of you that don't know, Chel has very soft ears.
The last room was an older lady who was a dog person. We had a nice dog conversation. She told Chelsie it would be nice if she would be more concerned about her grammie's feelings, and how grammie's feelings are hurt when she dives under the table after grammie walks in the door. She had a granddog who lived a block away - his dad got mad at him one time and he went to his grammie 's house. I told this lady my mother would love her.
It has been a busy weekend and will prove to be a busy week. I have training in Cleveland on Thursday and a packed calendar until then...we are off to la-la land and beauty rest.
Nicole and Chel

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Agility Queen

My little Chel cleaned house this weekend at her agility competition!!! She had three qualifying scores in four runs ("Q's") toward her novice agility titles - and, in all three she took first place!!! The run she did not Q on, she broke her start line stay - that is, took off before mom said to. Consequently, when mom looked up and she was halfway to the second jump, I panicked, and my plan got screwed up. She knocked a bar on a jump down...bad news. No Q. But mom is very, very proud of her, she did great. For everyone out there, there are three levels of titles in AKC agility - novice (beginner), open (medium) and excellent (advanced). We moved to open in the standard group (has all the obstacles - teeter, tunnels, jumps, weave poles, tables) and are still in novice in jumpers (just jumps, tunnels and weave poles).

On a side note, some news station showed Tressel after the 2003 National Championship when he said "We have the best damn band in the land and now we have the best damn team in the land!!!" It was awesome, got me all pumped up. GO BUCKS!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007


Wow - can all of you out there believe it? I know all you Buckeye fans were paralyzed in front of the TV in disbelief as Pitt beat WV. Saturday was definitely a day where screaming at the TV was appropriate - usually that is reserved for Michigan day. However, as this loss, along with the shellacking Oklahoma was putting on Missouri, guaranteed us a number one ranking and a spot in the National championship. The only thing that would cap off a perfect season is if Tebow does not win the Heisman - yep, I am a Florida hater. Jodi, you can show this to JJ because I know you are with me on that!!

Today has been an incredibly long day for the mama. The weather out here is horrendous again, and I was more thankful for the tunnels than ever. If the building ever blows up while I am in those tunnels, I will definitely die, because no one would ever find us down there. But for nights like tonight, it was perfect. And I did not even get lost - nothing short of a miracle. The weather outside is still horrendous...wind blowing, chimes ringing. I saw every hour on the clock last night, because I thought the wind was going to blow the siding and roof off my house. I said as much to my mother, whose response was "Don't you have insurance?" My response was something along the lines of at 3AM wide awake and irrationally terrified, I was not thinking about whether or not I had insurance.

Now, on to more important things - like Chelsie's work. She worked tonight, and she was awesome. Definitely the neatest thing that happened tonight was that we got to meet the other Chelsie!! She was up visiting her mom, and they greeted each other in the usual dog way - they got in each other's faces and that made me nervous...sometimes, Chel does not like it when dogs sniff her face. She is becoming my crotchety old lady. I wish she would play with other dogs, but she is content for a quick sniff and she is done - no questions asked, let's move on, mom. Then of course, the jealously came out about whose parents could pet who and all that stuff - you know, normal dog stuff.

Chel did get to see a lot of her favorite nurses - Kori, Heather and Leonard. There were not a lot of patients there tonight - a lot we saw from last week had gone home, which is always a good thing. It still took us an hour and a half to get down the hall - and she was very patient with the mama as I made one last stop about 3 different times.

The most interesting thing that happened tonight was that I was hit on. We saw the guy we saw last week - older guy (I say that delicately - maybe early 50's?) who had lost his wife asked me to come back before I left. So I did - and he wanted to know if I wanted to get a cup of coffee sometime, because he said he did not have anyone to talk to that was as much a dog lover as I was. I said I did not think I could do that - and he said, Not like that, your probably seeing someone...and I was like, No, I don't think I can do that. It was very awkward, and we made a hasty exit after that. My carriage was turning into a pumpkin, as Chelsie had made it very clear she was ready to go - NOW MOM!!!

She did a lot of good work tonight. We also saw a lady we saw last week - the one I cannot understand. She was in the main area when we got there, and she had moved rooms. I saw her walking by a room and went in to see her. Although I could not understand her, I knew she was appreciative of the visit. Her roommate was very nice, we spent about 15 minutes talking to her, she was a dog person. We also came upon a new patient, his wife and daughter were in his room and they were very nice. He was off having some tests, but they had done a great job on his room. He had a nice soft blanket, pictures everywhere - even a lamp with hanging embellishment! It was warm, cozy and homey - this guy had a stroke, so I am sure we will see him for the next 2-3 weeks at least. Let's hope he is home for Christmas.

We are running in a competition this weekend, and we had to practice a command tonight - it involved her running up and down the stairs. Worth it though - there was a treat at the end. Between practicing and working, she is all worn out - slight curl to her body and paws, heavy breathing. Sounds like a good place to be. We hope this finds everyone well - stay warm!!


Nicole and the Chelsie Belle