“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


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

  1. right on Cathy. that was sweet of the guy. i’m sure he is wishing he had someone like you. it’s not that you are bosses. it’s, you want to make sure things go smoothly and with out a whole lot of problems later. you sound like my older sister. people said the same thing about her when she had to do things for my father before he passed away.

    you are not bosses. just want things to be right, smiles!!!!!!!

    1. Well, Jerome. That’s so nice to hear. And it’s encouraging that someone can get a bit of bravery just by watching me! I wish I could be everyone’s advocate. I get tired of
      seeing people pushed around….and only wanting simple answers to their questions. So that’s why I was inspired by this gentle soul in the bed next to my brother-in-law! As always, thanks for reading and commenting! Smiles right back at ya’

  2. But due to my brain injury, I just have to cry.. I am so happy you were there for him.

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Awesome. Were you able to intercede for him as well? Seems as if your help is a hot commodity – and could be for many families.

    1. I didn’t intercede, Kerry, because the nurse did come and discuss his condition with him, and he seemed to be satisfied and have it under control. But clearly he had just realized he could ask the question! I wish I could figure out a way to get it across to everyone that it’s okay to question your care….working on a book for that right now! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!