Tag Archives: nursing care

5 Friday Faves – Nursing Care, Air Conditioning, Guitarist, #TymmRhymes, and Fresh-grown Produce

Blog - Friday Faves

Happy Friday! I haven’t been writing much in the last couple of weeks because of travel. Visiting my dad in assisted living in Georgia was a great delight, as always. Alzheimer’s takes its toll but he still finds joy and gives so much of it to us.Dad and Debbie - July 2016

I would like to write about the events of the last couple of weeks, but the words aren’t coming…at least not for here, for now. So my 5 faves follow instead.

1) Nursing Care -For any one of us who has experienced medical care recently, we understand the great gift of good nurses. Dr. Venu Julapalli wrote a thank you letter online to the caregivers who recently attended his very ill mother. It’s entitled The Sacred Ordinary in Healthcare.

“… when you lifted her out of bed so she could bear her weight on yours, when you respected our wishes for privacy, …when you gave us blankets so we could stay warm in that cold ICU room, when you let my brother sneak his two young boys into the ICU because he wasn’t sure if they would ever see their Nanamma alive again… Those were sacred acts…And when you tucked her in at night and wished her well — like she was fully present and listening, even in her coma…that was sacred.”

His letter was a beautiful testament to what nurses and other care providers do for us each day. Just this week, my chest has stopped hurting from the surgery I had weeks ago. What an amazing thing – the absence of pain. It reminded me of the gentleness and perseverance of the nurses who cared for me in those first days following surgery. With Dr. Julapalli, I want to thank you for your extraordinary acts on what most be ordinary days for you. For us, they were not.Blog - Nurses caring for patients - eclectablogPhoto Credit: Eclectablog

2) Air Conditioning – All week, we’ve been experiencing hot, humid days, with temperatures soaring into the high 90’s. We didn’t have air conditioning growing up – window fans were enough in those days. In fact, I remember the first air conditioning unit my parents bought for their bedroom window. Mom worked nights so this unit allowed her to be able to sleep during the hot summer days. Shortly after we kids had window units, and then central air followed sometime after. It is a very good thing.Blog - Air conditioning - goodhousekeepingPhoto Credit: Good Housekeeping

Blog - Air conditioning - riroxsPhoto Credit: Riroxs

3) Guitarist Nathan Mills, as you know, is my favorite classical guitarist. He teaches guitar locally and on-line, and arranges pieces for guitar from various films, TV shows, and video games. Blog - Guitarist - Nathan Mills - RichmondPhoto Credit: Duy Nguyen, Richmond Times-News Dispatch

You can see some of his work on his YouTube channel.

Something extraordinary happened this week. I don’t understand the phenomenon of “going viral”, but it happened for a bit for Nathan when someone posted the following video on Reddit.

That video has, to date, almost a half-million views. He actually trended on YouTube. His followers on kruetv went from 400 to 1300 within hours.Blog - KrueTVPhoto Credit: krueTV

It was surprising and fascinating to watch that phenomenon. The wave has passed, but I’m sure we will see more of this. After all, he’s got to make a living, and it’s thrilling to think he could on classical guitar. Stay tuned.Blog - Guitarist - Nathan Mills - beyondtheguitar - TwitterPhoto Credit: Twitter

4) #TymmRhymes –Tymm Hoffman is the digital production manager for Compassion International, in Colorado Springs. I discovered him on Facebook because a friend shared some of his Dr. Seuss-like poetry. Since them, he graciously allowed this stranger to “friend” him, and, ever since, I’ve been blessed by his postings, his heart, and his rhymes. He wrote a couple of pieces recently about the volatile situation in our country right now. Here’s one:

BAD vs. GOOD
there’s lots of bad cops, bad docs and bad teachers
bad bosses, bad pastors and even bad preachers;

there’s bad firefighters and bad store clerks,
bad pro athletes who act more like jerks;

bad friends, bad sisters and several bad brothers,
there’s even bad dads and lots of bad mothers;

there’s bad politicians and bad missionaries,
and there’s bad guys named Gary and Jerry and Larry;

there’s plenty bad husbands and plenty bad wives,
And plenty bad people living plenty bad lives;

And if all of life started and stopped with that there,
Then broad strokes would work and I wouldn’t care;

But there’s also good cops, good docs and great teachers,
Good bosses, good pastors and lots of good preachers;

There’s great firefighters and awesome store clerks,
And amazing pro athletes who negate all the jerks;

Good friends, good sisters and even good brothers,
And dads who DO care and lots of good mothers;

There’s a good politician and great missionaries,
There’s good Garys and Jerrys and even good Larrys;

And I know there’s good husbands and lots of good wives,
And a bunch of good people living really good lives;

So let’s not give the bad more than we probably should,
When the truth is – for the bad – there is just as much good.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

let’s address the jacked-up-edness in this world while we holster our fat brushes and paint with some thinner ones… – Tymm Hoffman

5) Home-grown Produce
We have a backyard garden. It’s therapeutic for Dave as he works and walks in it after work each day and on weekends. The flowers are just beautiful. For this summer season, we also enjoy the produce – greens, squash, peppers, and tomatoes. Thankful for such a space and a husband who loves to work the soil.imageimage

Hope you have a safe and restful weekend. Please share any favorites of yours in the Comments below. More and more, I recognize the blessing of every single day. Peace.

