Franklin is eagerly waiting for Earl to come home today so he can be bedridden while Earl sleeps. It’s funny that the cats have hardly slept with me while Earl has been hospitalized. Yesterday morning, I turned my sheets down a little, and there was Frank, snoozing all day against my pillow. I guess he doesn’t like the bed made up.
People you don’t know can make such a big difference in your lives. When I had my injury, I looked forward to Ophelia coming to clean my room every day. She was so nice and put up with my practicing Spanish with her. Being hospitalized can be pretty boring once you are on the mend.
The man cleaning Earl’s room is Jimmy Chang, originally from Taiwan. Yesterday, Earl wasn’t feeling so great. The day before had been the day post-op where it felt like a semi ran over him. Yesterday, Earl was to have an ultrasound-guided aspiration of some ascites and a liver biopsy. He was not a happy camper.
Jimmy came in to clean, and happily told us that there is a big banquet next week where employees of the year will be announced. He is so proud that he was nominated a second year in a row. He really wants to win this time. He is taking his wife; they are getting their best clothes ready, and are looking forward to a really good meal. Going to that banquet is a real honor for Jimmy.
Earl’s mood brightened as Jimmy laughed his way through his description of the upcoming event. The sun came out on Earl’s bad, scary day as he laughed with Jimmy. We totally got into it with Jimmy, “Vote for Jimmy Chang!” I even put it in ink on the door sign that said no food for Earl that morning. “Vote for Jimmy Chang!” Jimmy was so tickled, he thanked us over and over while bowing in his native tradition.
I went down to radiology to be with Earl while he had his procedures done. I came back up ahead of him to order lunch for us. On his worst day, Earl would eat all the Jello in the universe, but he is on solid food now, and was hungry. The radiology technician gave me two coupons, so I could order a guest tray. Usually, I get my food in the café, using my volunteer badge for a discount.
While waiting, I called the CEO’s office to talk to the secretary and tell her that we wanted to see Jimmy win the employee of the year in his division. I told Gloria how wonderful Jimmy was every day with his infectious smile, happy giggle while patting Earl on the knee and wishing him a well. After that, I saw Jimmy in the hall with his supervisor, and told him I had called the boss’ office. He laughed and bowed in his excitement. His supervisor laughed also.
This is one reason why I volunteer. There is an opportunity every day to help people who are having the worst day of their lives feel better. Sometimes it takes only a smile and a little kindness. Jimmy helped Earl feel better on a bad day. I hope the hospital recognizes him for that. The room is pretty clean, too.
Vote for Jimmy Chang!