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A reality tea

November 14, 2015
by Kathleen Mears
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One night I was struggling with the side effects of a prescription allergy nasal spray for my persistent runny nose. This is the second time in a couple of months. While the drips are driving me nuts, the cure is even worse. The first prescription nasal spray made my nose feel like it had been cut open and laid out on an Arizona desert. But with this new nasal spray, my nose dripped minimally, and I was left with a feeling of otherworldliness and a pounding headache.

Feeling a bit jumbled, I got in bed that afternoon. I started reading the news which is my normal pattern. I was on my fourth article and the next thing I remember is waking up an hour or so later. There was no yawning, or drowsy feeling, I was just out—sound asleep.

When I woke I was startled; I seldom fall asleep in the afternoon. I took my 4 p.m. meds and resumed reading. Two hours later I woke when my aide came in to feed me a snack. We both laughed that I had been sound asleep, sitting straight up.

A resident friend I will call Mindy, dropped in a little while later. She had offered to assist me in sorting through some heavier clothing. I told her I appreciated her offering to help, but the nasal spray side effects had me feeling tired and grumpy. I told her my room was too warm and Mindy said she understood. We agreed to sort my clothing another day.

Later that evening, Mindy came in with a cup in her hand. Since there was a string with a tag dangling from it, I assumed it was tea. Mindy said, "Sally* wanted you to have this". My brain processed through every staff person's name and I could not figure out who she meant. When I looked perplexed, Mindy said, "Sally – the resident"

Sally is a sweet resident up the hall who took in my wilting orchid my sister gave me for my birthday. It needed light, water, and much more attention than that I am able to give it. Susie took it in and the orchid is doing well.

I was surprised that Sally and Mindy brought me tea. Although I was feeling too warm to drink it, I thanked Mindy and asked her to tell Sally how much I appreciated the thought. Their reality tea showed me they cared.




So very thoughtful of Sally and a wonderful way of describing the warmth shown by Mindy and Sally.

Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...