Monday, March 07, 2005

Night Watch

I have been planning to attend other Young Adult Wards in the area. I decided to start with the one where I know some people. It is a college ward and they age group was said to have been older. I guess I spontaneously decided to go today. I figured there would be someone there I knew, so I went alone.

The chapel seemed too large for the few people that were there today. I would guess there might have been 30 people there, and that's being generous. Of course I didn't recognize a soul in there. It was Fast Sunday today, so I got to hear the testimonies of some of the members in the ward. The testimonies were humble and sincere. After scanning the room, I can't say I found anyone that peaked my interest enough to keep me coming, namely a tall, dark and handsome spiritual giant.

I decided to leave after Sacrament, partly because I was concerned about my car. I just had it in the serviced station on Saturday and they changed the oil. When I got out of my car after parking in the church parking lot, I noticed a puddle of brownish water flowing from under my car. At first glance, it looked a little greenish like coolant, but it was closer to brown and I thought it to be oil. I attempted to read the oil gage about 5 times and it gave me a different result each time I pulled it out, but it appeared to me as though it was about half way full. (The dip stick is twisted at the end and it goes down a curved shaft so the stick traps oil on the way up causing the holes to fill randomly for example 1,2 and 4, but not three. It's crazy like that.)

I went ahead and decided to catch the first hour of my own ward before I had to meet with a woman for an orientation before she leaves her father at home to go on a vacation. I checked the oil again before I left the church. It seemed lower than it was when I checked it last.

I pulled in a gas station to get some oil and I purchased some gas since I was there. When I took off the oil lid, I managed to drop it down under the engine compartment. The engine was still hot, of course and could not be reached from the top without touching the engine. I asked the clerk that advised me about the blue motor oil for lawnmowers and snowmobiles that is supposedly also good for cars, to assist me in getting the oil cap out from under the engine. He was crawling under the car and burning himself on the engine, while I pored two quarts of oil into the engine because it still looked low after the first quart. (I gave the poor kid a ten-dollar bill for his trouble. His finder was bleeding from the burn.)
Amid all the commotion, I forgot to pump the gas that I paid for. I realized what I had done while waiting at the light. I turned around and pulled back into the gas station. There was someone at the pump already. He was standing near his car. I pulled up next to him and briefly explained what I had done. He said that it wasn't accepting his card and I said it's probably because I already put money on it inside. He was kind enough to move for me, but I think he was a bit disturbed already with his frustration about his card.

After the orientation I made an appearance at my uncle's house for dinner to celebrate all the March birthdays in the family. I told my dad about the trouble with the car. He went out to look at the oil level with me and determined that it was actually above the fill line and what I had lost was coolant, (since when is coolant brown and oil blue?). In which case I would need to drain some oil to keep from ruining the engine. I had to swap cars with my mom so I could drive home and pack while my cousins drained some oil. My mom informed me that it started overheating on the way home so now she will have to stay home tomorrow and take it into the shop.

It is approaching midnight now. I am working with for another hospice situation. I am expected to stay awake through the night with her and watch for signs that she might pass away. They told me that she has already displayed several of these clues within the last week. If I notice any of the given signs such as; irregular breathing, a gurgling or rattling in her throat, or extremely low pulse, I am to wake her daughter and her daughter's husband because they want to be with her during her last moments.

She has not had any solids and very little liquid in the last few days. They have her on oxygen. She requires liquid morphine drops every hour. I set a timer to make sure I remember at the right time. I'm glad to have it too, in case I should fall asleep. I came prepared though, with blue Glacier Freeze Gatorade, a small tray of brownies, one pint of dark chocolate Gotiva ice cream, this handy new laptop computer I am using and a few other projects to keep me busy.

I started at 9PM and I will get off at 9AM. Then I have to rush off to another client for a few hours. Thankfully, the client I normally have after that canceled already. I would have been a zombie by then, not that I won't already be one.

I am sensing that they are going to be sending me to more of these hospice jobs. I hope I can cope.

Oh, boy. My blood sugar is soaring now. I feel like I did the time that I stopped to get some Jolt on the way home from San Francisco. It kept me awake and shaking for another three hours after we got home at 3AM.

No comments: