Joy Full

After all these years working as a transplant nurse, it is still really fun taking care of patients who have received a new kidney, especially those from a living donor. Some patients have been on dialysis for years, going to the same center three times a week for several hours.  I love listening to them call their dialysis units to share the good news and hearing the excited shouts of jubilation on the other end of the line! We’ve had parents donate a kidney to their child, child to parent, siblings, friends, in-laws, church members, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and co-workers.  It is the gift of life and is both incredible and humbling to witness.

After I received report from the recovery room nurse on my patient, a 71 year old lady who received a kidney from her daughter, I went to the daughter’s room to let her know her Mom was doing well and was on her way up. Even though she was in pain, her smile was beautiful when she heard the good news.

When my patient came to her room, I met her husband and another daughter while I got her settled and did an assessment. After telling her Mom she loved her, the daughter asked where her sister’s room was, and said, “I’ll be right back. There’s a whole bunch of us coming.”

Very soon the room was filled with one of the sweetest, kindest families I’ve ever met. The love in there was so palpable it was breath-taking. When we receive a patient with a new kidney, we are in their rooms almost continuously the first eight hours- taking vital signs, performing assessments and interventions, adjusting medicines and IV fluids; the family was so warm and welcoming, they made me feel like I was one of them.  Her sons were excited every time I emptied the urine from their Mom’s foley catheter and they saw how well the kidney was doing, asking “How much is it now?”

Later in the evening, the family went to get some food and make phone calls; only the husband remained, not wanting to leave his wife’s bedside. He spoke of how blessed he felt that each of their seven children was able to be with them for the surgery, and how although they had all been tested, it was only the one daughter that was the perfect donor candidate for her mother. He shared his faith in God with me, saying that his wife’s kidney function was only at 8% for months but she had been spared having to go through dialysis prior to transplant.

As I worked with her, my patient searched with her eyes for her husband if he stepped out of her line of vision for even a second and he continued to stand at her bedside. I offered to pull the recliner closer to her, saying it must have been a long day and asking if he wanted to rest. He beamed and said, “No. There’s been no such thing as time today. Only joy!”

 

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A Good Life

For My Step-Dad, with Love

Moon cake

When I was 13 years old, my Mom told me she was getting married and I was furious! Absolutely indignant, in the way that only 13 year old girls can be…closing myself up in my room, spending hours on the phone with my friends (the only people in the world I was convinced knew anything about life), and just generally trying hard to make others miserable.

Mom and I were supposed to be moving to England in a few weeks- that’s where she is from and where I was born- and I thought my life was over when those plans abruptly changed. Obviously I knew she had been dating my future step-dad for some time, but I didn’t think it was serious. He’d come over to pick her up for dinner a couple of nights a week and on the weekends too, and he was nice enough, but still. We were supposed to be moving to England for goodness sake, and we’d already been shopping and everything! I kept thinking, “How can she do this to me?!” (I am using the excuse of being 13 as to why I thought everything was about me…yeah, that’s it…)

I knew my step-dad’s three daughters. They had all been lifeguards at a local pool my parents took me to and I thought they were so sweet… that’s the only thing my teen-aged mind was right about because they are.  Knowing we would be a part of the same family lessened the blow of not moving. When I met his son, I thought, “He seems ok.” Typing that now makes me laugh as I love him with all my heart and know he loves me too!

In the weeks before the wedding, my Mom was so happy and my selfish heart softened… a little. The service was beautiful and I could see how much he loved her.

My step-dad has always been an animated storyteller. He’d come home from work telling tales of what had happened in the hospital or clinic that day, and I was fascinated. He was very patient with my many questions. The influence he has had in my life led me to eventually become a nurse. Days of being polite to each other turned into his kicking the soccer ball with me in the evenings and then into “Can I come too?” whenever he had to run errands. Two of his favorite places were Radio Shack and the hardware store, and soon I was his permanent tag-along. He didn’t seem to mind. He taught me how to drive a boat, jump-start a car battery (many times, thanks to the very old Chevy Vega he had), use a come-along for fence repair, and to pursue knowledge. He’d become a constant in my life, always there, and I’m forever grateful.  About a year ago, I was facing a professional dilemma and he was the only one I wanted to tell. I asked him, “Will you please listen to me as a doctor and then talk to me as my Dad?” That’s just what he did.

