Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Lifter

Nursing homes accommodate some very large and heavy residents who have mobility problems due to their size and various health complications. In some cases they have nothing much else to do besides eat so they can hardly be blamed for their obesity.

As well as being physically incapacitated, many residents of nursing homes also suffer varying degrees of mental impairment. The combined effects of old age on the mind and the body of these people means they require full time care. They need to be washed, changed, fed, given medication, and moved around. Only a few can successfully go to the toilet by themselves.

When a heavy resident has to be moved out of bed, the nurses are not allowed to do it alone. They must receive assistance from another nurse and together, use a piece of equipment called a lifter. It is designed to prevent injury to the backs of the nurses, and to remove the possibility of the resident being accidentally dropped.

Consider the situation these beautiful human beings, these children of God find themselves in, and realize that it could be you in the future. Think about the difficulty of caring for them. It is a tough job for nurses, requiring strength and stamina to do it well, and with compassion. And what of those people who care for elderly or infirm relatives in their own homes on a full, or even part time basis? Imagine the strain, the sacrifice. These carers carry an extraordinary weight of responsibility: a load which would crush most of us.

Who lifts the flagging spirits of these people? Who sustains and encourages them as they care for adults who have lived full lives only to return, in their twilight years, to a child like dependency on others?

People who give so much must also receive a lot. Otherwise how could they do it? They need a lifter too. In fact, they need, as we all do, The Lifter. His purpose is to make it possible for those who care to keep on caring, for those who love to keep on loving, and to remind all of us of our own frailty and dependence on Him.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shout out to Nurses

Even though nurses are undervalued economically, I don't believe they are undervalued socially. I reckon most people know, either personally or courtesy of time spent as a patient, that nurses are terrific. I'm speaking generally here because I know that there are dodgey operators in all professions but nurses do work which makes non nurses say, 'I could never do that!' and they do it in a way that fills us with admiration.

Over the past three years, I have come to appreciate how hard it is, not only to practice nursing, but even to become qualified as a nurse. The Bachelor of Nursing strikes me as a very intense course which makes some other academic degrees look like puzzles from That's Life magazine.These men and women have to learn a lot in a very short space of time, and they have to begin to practice and, in the case of young nursing students fresh out of high school, be confronted with some very full on, challenging and at times disturbing facets of human nature. Emotionally, spiritually and physically, this is hard yakka we are talking about here.

Last night, nursing graduands from the University of Wollongong celebrated their wonderful achievement with a fancy ball at the Fraternity Club. I was there and what I saw was relief and satisfaction. There was loads of laughter, and beautifully clad, happy faced, if somewhat inebriated people, burned up the dance floor to booming pumping duff duff music. They were letting their hair down to rejoice in a hard fought achievement. Those crazy dance moves shouted victory.

I just want to congratulate them and their partners and families for making it to the end of what at times looked like a black hole of eternal stress and late night study sessions. Well done, girls and guys.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How to Seduce a Ghost (Lee Bartholomew, #1)How to Seduce a Ghost by Hope McIntyre

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Surprising and entertaining, even if slightly annoying at times. I developed a love/hate attitude to the main character, Lee, and actually enjoyed the supporting cast more. The plotting was a bit scattered and there were sections I could easily have left out, in fact I did skip bits but the mystery angel remained a mystery until it was revealed and it was full of surprises, humour and charm. It's got nothing to do with ghosts though if you're looking for supernatural action, look elsewhere. Lee is a ghostwriter and a very reclusive person, who gets caught up in a series of murders. This is a good read.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shades of Green

In childish representations of outdoor scenes, the sky is blue and the grass is typically green. A child will colour the grass one shade of green, and the trees maybe another, (light and dark are the usual options). The detail is not so important to a child. Green is green. On the other hand, to a mature artist trying to authentically portray the scene they are painting, green is not just green.

There are, in fact, many shades of green: light and dark, lime, emerald, olive, khaki, asparagus, and myrtle and many more besides.

Next time you walk along your street, look closely at the greenery and you will be amazed at all the different hues. Even the grass is not just green. There are numerous shades.

A man was having a conversation with a Christian who brought up the subject of the Bible. The man replied, a little contemptuously, that the bible was just a history book with no relevance today. Merely a diary. Many others have dismissed Jesus Christ as simply a good man, a moral leader or even a great religious teacher, but just a man, nothing more. Surely, these people are the very same ones who only see green when they look at the trees and the grass. They don't care to delve into what lies beneath the superficial. They probably don't want to believe the reality of different shades of green because it makes things too complicated. Nor do they want to accept the reality of the Bible being a God breathed, powerful and relevant collection of books because that would upset the apple cart of their world view.

To accept these truths requires the humility to admit you have at best been ignorant about the shades of green, or at worst deliberately ignored them and denied their existence.

Look out of your window now, and tell me what you see.