When the clinic first opened last year, Margaret would saunter in holding Josie’s hand, pulling her along. While Margaret’s stringy hair and disheveled clothes reflected an indifference to her own appearance, Josie always looked neat. Like a treasured, well cared for doll. Her deeply wrinkled face blank but her blue eyes held a sparkle. She … Continue reading VANISHED Part 2 of 3
A feverish Chicago summer ebbed into autumn. No telltale falling leaves signaled the change of seasons on this block of concrete walkways surrounding the massive twenty-story apartment building. I yanked open the heavy door. Inside the foyer, through the grimy glass doors, I noticed Margaret parking Josie, in her wheelchair, in front of the elevator. … Continue reading VANISHED Part 1 of 3
I attended the book signing this past August. Farther Along, written by my friend and mentor, Carol Henderson, which told the stories of thirteen mothers (she is one of them), a bakers dozen as Carol points out, who had lost children at various ages. I was prepared to cry. I don’t do well with death … Continue reading WHY DO WE WRITE?
Back in the ‘80s I ran a clinic for the elderly that was housed in an apartment on the tenth floor of a Chicago high rise. My patients came to see me, a nurse practitioner, in the office but in many instances I would later check up on them in their apartments in the building … Continue reading CARING AND THE MALE NURSE
Back in the early ‘80s when I ran a not-for-profit clinic on the west side of Chicago for older people before annual physicals were considered “nonspecific” or “inefficient” or “potentially harmful” [“Let’s (Not) Get Physicals” (Elisabeth Rosenthal, The New York Times, June 3, 2012)] I did a complete head to toe exam on each patient who registered, including vaginal … Continue reading DEMISE OF THE PHYSICAL
Last week in a restaurant in Lyon, France, my tablemate turned toward me and asked, “What’s the difference between a nurse practitioner and a physician assistant.” My husband and I were on a tour. Our traveling buddies consisted of older folks like ourselves. The woman knew I was a retired NP and had told me … Continue reading NURSE PRACTITIONER VERSUS PHYSICIAN’S ASSISTANT
My nursing career has taken me down many paths over the years. Presently, I am a Reiki Master Teacher as well as the founder of a nonprofit organization called The Reiki Share Project. People often ask me what I “do.” And I usually begin by telling them that I am a registered nurse. Their next … Continue reading ONCE A NURSE, ALWAYS A NURSE By Jane Van De Velde, DNP, RN
Thanks to my friend Lois Roelofs and her post “Growing Older In “Style,” I found Ari Seth Cohen, a twenty-eight-year-old who is spotlighting “stylish senior citizens.” Love it. Older women—and men—who ignore the old adage: “dress your age.” How come a twenty-eight-year-old man finds older people so fascinating? Well, I was sure there had to … Continue reading SOB SISTERS