Fast forward through the decades…two days ago, we celebrated his 90th birthday. He loved telling stories as much as we loved hearing them, and it was glorious to see him so happy and laughing a lot! He shared with us, “I sometimes forget what a good life I’ve had!” Don’t forget, Dad, and please know how very much you are loved.

Dr M 90

 

 

Aftershocks

alone animal bird clouds
Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

This piece is dark and I feel like I should almost put out a disclaimer to anyone who might read it. Writing is cathartic; that’s what I needed.

I’ve been staring at this screen for a long time and still don’t know how to start. Though I can’t see myself doing anything else, sometimes being a nurse sucks. It just does. I know I should be sharing the good sides of nursing, and there are many- the honor of working with people who let you in at the most intimate times of their lives, being witness to miracles, seeing patients who were on the brink of death recover fully- but that’s not what this post is about. Today the well’s run a little dry and I’m praying for rain soon. It’ll come. It always does. Maybe even tomorrow.

Recently, we had a patient with end-stage lung disease. He’d been on our unit a few weeks, and we all had gotten to know him well. Early in the morning, his nurse called me to say he was having distress. We got him past the event with medications and a respiratory treatment; he had declined so much since I’d seen him last.

He asked me to stay with him after the others left so I pulled a chair up to his bed. He took my hand, looked into my eyes, and asked, “What’s going to happen to me?”

I said, “You’re very sick, Mr. Gandy. I know you’ve been speaking with your doctors about your options.” They had been discussing hospice and comfort measures but Mr. Gandy hadn’t made a decision yet.

“Yeah, I’ve been talking to them. I want to talk to you now. Please tell me.” He must have read my mind because the next words out of his mouth were, “I know you’re not a doctor and that’s ok. It’s just you and me in this room and you’ve been doing this a long time. Please tell me what’s going to happen.”

“If what happened this morning happens again, or if you get any worse, we’ll have to intubate you. If we do that, we may not be able to get you off the ventilator.” Saying those words out loud was awful. I don’t want to try to imagine how his hearing them must have felt.

He asked, “How long do I have? Is it weeks? Days? I’m not gonna make it out of the hospital, am I?” I answered honestly. His eyes were filled with tears; he squeezed my hand and said, “Thank you.” He asked me to call his brother for him so I did.

When the doctor came in, I told him what Mr. Gandy and I had been talking about. We discussed the progression of his disease and his prognosis with him. When asked about his goals, Mr. Gandy said, “My goal, what I want, is to be able to go home…but I know that’s not realistic.” What do you say to that? Sometimes, often really, there just are no words. He gave us an out when he said, “Tell me about comfort care.”

Mr. Gandy ultimately made the decision to be a DNR and opted for comfort measures only. He asked me to call his family again and I did. That too was tough.

I am very fortunate to have the best, most compassionate coworkers in the world. Some of the nurses got Mr. Gandy’s nurse to take a break and took over the care of her other patients. They also pitched in to perform some of my tasks so I could stay with the patient. I stayed with him until he died about an hour later.

We try everything we can to bring comfort to those suffering-giving medicines and treatments; most of the time it helps. Other times, we have to hope that our presence makes a difference.

My ego is terrible and I think I should be able to fix everything myself. It gets in the way a lot and is unfair to others. One of my neighbors is a really close friend and is like a younger brother. His daughter is my favorite of all the neighborhood kids (https://awhitlow2.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/remembering-the-wheeeeee-for-hannah/). We were talking about Hannah one day, and Jeff said, “I’m just trying to make sure she doesn’t grow up to be an a-hole.” You’re successful, Dad, because she’s definitely not! Keeping his words in mind and striving hard to not be an a-hole either, I reached out to one of my brothers and one of my sisters about struggling with this death. Talking to them helped immensely.

Now I’m just waiting on the rain…

November Memories

 

To my Carter family,

I think of you all often and especially at this time of year with Thanksgiving fast approaching. Memories from a very long time ago and those from more recent years, some silly and some not…they are all as vivid in my mind as if they happened yesterday. These are a few of the things I remember when I think of you.

