This past Saturday, I received a box in the mail filled with old photos. The nurse practitioner who took my place when I left the Senior Center sent this delightful surprise. “Rita Wisniewski” (I changed all names in my book except for my immediate family) said in her note that sending me the pictures of the patients we both took care of was “long overdue.” Rita had read my book but due to illness was unable to come to the various venues in Chicago where I promoted the book 2019. Between ill health and the pandemic, Rita had forgotten about contacting me.
Rita read my book and recognized many of the patients I wrote about. Thanks to Rita, now I have pictures of those who appeared in my book.
Molly, a wiry, ninety-year-old woman with an Irish brogue, lived next door to Ms. Henry. She often dropped into the clinic to socialize rather than to seek care. She didn’t take medication, and rarely complained of aches or pains. P 103
Jerry Johnson, mildly retarded, wiggled between us, (on the dance floor) gyrating and twisting with abandon. It was a raucous moment that transcended age and ability. (At a retirement party) P 117
Lilly Parks, a strikingly attractive woman in her seventies, stuffed her shawl down the front of her dress, and staggered about the dance floor on her matchstick legs as if she was going into labor. I had heard she kept a silver handgun in her sock but that evening she must have left it at home since her slim ankles were surrounded only by her rolled-down stockings. She waddled around in the center of the room clutching her belly to hoots from an enthusiastic audience (same retirement party) P 117
Stella Bukowski: (Sitting in a wheelchair) A dirty blond wig sat askew on her head. Only one leg, which was covered with a wrinkled cotton stocking, extended past the skirt of her housedress, and her foot was encased in a heavy black orthopedic shoe. She reeked of a sharp ammonia smell. Urine? P 144
A picture of me that I have never seen before. However, I remember the poster, which was one of my favorites. I don’t remember where the picture was taken. The picture is too faded to read the citation on the bottom of the poster. Maybe one of you older nurses will recognize the poster and get back to me with the answer.
Health care today is changing
Today we need someone who can help us manage our health care needs in the hospital, the home, the HMO, the school, the workplace, in long term care and in the community.
Today we need a provider who can teach us how to stay physically and mentally healthy and how to prevent illness and disease.
Today we need access to specialty practitioners who can provide expert heath care for individuals and their families.
Today more than ever we need an advocate who can deliver quality cost-effective care throughout all the stages of our lives.
Today, we need a Nurse