Lucky for me, one of my oldest, dearest friends is in town to celebrate her parent’s 50th anniversary this weekend. I’ve known Helen since second grade. We got a couple of nice beach walks in this week, and it turns out our youngest children hit it off like gangbusters. Lucky for Vernon, she and her husband Ben, both visiting from Chicago, and her sister Catherine (also a dear friend) who is visiting from Nashville, dropped by the care home to spend a little time in the sun with him this morning.
A cousin of Ben’s, who is a designer that uses Vernon’s font, sent this note along, which Helen read outloud to Vernon:
“People in my office are very familiar with his fonts. Nunito is a personal favorite. I admire how his typography takes established type traditions and splashes fun all over them. There’s something unexpected about the terminals of Rokkitt, the dramatic taper of the stroke on Trocchi and the restrained mirth in Nobile. It’s not hard to see through his design decisions what must be his own joyful and spontaneous personality. There is a lot of life there. ”
Vernon said that was very nice…and true. He happened to be wearing his font t-shirt as well. You can get yours here!
After they left, I got Vernon on the PEMF mat, which does seem to be helping with his agitation if I get him on it frequently enough. That may change if we can get him the RNA exercise times I’ve been asking for. But I think right now, the aim of both is to get him to be more naturally relaxed. Nothing has happened with his gym time yet, but I was assured today that Vernon was scheduled to have half-hour sessions of exercise (arms and legs) two three times a week, starting next week. I’m hoping he can withstand the bike (it’s what I’ve asked for) so I’ll be there for his first afternoon sessions somehow.
Since this turns out to be something that he has the basic right to, I wonder how many other things I should be finding out about. Now that we are buckling down to the reality of long-term care (he is considered a ‘long term’ patient there) there may be more things we can find that will help his quality of life that I had overlooked or been talked down from before. I’m not going to go furrowing through the handbooks tonight, but its something to keep in mind.
A staff member today, who obviously felt threatened by the way I asked about something (perhaps I came on too strong?) suggested that I shouldn’t be listening to Joe for advice about how things were handled. I told her this: “Joe is a patient. He should be more in the know than anyone else. Of course I will listen to his advice. Vernon is a patient too…and there is no way he can ask for what he needs on his own. I am not just a family member here, asking for my life to be easier. All this stuff I ask for does not make my life easier in any way…every single thing I ask for makes it harder, at least for a little while. I am standing here because my husband cannot. When you look at me here, imagine it is him. He can’t speak for himself, so I am here to speak for him.”
The crazy thing is…I said a similar thing, in shorter form, last week, when a dialysis technician, who I felt patronized him without acknowledging that I was right there to help. In that case, I was invisible. Maybe I’m getting a little touchy. Who wants to be invisible? I think I can speak for Vernon when I say neither of us do.