Much love,

Ashleigh img035

Grandpa: tractor rides, “honey-bunch”, your big grin; sneaking into your office with you sitting in that old wooden desk chair- every time you heard me come in, you’d open your arms for a hug

 

 

Grandma: your endless patience! Teaching your grandchildren how to play the piano and to milk cows- more than once you were squirted in the face, but you’d just wipe off your glasses, smile, and let us try again

Dad: your sense of humor; hearing you laugh at your own jokes, snort, then snort some more…that’s what really made them funny; you hiding from your Dad when you went outside to smoke; hearing you tell stories from your childhood

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Uncle A.L.: the smell of your pipe; though neither of us were big ‘small-talkers’, you’d ask me what I thought about something and really listen to the answer; you didn’t shoot the bunny; you taught me how to throw a punch; Princess and the painted toenails

 

 

Aunt Maxine: the way you always know the right words at the right time; Hello-Dollies (thank you for making everyone’s favorite desserts each Thanksgiving); how quick you are to smile; the apple cake; Concho

Aunt Inez: your warmth; at the times when I needed it most, you let me know I mattered; long drives from Alabama to Negreet with a car full of teenagers; coffee and sewing

 

Uncle Gerry: you were always kind to my Mom, even after she and Dad divorced

Uncle Ike: the way your eyes crinkle up when you smile and laugh; your love of horses; watching rodeo VHS tapes with you for hours- we would have kept watching, but everyone else had other plans for us to be social! 14344945_10154447489281000_629348307474661689_n

Aunt Beth: your soft, sweet manner and gentle laugh; the way you’d always pat my knee when we were talking; you taught me how to forgive…not with words, but by example; yellow watermelon (the first one I ever saw was with you); you look for the good in others

 

Uncle Georg: the Store and HAM radios; your sense of humor too- it’s always hard to tell if you are pulling someone’s leg…until your eyes give it away

Anne Catherine: your love for Dad’s family; your beautiful accent; I had a huge crush on your handsome brothers all those years ago (Shhh, don’t tell!) 14390680_10154446801616000_5526713025807544775_n

Leigh Ann: the big bucket of hot chocolate mix; staying up very late to talk; your passion for nursing; the way you loved Ray and the courage you had to open your heart again with Corky- I’m glad you found happiness

Lawana: I love your laugh; the quiet way you show your tenderness- you were so sweet to Austin when he was a baby and you met him for the first time; your sincerity 14317450_10154447490846000_4427929467865153051_n

Gary: the way you make Lawana laugh; your baseball caps; you pretended (??) I was a pest (and I was), but were still the first to include me in anything fun; how much you love Aunt Maxine

Lana: so many memories…my partner in crime and forever staunch defender, no matter what and no matter when; the turnip greens; Hockaday and Bayside stories 14322453_10154447486546000_3918232671281643463_n

Jay M: meeting you for the first time, all of us in the kitchen drinking coffee with Aunt Inez, and seeing my dear cousin in love

Nita: your big beautiful blue eyes; you have your Mother’s way of making others feel special 14316935_10154447481151000_7021398830209113452_n

Jay W: your expressions- like it was with John, one single look from you can crack me up! Riding to Negreet with you and the boys when Austin was a baby and seeing how much you loved being a Dad; the night we all played Trivial Pursuit with your Mom tractor time

John: your heart, your laugh, your openness and generosity, your sense of humor; you were always barefoot when we were kids-you must’ve been a shoe rebel! Playing for hours in the hay loft; always hearing, “Hey pretty lady,” every time we spoke on the phone

 

Stacie: your doll, Mrs. Beasley! She went everywhere with you; going to Mr. Nathan’s store when there was still the old dirt road and sharing lik-m-stix on the way back img062

Georjann: the way you tell all of us “I love you”; your incredible memory! You recall details from years ago that the rest of us have forgotten, and I know if I don’t remember someone’s name, I can always ask you

 

Jennifer: seeing you with John when you were little, giggling every time he called you “Mennifer Jarie”; riding on the back of Grandpa’s tractor with you, laughing so hard every time he went over a bump and we nearly fell off; no matter how much time goes by, talking with you always feels like coming home

Joseph: your boots when you were a little kid; how you always took care of your sisters; you brought Dad to your parents’ house for Thanksgiving after he’d had a stroke; the way you made everyone feel comfortable and welcome

 

Anne: when you were very young, you would run full speed ahead and arms open wide to hug any of us that you hadn’t seen for a long time and I loved that about you; your sweet spirit

