Hi! I am back with a quick recap of what's been going on with me and what to do with that curry sauce I gave you in the last post. This week has been busy for me. I had the weekend off which was great. I did laundry, ironed, cleaned the house, went for a nice long walk, went to church, and watched some movies. Really nothing exciting but sometimes it is nice to take it easy at home and get some things done. I worked at Whole Foods on Monday and then started with the hospice case manager nurse position on Tuesday. I have now had three days with the nurse I am working with and it is eye opening. I love the nurse I am with and for now I just tag along with her. I assume everything will come together as it should but it is tough on the administrator in me. There is no plan for my orientation, no structure to the on-boarding. There is no provided information on how to enter time, when I'll get a badge, an email account, computer access.... (Side note, I did get some of this by the end of the day on Thursday...) I am just trying to soak in what I can from Lindsey and learn what I can by watching and planning. It is quickly apparent that for this hospice in my area, most of the patients are in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Very few patients are actually in their homes. I think it is because this hospice is new in the area and it is all related to referral patterns. I just remind myself that every one needs good end of life care, no matter what the location. Most of the patients have dementia, cardiac, or some other illness, not cancer which is more my expertise. I have lots to learn but I love that part.
I worked as a nursing assistant in a nursing home the summer before my last year of college. It was the hardest work I have ever done. Being back in a nursing home is a shock for me. I had forgotten how sad it is. So many adults just sitting in wheel chairs or beds, mouths open staring into space. Or all corralled together in the tv room or dining room, pointed at some mindless tv show. In one facility a circle of women of varying ages, none lucid and only one verbal, playing balloon volleyball with an aide. Can I say, just put me out of my misery before I ever end up there? It brings to mind how important it is to plan. How do you want to live your last years if you have some sort of debilitating illness? Do you have someone who can legally speak for you to make your wishes known? Some of these patients are guardians of the state, which means no one who really knew them has their back. And no one cares or is responsible once you die. My biggest message today is to get a living will and talk to your family and friends. I have no children which means its even more important for me to figure out a plan and let those wishes be legally documented. I don't know what that is yet, but I am going to figure it out! No balloon volleyball for me! If you don't know about living wills, you can read about them here... It is important to think through all the decisions....if you have dementia do you want vitamins and cholesterol medications? antibiotics to treat infection? any preventive medicines? I would think not. Why prolong a life whose quality is not good? Anyway, there is a lot to think about. A great book is out about how we treat the older segment of our population in the US. I have just started it, although I have had it for a year! (see below) Maybe it is my age or just the recent exposures I have had personally and professionally but aging, health and how to live and enjoy life seems so important but yet is not actively managed for most people.. It is too easy to be "busy" and the days fly by without really living how you want to.
On a much lighter note, I followed a link in my church newsletter to some music we had at Easter. I got lost in YouTube which is so easy to do. I got sucked into watching the royal wedding. (I know, totally sap!) I love this hymn and this whole video. It is beautiful - the music, the hats, the traditions, the uniforms. You can actually watch the whole wedding on line. This is just a small piece. Be forewarned, its a rabbit hole, but enjoy!
Lastly, what to do with that coconut curry sauce from last week. I am not going to write it up as a formal recipe but here is what I did. Saute a chopped onion in a Tbsp of oil. Add two minced garlic cloves and a package of drained extra firm tofu, smashed up with a fork. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the tofu is dry. Add the following vegetables all chopped: 3 small carrots, 1 yellow squash, 1 zucchini, 2 cups cabbage. Mix all together in the pan. Add 1 cup of cooked beans, and 2 cups of the coconut curry sauce. Miix well. reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes until everything is tender. Add the zest of 1 lime, and the juice of 1/2 the lime. Put a big handful of raw baby spinach onto each of 4 plates. Top with big spoonfuls of the curry. If you mix it all around the spinach will wilt. This makes 4 big servings or 6 smaller ones. You could also serve this on rice or on pasta. If you don't like tofu, use a pound of ground turkey or chicken. Brown it a bit and then add the veggies. Or wait until the vegetables are tender and add a pound of peeled shrimp. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the shrimp are done. It is really good. Rich and filling. Enjoy!