Love Your Neighbor – Cancer Support – How It’s Done Well

Blog - hospice - hero - from Survive and Thrive Cancer Support Groups

What does it take to provide cancer treatment and support to patients and families living with the uncertainty of that diagnosis?

  1. The best most innovative diagnostic-medical-surgical interventions possible. I worked for many years for a hospital tucked in a small town in East Tennessee. When we moved to Kingsport for Dave’s job, I left a teaching position at Yale University. You would think it would have been a big transition, but it was not as much. The reason was the Cancer Center at Holston Valley Hospital delivered excellent medical and nursing care. Over more than 2 decades, Wellmont-Holston Valley Medical Center has grown to a 590-bed facility – it’s well-known for its Cardiovascular service, Lung Center, and Cancer Center. It is also a Level 1 Trauma Center. In a small town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, such a medical center gives confidence to families that their loved ones are getting exactly the care they need.
  2. Patient- and Family-Centered Support Services. Not long after arriving at Holston Valley, I was tasked with developing such a program (the philosophy was already there, but it needed to be made more comprehensive). With the help of the medical, nursing, and allied help staff, and with the support of family members previously touched by cancer, we launched the I Can Cope support group. We quickly observed that words mean things, and that cancer is not an “I” experience. It is “we”. We changed the name to Take Time…to Help, to Heal. Blog - Hospice - Take Time Cancer Support GroupBlog _ Take Time - 1994 or 5 - Kathy & DebbieOur focus was supporting patients and families through the whole spectrum of their cancer experience – from diagnosis to health (whether long-term or as fulfilling and comfortable end-of-life experience as possible). When we left Kingsport to take an overseas job, Kathryn Visneski, my partner for many years in the Cancer Center, took the lead in continuing the support work. The name of the support groups was changed to Survive and Thrive Cancer Support Groups (reflecting a broader multiple group  approach with strong community affiliation ).  Kathy has kept true the mission of cancer support at HVMC over all these years. Jane Martin, an art therapist, and many others have come alongside Kathy to make this service truly outstanding. Cancer support services require people; equipping and mentoring patients and families to support each other extends the helping hands a Cancer Center has to offer.Blog - Take Time - Survive & Thrive - Kathy V and FriendBlog - Take Time - RainbowBlog - Take Time - Cancer Support - 25th AnniversaryBlog - Take Time - Cancer Support FolksBlog - Take Time - Cancer Support Love
  3. Community Engagement and Support – Cancer affects families and communities. To have community agencies pull together to stand with and empower patients/survivors and families does a truly remarkable thing – it pulls the cancer experience out of the dark and normalizes it in such a way that debilitating fear is diminished. That is huge in the fight against cancer. Hope thrives as it should.Blog - Take Time - SurvivorBlog - Take Time - Race for the CureBlog - Take Time - Walking for the Cure

It’s surprising to see the lack of such cancer support services in much larger medical communities. They are costly, but the cost-effectiveness of such programming is measured in so much more than dollars.

Do you have ongoing cancer support services available where you live should you or a loved one need them? Sometimes it just takes a handful of people to start them, either as part of a cancer center or other community agency. Then, with growing awareness and support,  they can take off. It’s been over 25 years that Survive and Thrive (aka Take Time…to Help to Heal) has touched lives in Kingsport, Tennessee. It can happen where you are…for the good of so many. If you have had such an experience, please tell us about it and what difference it made.

Blog - Take Time - 2012 25th anniversary - Barbara & TerryBarbara & Terry Kindle – Long-term Cancer Survivors & Supporters of Others Through Survive & Thrive

Blog - take Time - cure

Post-Script: Just an example of how community works together to support cancer patients/survivors and their families is exhibited in picture below. School children colored pictures for our support groups which were used on “Christmas Blessings” folders, filled with encouragement from the patients/families themselves. The support group programs through the years demonstrates the wide range of subjects and those facilitating learning, across specialties and beyond the medical community. What a journey it was for me to be a part and to still be in communication with Kathryn Visneski to see continuing cancer support in Kingsport and beyond.Blog - Take Time - Survive & Thrive

For 25 Years, Cancer Support Group at Holston Valley Has Provided A Valuable Resource For Survivors

Blog - Take Time - Cancer Support Family

Photo Credits: Survive and Thrive Cancer Support Groups, Holston Valley Medical Center, Kingsport, Tennessee (except for a few personal pics)