Tag Archives: Courage

“You really don’t have to be young to find a friend in a teddy bear.” -Rachel Newman

I have become sort of immune to authority figures in the world of medicine and insurance. My friends would tell you my immunity started long before caregiving. My older brother, Chip would say I made my self the authority figure right around 5th grade when I would tell my Mom what Chip wanted for lunch. My baby brother Bill would say, “Cathy doesn’t have any problems with authority, as long as she is the authority.”

Okay, fine.

I’m bossy and pushy when I need to be.

But sometimes I am surprised by the far-reaching influence of my bossiness.

I was grilling the nurse in the hospital about the details of my brother-in-law’s discharge. What day were they thinking? What kind of meds would he need when they sent him home? Did they know I had a 24 hour notice rule, so that I could set up his at-home caregivers? Would they call the insurance company to confirm the need for ambulance transport since my brother-in-law was non-ambulatory?  Would the case manager call me so that I could give her the time of day that transport would work best for the caregivers as well as his meal time at his facility?

My brother-in-law was so used to this diatribe, that every once in a while he would chime in with a: “Yeah, when can I get out of here!” emphatic remark. He liked looking bossy, too.

His hospital roommate, a kind and gentle Teddy Bear of man, whose family had quietly visited with him just a few hours earlier and had now left, was patiently listening to all of this. We had exchanged greetings earlier. He was very soft spoken. Even his young grandchildren were very quiet and respectful. He didn’t have his television blaring, like my brother-in-law usually does.  He didn’t pull his curtain shut or ask for privacy. He didn’t call his own nurse for any assistance during this time. But he was clearly awake, aware and watching all this broo-ha-ha.  He seemed to be taking it in with great interest, but just stayed calm and quiet.

After I had hashed out all the details that I needed to make the exit from the hospital as smooth as possible for my brother-in-law, I noticed that his roommate called the nurse over to the side of his bed. She very graciously went over and asked if she could help. Before he could say another word, she cautioned him that she was not his nurse, but if she could help she would.

He looked at us, and then looked up at her with pleading eyes and said ever so softly: “I, too, was wondering when I could get out of here and go home.” Then he looked at me, and I swear there was a twinkle in his eye  that was a dash of courage, but still a Teddy Bear, asking for his own reprieve. I’m pretty sure he winked back when I gave him the thumbs up!

“You just have to Laugh…………”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski


What makes the Hottentot so hot? Courage….the Cowardly Lion.

So I have to prepare a story about courage for a story slam. This may or may not be it.

I think my Mom is one of the most courageous people I know.  She had 5 kids all under the age of 10, and was pregnant with her 6th when my Army helicopter Dad died in a crash. Along with my Nana, she raised six pretty terrific kids (I can say that, I’m the middle child).The problem arises when she mixes her courage with a bit of the crazy.

As you may know, she is a big help to me in my caregiving duties. She is a nurse and was

This pic never gets old!
This pic never gets old!

often  called upon to help me with nonagenarians. She is in charge of all the meds for my brother-in-law. So this lady has got it together.

She gives great advice, except to herself. A few years ago, my mom and my brother Chip, decided to take a trip to Canada. My Mom has had a cabin there since 1972. It’s very rustic. The cabin is nestled next to a little lake. Years ago, my Mom and stepfather, and any other rustic thinking person, would go there all summer long for fishing, wildlife, nature, no electricity, no running water.  The kind of place I would not set foot in.

For the past 5 years or so, my Mom goes only occasionally. She still manages to find people who actually want to go there, but the boat dock is rotted, the trail to the lake is overgrown with weeds, she no longer has a garden the size of the Louvre, and so it’s just a short trip for a few days with those escaping technology or their spouses.

This time Mom and Chip went to check out the new floor that my brothers and brother-in-law had installed. They drove 8 hours from home. They were there approximately 45 minutes, when my Mom tripped on the lip created by the new floor and promptly broke her arm. See, she knew she broke it because she’s a nurse. That and the crack that sounded the minute she hit the floor.

My mother insisted that my brother get back in the car and drive her home 8 hours with that throbbing arm and nasty seat belt, so that she could go to a hospital near home. Now as the one who was probably going to be her temporary caregiver, that was great for me. As someone who tests the limits of courage and common sense. this 83 year old grandmother should have had some sense knocked into her before she hit the floor.

Courage or Crazy…………you be the judge. In any case………..

By the way…that picture IS  the  actual cabin. I made my Mom email it to me….THAT is the next story!

“You just have to Laugh………..”

Cathy Sikorski ©2014