 

Daniel: as a young boy, you were always present, easy-going, and so very quiet, taking everything in;

Jordana: sometimes shy, sometimes talkative, yet always willing to join in; Dad adored you; seeing him carry you in his arms to look at the horses; I think you got your ‘deep thinker’ side from him

 

Mike: your flannel shirt matched the rest of us- somewhere there is a photo of almost every single Carter in flannel one Thanksgiving; your determination and work ethic; how you realized it would be futile to resist your obsessive, stalking, newly found sister when I phoned you

 

Cissy: your steadiness; one night, we all piled into a car to go see the Natchitoches Christmas lights and you were able to identify all the Bath & Bodyworks scents everyone was wearing! Just a small example of the way you find common ground with everyone and get them to talk, even the quiet ones

Tamara: your gentle voice; the ways you show that family is important- you’re like your Mom that way; your love for animals 14333163_10154447509631000_5788648884993851066_ndefault

Carter: as a very young boy, your inquisitive, adventurous nature and search for answers

Lindsey: I still picture you as a tiny girl with blue jeans and a button-down shirt playing on the steps outside Fort Jessup where we had a family reunion; I love seeing your photos of your beautiful family 14329903_10154446713141000_6378238242821869266_n

Chris: thank you for answering my endless email questions when I went through my crazy-middle-aged-fitness-phase! Watch out, there will be one coming again soon; you and Lindsey both make your parents so proud

Zach: you were always so polite and a joy to be with; in the car with your Dad on the way to Negreet, you forgave him for always promising a milkshake ‘just around the next corner’ and made sure to tell me he was joking so I wouldn’t get my hopes up

 

Tyler: you had me wrapped around your little finger when you were a young boy with your gorgeous smile; I loved seeing your Nanny’s face light up whenever you and Zach were around

Angie: your genuine happiness for your Dad as he was getting to know his family; you put others before yourself…not for recognition or thanks, but just because that’s who you are; every time I read Khalil Gibran’s piece in The Prophet “On Giving” I think of you 14344193_10154447450431000_5593204351961566444_n

Neil: as a teenager, you were surrounded by this newly found, flannel shirt wearing family and took it all in stride- thank you!

Catherine: watching you try valiantly to stay up late with your older cousins, seeing you crawl up on the couch saying you were only “gonna rest a little for a minute” then waking up covered with a blanket in the morning, genuinely surprised and disappointed you’d fallen asleep; seeing you and Jordana getting to know each other 14956467_1444776505540114_7940489661232069638_n

Austin: seeing you as a toddler in your overalls, looking at the horses with great wonder and feeding the deer; as a teenager, putting up with endless stories from your Mom-for hours- when we rode to Negreet together 14322493_1388547601160144_3649972821908517051_n

 

The Bedside Table and Rollercoaster Rides

Being a witness to true, pure, selfless, and unconditional love is so powerful that it can transform the soul and change a heart forever; I was blessed to have seen that kind of love a few days ago with one of my patients and her husband. God must have known my heart needed to be filled as He showed me the special bond between a brother and his little sister just the very next day.

Jo is a woman in her 60’s who has been a patient on our unit off and on for the past few months. She has a big heart, a dry sense of humor, and is well-loved by her husband, Robert, and their three adult children. Her liver is failing fast as she waits for a transplant and none of us know how much time she has left. Whatever her course may be, Robert will be right there by her side.

When I first entered Jo’s room that early morning just as the sun was beginning to make its appearance above the dark blue clouds, she was sleeping and Robert was sitting in a chair beside her bed. He was fighting tears as shared with me how scared he was because she’d become so sick very quickly. His voice cracked when he said, “Just a few months ago, she could do everything for herself. She was normal. And now…it’s just…I’m afraid of losing her.” I longed for the right words to say, something comforting…anything really… but sometimes there are no words and none came at that moment. All I could do was nod as we shared the silence that followed.

After I’d seen my other patients, I went back into Jo’s room. Robert had lifted her from the bed to the chair, and I found them sitting across from each other sharing breakfast on the battered hospital bedside table. Our tables are used for many things- a place to set medicine cups, water pitchers, procedure trays. This was the first time I’d seen one used for a breakfast date with a couple who’d been married 40 years and it was such a beautiful sight! A true gentleman, Robert made sure his bride was seated so she could look out the big window and have the best view. He told Jo, “I wish I had some flowers so you’d have something pretty to look at,” to which she replied, “I like looking at you.”

