I really have the coolest job. Sometimes you find God in the most unexpected places and today He came to work with me. Over the past year and a half I have gotten to know these three special ladies quite well. I'd like to share a little bit about them.
The Lovely Ms. E: Ms. E came into rehab today without her wig. After a year of chemo, tears, anxiety, a double mastectomy, and should we say a wig that had seen it's better days, she left it at home. And she did look lovely. Her hair had grown back in a nice soft swirl of curly silvery gray and Ms. E shone like an angel. It was more than just an opportunity to stuff her slightly matted, slightly singed, ( that's a story) completely uncomfortable wig into the nether-regions of a storage closet, but a gold medal victory over the the considerable opponent of breast cancer.
The Formidable Ms. N: There ain't no stopping Ms. N! She just keeps coming back for more. This sixty something young lady rides the stationary bike (for an hour) in rehab on M-W-F, does yoga and swimming on T- TH and tops it all off with a 4 mile walk on Saturday. This past year she has faced a heart attack, a near fatal brush with a ruptured appendix, and the death of her dear mother whom she had taken care of in her home over the past few years. After putting her 60 minutes in on the bike she was off and running to the Omaha airport to spent Christmas with her family in Phoenix, AZ. Her beaming smile rivaled the Iowa sun on fresh winter snow.
The Divine Ms. G: Ms. G. is 90 years old. She is my most consistent customer in cardiac rehab. Come hell or high water, on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9am she is on the the bike- seat at position 1, RPM 40-50, 15 minutes, BP 102/60, HR 66, weight 167 pounds - for the past 8 years. Last month Ms. G's heart rate irregularly jumped to 125 and they have been adjusting her meds to try to get it slowed down and regular again. Last night, while in the hospital it stopped. Completely. The nurses were able to get her back and this morning when I went to see her, after she complained of a sore chest from the CPR, she grabbed my hand and said, " I miss you in rehab, but it's okay if I don't come back." She lost her husband this past year also, and had taken care of him at home for a number of years after he suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on one side. Won't they be a sight when they meet in Heaven again? Pete will probably walk out to meet her and maybe Ms G. will ride her bike through those pearly gates.
I hope I am half as strong as these women someday. I have a really cool job, don't I?