I couldn't do much, so I reached out and touched

Pam_holding_handsSunday morning I woke up to a phone call from Pam, she’d been moved to an extended care center. Pam expressed concern about her situation at the center saying she’d been put in a room with an elderly woman with poor hearing and a nervous habit of using the bathroom many times each hour throughout the entire night. Further, the lady opened a window in the room each night leaving Pam desperately cold, unable to get up to close the window herself and unable to get the cooperation of the staff to even answer her pages. At that point I knew I should be on scene.

Pam wasn’t sure of the name of the place but gave me what she recalled them telling her. Calls to 411 and the last hospital she was in were not helpful. I decided I’d start by visiting the hospital and asking questions in person. I was told the place I was looking for was down the road and across from the Puyallup Fair Grounds so I hopped in my car and found it without much effort once I had the correct information.

Walking in to the facility I recall thinking this is a clean place, and seems to have somewhat of a hospital feel to it. I stopped a nurse and asked where I could find Pam, she took me down several halls to another wing of the building. As we entered the wing for patience in rehab I was astounded to see how dramatically the conditions changed. Gone were the pleasant smells, the happy employees, and patience with smiles on their faces. Walking up to the nurses station, I recall an orderly barking out how she’d had enough of this place and demanded to leave, saying she couldn’t take it any longer!

The nurses weren’t even sure which room she was in, but another orderly remembered and direct me to her location. I walked into the room and found Pam, along with her 80-ish year old grandmother. Evelyn was about to leave, we were introduced and I gave her my business card ask her to contact me if there was anything I could to do assist.

I could see the embarrassment on Pam’s face, though she knew I was coming. She had no make up, her false teeth were left at her home, somehow forgotten when the sheriff’s department rescued here, and her hair with tossed about. She immediately made excuses for herself and apologized for her condition, but with out hesitation I walked around to the side of her bed where her good arm was, I couldn’t do much, so I reached out and touched. This had an immediately calming effect on her. She settled down and we talked for about an hour. I gathered some information from her, and returned to the nurse’s station to ask more questions. The nurses became evasive, then started to accuse Pam of being difficult as if to justify or offset their treatment of her. This annoyed me more, I’m not sure I hid that fact very well.

Still, the presence of someone watching out for Pam should result in better care. I still believe Pam is where she needs to be. She is complaining about her conditions because she’s still a bit dazed by the events of the past year that set her on a course the leads to this facility. The system is slow admittedly, but she will ultimately get the rehab she needs. One can hope that in a year from now, this place will be a distance memory.

As for me, I’m thankful once again for my health, and to have the ability to move about freely. I have no problems.

Thanks for reading this far.

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7 comments for “I couldn't do much, so I reached out and touched

  1. Sunny Bee
    April 3, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    You're a wonderful friend, and I am glad you're my friend, too!

  2. Debra ^j^
    April 2, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Tim,

    God can do miraculous healings through each of us when we are open and receptive to his direction.

    Touching people with our words online is nice and can touch one's heart, but reaching out beyond our comfort zone to actually touch the hand of a person in need is love in action.

    You have sooo many gifts to share, Tim! Continue to reach out and touch people in person, like your friend, Pam, and love will fill you to overflowing! That's how God's love works!

    Perhaps next time you go to visit, Pam, you could take your guitar and play and sing for her…heck, play for the whole center, people in such places need the gift of music to cheer them up!

    Love & Light!
    Debra

  3. Oregoncelt
    April 2, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    It always amazes me how we are placed on this earth to be part of the bigger picture, and how God's amazing love gives us these gifts to cherish and remember.

  4. Rose J.
    April 2, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    One person, one small gesture of kindness can make a world of difference to another person. You have a warm and open heart Tim.

  5. Kim
    April 2, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    You're a gem of a man Tim….there are not many that would do as you have. I hope you feel good about yourself…because you should!

  6. kathywabucks
    April 2, 2007 at 10:09 am

    A woman in a tree and all she needed was a helping hand down. The human touch. We would all surely climb within ourselves and waste away without it. It is as essential as the sunlight for our souls. Intimacy on any level should be a natural course, but too often it is not, and it takes just a small gesture to make us right with the world and I would go as far to say that it can even save a life. From infancy being held is as vital as the beat of our heart and just because we've grown up nothing has changed.I admire your insight Tim.

  7. Monica
    April 2, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Tim, how wonderful for Pam that she has found such a friend in you!! Not everyone would go the distance that you have to reach and console and comfort.

    A comforting word or a gentle touch of someone that TRULY cares can and does do wonders!! I am so touched by the troubles of your friend Pam, thank you for being there for her!!

    She is in my prayers, as are YOU!! xo

    Thank you for sharing this update with us.

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