Jo left later that day to have a diagnostic test performed, and Robert finally laid down on the couch to rest. When she returned and I heard him snoring, I tried to be quiet as we moved her from the stretcher to the bed, knowing how tired he must be. As soon as he heard his wife’s sweet voice, though, he immediately awoke and jumped up to help. I wanted so badly to tell him, “It’s okay, we’ve got her,” but then remembered the words of a coworker far wiser than me caring for another patient near the end of life who said, “I used to think I knew what was best for patients and their families. I had good intentions but I was wrong. It’s not for us to decide what’s most important to them; it’s up to us just to honor whatever that is.” It was a gift that day to hear their lively banter during Jo’s good moments and see the gentleness between them during her bad ones- the kind of love that develops from spending a lifetime together.

Will is a 20 year old young man who received a liver transplant after having developed an autoimmune disorder. He and his parents were so sweet and engaging; I loved getting to know them all. Will had become really ill right after he started college and had spent the past year living back at home. He has an older sister and brother who were able to take turns being with him at his sickest when his parents had to work. He also has a little sister. Because their home is out of state, his siblings had not yet been able to see him since his surgery but were making the trip the following weekend.

When the doctors made their rounds, Will’s mom asked them all the “important” questions- about medicines, follow-up appointments, wound care, etc., then said, “ I just have one more question. I promised his 14 year old sister I’d ask this. Will he be able to ride roller coasters again?” I’ve never seen the surgeon smile wider than he did just then! He was grinning when he said,” Yes. Not right now! But please tell her ‘yes.’ In a few months, he can definitely ride roller coasters again.’ We loved hearing that a little sister’s top concern was that her brother could do fun things again… with her.

Will was discharged later that day. I waited with him while his parents left to load the car and he told me how excited he was to see the rest of his family. He said, “I really love all of my siblings. My little sister and I are especially close and I can’t wait to see her!”

I have a shameful secret, one that’s very hard to admit. For much of my life when I saw two people in love, I was happy for them, but there was always the whiny and very selfish thought, “Why not me? Why can’t I have that kind of love?” There are a myriad of reasons. I’ve made poor choices and have lost myself before in relationships. I’m not social. I like people pretty well but am so much better with dogs. I’m stubborn. Fortunately I have a few good friends who know me well and love me anyway. They keep me grounded, ask the hard questions, and yell at me if I isolate too much. I may never have the kind of love that Jo and Robert share, and that’s ok. I’m grateful to God that they have it and all the selfish thoughts are gone for good.

Recently while my brother and I were talking about our father, he brought up some thoughts about my previous relationships with men. He’s always conscious about being tactful (his sister should try to be more like him in that way) and he was afraid of being hurtful but sometimes when you see someone you love making bad decisions for a long enough period of time, the words you’ve held back just come tumbling out. I’m so glad he did. It was a relief for both of us and has brought us even closer together.

I have two brothers. Though we didn’t grow up together, we entered each others’ lives when we were supposed to and with Divine timing. They show their love in so many of the wonderful ways that brothers do- through their words, actions, and the examples they set- and I couldn’t be more thankful to have them in my life. In addition, they have both gone above and beyond in unique ways: one has promised to intervene if I become completely crazy (it’s a slippery slope) and the other has promised to pluck unwanted facial hair if I’m ever in a coma! Both vows are of high value and equal importance.

For My Co-workers…with love

I think about you when I get home at night. I see the ways you impact our patients’ lives and because of that you also greatly impact my own.  Your teamwork and clinical expertise inspire me, your kindness humbles me, and your great compassion often moves me to tears.  There are no words adequate enough to express the gratitude I have in my heart for each of you.

This is what I hear your patients say to you and about you:

  1. “You really care,”
  2. “I wasn’t always easy to be around. You showed me love anyway.”
  3. “I’ll never forget you.”
  4. “This isn’t just a job to you.”
  5. “You make a difference.”
  6. “I know I’m not your only patient, but you make me feel like I am.”
  7. “You explain everything to me in a way I can understand.”
  8. “You really listened to me. I knew something was wrong and you got me what I needed.”
  9. “You made my pain go away.”
  10. “I was scared. More scared than I’ve ever been before. You stayed with me. That made it better.”
  11. “You treat me like a real person, not just a patient. You make me laugh and that helps a lot.”
  12. “You’ll always be family to me.”
  13. “You saved my life. Thank you.”
  14. “I love you.”

