Today I am home alone. I was not at home when at Greencroft but a bevy of angels were available at all times. Lisa was the first of the angels to greet me on my arrival. I remembered her from the time Rhoda was in Greencroft rehab, and she remembered Rhoda. This was a frequent connection.
Nurse angels kept the records and dispensed the pills. One of the angels awoke me at 6:00 a.m. every morning to tell me it was time for my first pill of the day. Other attending angels kept me clean and properly clothed.
Pneumonia weakens its victim. I was reminded of my father’s comment about his experience as an aging man at Menno Haven: “Once a man,” he said, “twice a baby.”
Of course, everything must be kept clean in a Mennonite owned institution. Work was done faithfully by special angels who smiled as they worked. Laundry was done daily and mostly out of sight. I wish I knew how many communal kitchens operate within Greencroft Communities. Nutritious meals satisfied me. On my discharge the following note from dietary said that as a patient I received “a low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium diet. He should eat 3 wellbalenced meals of meats, vegetables, fruits, starches and dairy products, limited fried/greasy food and salty foods such as sausage, bacon, potato chips, pretzels, processed foods and meats.”
Kim helped me to do exercises that strengthened the little muscles in my hands and fingers, and helped me to manipulate them in doing little things. Some patients needed to relearn how to do the wash and make beds.
We were given ample time to rest between the therapy sessions. My mind stayed active, and the television allowed me to remain up to date on world events. I read a large print Readers Digest novel for the first time in many years.
Then the larger muscles of the legs and arms had to be strengthened so we could walk, go up and down the stairs, and be taught how to use canes and walkers. We were given ample time to rest between therapy sessions so the muscles could strengthen.
Physical therapists were also interested in the mind. One was a devoted Catholic and another had grown in the Park View Mennonite Church and it predecessor, Chicago Ave Mennonite Church. Lively discussions among us were a part of my therapy sessions. I was not bored at Greencroft.