Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weekend warriors

Back from Sea Ranch relaxed and refreshed. The place is beyond beautiful. It is spectacular. It is also very relaxing. We walked through the hedgerows (pictured) and along the bluff and down on the beach. We rode bicycles (my first time in 10 years) and soaked in the hot tub and I read an entire 500 page book.. 

There were bumps in the road, though. I posted on Thursday that my most reliable nurse, Josephine, hurt her back and cancelled three shifts over the weekend. I scrambled and pleaded and cajoled and moved things around and got it to work. On Saturday afternoon, between a walk on the beach and a bike ride, I received a call from an emergency room in SF. You can imagine that my heart was in my toes, but Maggie was fine. It was Lucy, another nurse who was scheduled to work Saturday night - 11PM to Sunday at 7:00AM. She was fainting and having other symptoms and was getting admitted. (She’s ok now) That meant there was no nurse to care for Maggie over night. 
That's never an easy shift to fill but almost impossible at the last minute.

We were both very upset because it looked like we had to leave immediately. I was cleaning up the place and throwing things in my bag as I called home and had Tim access my data base with the nurses info. It couldn’t be just anybody. It had to be someone who cold work completely on his/her own. No one would be there to show them where things were, etc. I started dialing numbers like a mad woman. No answer, left message. Not available. I called Etoy, our week night nurse who NEVER works weekends. She had already come through for me on Friday night allowing me to shift things around to fill Josephine's shifts. I told her what was going on and she said - "you stop packing this minute and have fun. I'll take care of Maggie."  I almost started to cry. 

Other than that hiccup, everything went great. Maggie had fun with Paulo and his wife Mary Jane who are both young nurses and fawned over her all day Friday Saturday and Sunday. Etoy and Fely both came through for me and worked weekend shifts after working all week. Maggie is also older now and has a better understanding that we will return and actually enjoyed the change in routine. 

But it was a lot of work.

People often tell me I need to take more breaks and get away with Steve. I appreciate the sentiment and  concern, but I hope those dispensing this advice read this. The amount of work it takes to make it happen is unbelievable. Despite weeks of preparation, things still fell apart this weekend. They came back together only because of the generosity of Etoy and Fely. I am eternally grateful to both of them, but that is not something I can exploit. It is also very expensive to hire nurses for extra shifts. Those are not included in the hours Maggie gets from the state. It is double to cost for us to do anything. Put it all together and you may start to understand why we stay home. 

This weekend was great, and I’m very glad we did it, but it will have to hold us for a couple of years.


  1. Wow. I want to feel elated that you got away and had such a wonderful time with your husband, but that elation is so tempered by what you have to go through to do it. Just wow. I think I'm a little more compassionate toward myself now, after reading this, when I get so irritated at my family as they plead with me to "get away."

    Here's to an easy couple of years until your next hard-won vacation!

  2. I have been reading your blog for so long and yet I never realized how difficult it is for you to get away. We just did 10 days in Hawaii with my 3 young girls and I thought that was hard....you did much more work than me! I hope now that Maggie is older that you guys can sneak in a few more weekends together:)

    Amanda and the girls


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