Friday, March 04, 2005

The b sharps jamming out at the UNB red and black revue. Joey Stilwell on guitar, Matt Steeves on Drums and Myself on Bass. We played a 7 part original funk riff called "Bohemoth in Flight". It is a metaphor of how the song is like watching a big awesome bohemoth funk sound take off and just keep rising and flying. The song has 7 parts, so it never comes down. It just climbs for like 7 minutes until you feel like your head will pop off! It's pretty fun to play! Kudos to the boys. Thanks to all my friends who came out to see us! And shiloh for the mashed potatoes after the show. Yow.
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Hospital Thoughts - Gramp Jamer

From 1948 to 1999 I was never in a hospital, except to visit someone else. Then on the morning of Dec. 8 about eleven A M I found myself admitted as a patient who had suffered a major stroke. This was a completely new experience for me and I would like to share some things I learned from my hospital bed.

1 - First thing I learned was that the nurses were not all the same. Somehow during my many visits to friends or family members I never noticed this fact. They had all looked so much alike, that I had never really realized how different they are. They come in all shapes and sizes, of course, but also in all types of personalities. This is such a simple observation; I was quite surprised that I hadn’t noticed it before. When you are lying on your back, not able to move very much on your own, you must depend on them. That is when you start to notice the difference. You can tell some enjoy their work, and to some it is just a job that puts bread on the table. The ones that really enjoy their work are a joy to be around. Since I was partly paralyzed, they came in every two hours to pull me up in the bed, and check my vitals. This is when you see them as they really are, especially at four A M I can truthfully say though, that I found very few that were not pleasant, and easy to get along with even at that time of day. I was on 4 B South for the first few weeks, where all the nurses are qualified to work in the N.I.C.U. This means they are above average in competence and skill. They would take their appointed shifts in the unit, and then work on the floor, as if it didn’t matter. I soon found out that certain patients really gave them a hard time, so I went out of my way to try and cheer them up when they came my way. This paid off in many ways. One memory I have, is being moved from 4 B S over to 4 C S, which is the Rehab floor. Since it is only one tower over on the same floor, they just roll your bed and all your belongings across the connecting causeway. The nurses actually disputed among themselves as to whom would get to push my bed. Irene and some other nurse won the right as I recall, and they seemed to have a ball. I think they were trying to say how much they appreciated having me as their patient, without telling me directly. I used to have lots of fun joking with them, and keeping them laughing as much as possible. One night when my hand was still paralyzed, I used to speak to my fingers and tell them what to do. This one night I couldn’t sleep, so I was telling my fingers to get moving. I thought I was speaking under my breath, so no one would hear but apparently the little night nurse was walking by my room and heard me. She came in to see who I was talking to and I tryed to explain that I talked to my fingers all the time. She thought this was quite strange, and must have told the other nurses about it. The next morning when they came in to make my bed, one of them mentioned something about it and I said yes I talk to them all the time, and tell them what to do, but they don’t do a thing, They just remind me of some rebellious teenagers. One of the nurses said “I know exactly what you mean, I have two of them at home”.

2 - Another thing I learned early on was that our bodies were never designed to take on or to dispose of fluids from a horizontal position. Plastic straws and urinals have been designed to help, but they are a poor substitute for standing or sitting upright.

3 - I now understand why they call us patients----its because they are teaching us to be patient. This is a hard lesson to learn for some of us. The method they use to teach us, as near as I can see, is to make us wait for everything. When we learn patience, then, we become a good patient.

These are a few things that I remember, and hope that I won’t soon forget, so I can pass them on to others.