Nancy Evins: Calling all undercover bosses out there

Nancy Evins • Updated Aug 13, 2017 at 2:00 PM

You would have a difficult time getting into a place you may have needed more than other places, and that place is physical therapy rehab.

You can’t pretend to need one, because you have to have so many reasons. You must have a physical ailment supported by a physician, a list of medications and so on.

I have not written a bridge column for several months now since I left my house March 3, and I’m still not back. I’m hoping to get back to that soon if the folks at The Democrat agree. I have been in two hospitals and two rehab facilities, as well as some in the past.

What you see and hear when you are visiting is not what you see and hear from the patients.

Short of having full-time caretakers who would report it, you are on your own.

I have been sworn at – I had the audacity of asking if I could take a shower – lied to and about, insulted, grunted at and more. I began to think one of these places had hired parolees from a women’s state prison. 

Then I decided they must be escapees.

I saw one doctor three times in my almost 80-day stay. The first time was when my daughter invited some friends to have lunch on my birthday. He stopped by the table and introduced himself. Then, leaving he said, “How’s your diarrhea, Mrs. Evins?”

The next day, he came to my room and said he’d heard I was upset with his question. I said, “yes, but I’m looking forward to the time I find you eating with a group of friends so I can come up and say, ‘Had a good bowel movement today, Doc?’”

He just laughed and said he would probably be eating with doctors and nurses who wouldn’t think a thing about it.

So I now think I’ll say, “How’s that Viagra working? What’s up, Doc?”

I’ve started to think about the comparison in these facilities and others. If you take television, there is a similarity to most of them. Eight or nine sport channels, four or five food and many cartoons. Designed by a man for men, but he forgot that women outnumber men in all these institutions.

As far as cuisine, I like to think how certain things are made and how I would cook them. Several places made toast the same way. I’m not exactly sure how but I think they lightly brown it, then stick in the freezer several hours so it comes out hard and cold.

At least it reminds me I must see my dentist soon.

One place served its food all one temperature. Remember the words of the angel speaking to the folks at Ephesus?

“Ye are neither hot nor cold. I will spew you out of my mouth.” I have done more spewing than chewing.

The most innovated menu was an unadorned hot dog with half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Kudos to the chef.

The worst situation that happened was the terrible day I learned my vocal cords were paralyzed, and I would only be able to speak in the coarse croak I was doing. If I could find a prince, I could kiss and turn him back into a frog. We might be able to have enchanting conversations.

I came back to my room devastated only to have one of hell’s angels come in, stand across the room and say, “I can’t hear you.” I motioned for her to come closer, and she informed me everyone knew I could talk and was pretending I couldn’t to get attention. This, on top of the diagnosis, just about did me in.  

There was one sweet aide who said something I’ll never forget.

She said that sometimes when she came to work, a person she had attended to the day before had passed away.

“I like to think that I made the last day of their life as comfortable and pleasant I could.”

God bless her.

Nancy Evins, of Lebanon, is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at [email protected]


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