Appreciating Who You Have

©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Nothing gives you perspective like spending a few days in an emergency room cubicle.

All is well now but that is where I spent a few days last week with a loved one since there were no “real” beds available. Needless to say, my #NaNoWriMo word count was the last thing on my mind and a hard chair in cubicle #4 was not a conducive environment for creative writing. However, it was an opportunity to soak in the sobering environment (while trying not to soak in any germs) and be reminded of an important lesson:

Be grateful for the loved ones around you and who have your best interest at heart.

Seeing the number of elderly patients in that emergency section completely alone, vulnerable and unaccompanied made me sad.

Very sad.

From the fragile man in his late 90s with a deep rattling cough, not knowing where he was and trying to fight off the nurses who tried to aspirate him to the old woman doubled over in a wheelchair, refusing to be touched by anyone because she was in agonizing pain from a fall…

It all made me wonder where “their people” were – I mean, their family or loved ones. No one present to advocate for them, no second set of ears to understand the doctor’s instructions, no one to keep an eye on their personal belongings while they were wheeled away for tests, no one to run around the corner to the tasty Portuguese dive restaurant because the hospital dinner looked like this…

©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Most sobering of all was overhearing a doctor trying to question an elderly woman in the presence of her unkept-looking middle-aged son.

Doctor: “Where did you get those bruises Mrs. X?”
Son: “She fell down.”
Doctor: “I’d like to hear it from her.”
Elderly woman: “Yes, I fell down.”
Doctor: “How did you fall Mrs. X?”
Elderly woman shrugs and looks at her son. “I don’t know. I just did.”
Doctor: “You were in here just a few months ago. Have you been having problems with your balance?”
Elderly woman: “I don’t know.”

I wasn’t convinced of her story and from the manner in which the doctor continued to grill her with questions, in my mind, he suspected elder abuse.

It’s heartbreaking to think that some seniors have no one to look out for them in this world. Some have no choice but to fend for themselves because they have no family around or who live far away. And it’s even sadder to think that when you do have “someone” close to you, they may not always be acting in your best interest.

It made me think hard about who will advocate for me when I’m older and vulnerable.

How often do you think about your future years?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews






15 thoughts on “Appreciating Who You Have

      1. I have faith that mine will. They know what I do, and my wife works with seniors as well. They’ve been given an example. I don’t know if you have kids, but when you do, they’ll see the way you care for your parents. That example will just be their norm. We learn what we see. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I talk about this ALL the time with my coworkers. Elderly people visit my job everyday and need extensive help on personal/confidential things that we would love to help them with but will get in trouble for if we get involved with. In the back of my mind, I’m always like “Where are your grandchildren?” they would definitely be able to and should be more than willing to help you out. And older folks who live in nursing homes/assisted living facilities who don’t ever have visitors. It’s like they pretty much gave birth to a generation who doesn’t care about them anymore. It’s sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with the birth of a generation that seem uncaring. They also forget that one day they may be in the same situation. I see the impatience people have even waiting in line at the bank when older people are slower or are craving a little conversation. If I can see the loneliness, why can’t they?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right!!! Like we’re all gonna get old, show a lil empathy! People are just anti as hell these days. Old people LOVE to talk cuz nobody sticks around long enough to really listen smh

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s so much I could say about this post, but it would turn into a short story LOL I’m glad your loved one is doing better and (hopefully) out of the hospital, but you asked the perfect questions and had such unfortunate observations. I’ve been sitting here since reading your post, recapturing memories of my grandma, and the unique men and women I had the chance to meet and talk to while working in an assisted living home several years ago. So many amazing individuals full of invaluable insights, memories, love and laughter. As I said, I can keep going LOL – but, I’ll end here and just say thanks for reminding me! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If we were just to slow down a bit, we would be a little more thoughtful about these types of situations and people…but we don’t. Some of the most interesting conversations have occurred from giving them time.

      Liked by 1 person

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