Cutting the Crud

My stepdad asked recently how I spend my free time… Two days (on and off) kneeling on hard ceramic tile. Scrubbing grout. Woo-hoo. At first, I was pretty excited about finding a cleaning product that worked so well…now I don’t know if I ever want to see the stuff again!! To make the time pass faster, there was a crazy running monologue in my head. This is how it went:

Starting out: “Don’t go down on the bad knee first. Wait. Which one’s the bad one? OW! Yep, that’s the bad one. I can’t believe how fast this stuff is working. Holy moley, look at all that dirt coming up. That’s amazing. And gross. Really gross. But it’s quick. I’ll be done in no time.” Yeah right. “I didn’t think the grout would ever be this white again. I love this stuff! Ok, one square down. About 1827 more to go.” Slight exaggeration. “I have to pee. Too bad, not getting up. Don’t sneeze. Or cough. Coughing’s the worst. Keep scrubbing.”

About an hour later: “What is that on the bottom of the dishwasher? That’s disgusting.” Trying to reach the paper towels, I started pulling myself up holding on to the sink. Wet hands, wet feet… I slipped, on the way down hitting my chin on the counter, falling to my knee…the bad one. “Mother Hubbard!” (I didn’t say Hubbard.) “Are my teeth still there? Yep, think so. Chin’s bleeding a little. It’s ok. Don’t bleed on the grout. Keep scrubbing. If you gotta bleed, bleed on your shirt. Teeth are still there, chin hurts. Ok, kitchen’s done. We’re never walking in here again. The grout’s too white for that. Still gotta pee. Move to a dry part of the floor before you get up. If you hit your head, no one’s gonna find you. Until it’s time to go back to work and you never show up. Then they’ll come looking and you’ll be laying here and they’ll see the rest of the floor and the grout’s not done.”

A couple of hours later, after a pity party and a nap: “Ok, you’ve got this. Put on Pandora and get to work. Kitchen looks great. Gotta make the rest of the floor look like that. Keep scrubbing. Alright this is coming up pretty good. I love Van Morrison. We were born before the wind… (singing loudly)…Also younger than the sun… Keep scrubbing. Younger that the sun? I feel older than dirt. I wish I could sing. Oh I love this one. Lean on meeeee, when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you caaaarrry on…This stuff really is amazing. The floor’s looking good. No, no, no….don‘t play Pink Floyd. I can’t stand Pink Floyd. Gotta change it.” (Crawls to the table where the computer is) “Lots of people like Pink Floyd. Is something wrong with me that I don’t? My brother likes their music. At least he likes the Eagles too so that’s something. Ok, that’s better. While I’m here, I should check my email… and I think I’ll finish watching that documentary on YouTube.”

An hour later…ok, two hours later…: “The floor’s not gonna scrub itself. That’s it, just finish the hallway tonight and do the rest tomorrow. Yep, that’s still the bad knee. This is really good stuff. I’m so glad I got it. Keep scrubbing. ‘I got one moooorre silver dolla, but I’m not gonna let em catch me, no. Not gonna let em catch the midnight riiiider.’ Keep scrubbing. Almost done. You missed a square. Dammit.”

Day two: “Make your coffee and finish this! You got it. Down ya go. One more room and you’re done. OW! That’s not even the bad knee. Start scrubbing. Keep going. I don’t care how good this stuff cleans, it’s from the devil. Who puts white ceramic tile in a house anyway? Well you bought the house, Einstein. Keep scrubbing. Yes, Pandora, I’m still listening and no you’re not playing to an empty room. ‘Tuesday’s gooooone, like the winnndd…’ Keep scrubbing…Floor’s done. But look at all that stuff under the bookshelves. You gotta get that. Maybe next time. Next time? You know that’s not gonna happen anytime soon. Get up, move the shelves…then there’s the light fixture… and the windows…

An eternity later: It’s all done. I’d take some ibuprofen but I’d have to walk in the kitchen to get water and the grout’s too clean.