Sabbatical Day 30: Last Week

This is the last week of my 25th Year At Nike Sabbatical. It certainly has been a chance to learn what it means to give up control. Yet, here I am in New York City in a studio apartment drinking instant coffee from a Moulon Rouge cup, hoping that I can go home soon. Indeed, nothing I could have imagined.

Working backward for today’s story, I reached the apartment about 11PM last night and just went to bed. Not a complex process in a studio apartment is a day bed. I had traveled back with Kat part of the way on the subway on the Q train. We then walked over to Columbus Circle. I said goodbye to Kat (she lives a few minutes away in Hell’s Kitchen) and took the 1 train back to the Upper West Side where I reside, accidentally, in the apartment on loan from the United Methodist Women.

The 1 train included people in slightly crumpled costumes. One undead chef with “Hell’s Kitchen” while slightly crumpled was still impressive. It looked like a fun night for everyone. Most people had masks on and tried to be careful of the virus even in a busy train.

Before this, we had traveled to the Upper Eastside to meet Tasha and Jason for a game of Concordia. We played for a few hours, and I could see my lead being lost as Tasha and Jason exploded their scores with building trading posts at the very end of the game. Jason had the wine card, and he took the game with it. And, Tasha knocked me out of second place with the farm card. So my chance for Roman conquest failed, again. Next time!

Notice the number of blue houses (trading posts) from Tasha!

We ordered out Indian food. It was a great night.

Before this, Kat and I met at Columbus Circle in the afternoon. We then walked to the 57th Street Station to find the Q train. The smell of smoke, actual smoke, and the firemen on the other platform was a hint that something was wrong on this Halloween travel. An announcement explained that Q trains were no longer running to this platform. We then caught the R. We popped over to 59th street and found the 6 train there.

Aside: Kat had brought some amazing cupcakes with little bats on them. They just crushed a bit in the travels. Our joke was it was not a fire but a cupcake incident that caused the Q train issues.

The platform for 6 is somehow deeper than the other trains! We found this subterranean platform after Kat spotted a tiny sign pointing us to walk up the platform that led to more stairs leading down. The impossibly deep 6 train was there and an express to where we needed to be. Off we went.

We reached the Upper West Side and then walked four huge avenue blocks. Kat explained to me that avenue blocks are huge while street blocks are short in this area. Although my feet were calling out to me at this point, “Uber!”, I ignored them.

We did walk by the station we usually use, which is only two long blocks away from Jason and Tasha’s place.

Before meeting Kat–still going backward, I was helping out at Mount Sinai West. Susie’s nurse was too busy to help (Sunday is a bit stressful for the nurses as they are short-staffed). So a nursing aide and I walked Susie down the hallway. I explained to the aide how Susie needs to walk more straight and inside her walker; Susie is really tired of being told what to do and can growl at her husband (she is friendly to everyone else), and we all got down the long hallway safe. I got Susie in the wheelchair and brought her back 2/3 of the way. Susie decided to walk the rest of the way. So I followed the aide with the wheelchair as she helped Susie.

Cora, one of the PT people, stopped Susie and pointed out her feet were not in her walker. Susie had the weekend off, but Cora was on duty and provided some reinforcement for Susie. I tried not to smirk.

The other staff was laughing as I followed the five-month pregnant aide with the wheelchair. They suggested that it was time and the aide said she had four more months. It was fun to see the Sunday staff joking.

Before this, I ran out to the CVS and got Depends and pads that we use at home for incontinence. The hospital does not use these products, but they work for us better than their supplies.

I also picked up some yellow nail polish which I will use when we hear, likely Tuesday, that we can go home. The color yellow is the color of victory for bicycle racing and also the color in the USA for a homecoming: Tie a yellow ribbon ’round the Ol’ Oak tree. So we will go with yellow!

Just before this, I slipped out for lunch. Susie had a peanut and jelly sandwich, and we had a friendly call with her Mom, sister Barb, and niece Emma. Over at the closeby Paris Baggette place for soup and a chicken salad sandwich. I brought Susie back a dessert that was covered in powdered sugar and cocoa powder. The mess was spectacular and the dessert thus less enjoyed than I had hoped. Oops!

While buying lunch, I asked for napkins, and they told me to get them over with all the other supplies. There were none. A gal tried to find some, and then the gal disappeared into the basement. Next, the gal then came back with a stack of napkins to load the dispenser. I thanked the staff for the napkins. Then I pointed out that the spring-loaded push device needs to be behind the napkins, not in front. The gal smiling and slightly embarrassed, removed all the napkins and loaded them again. Finally, I got three napkins. Everywhere is understaffed, and any break seems to introduce chaos.

Returning now to the morning, Susie was still resting in bed when I got there, I found the last of our supplies for pads and a Halloween shirt (I packed it not believing that we would need it, but thought it might have some use), and the aide and nurse got Susie cleaned up and dressed.

I started late and stayed that way through the morning. I managed to write the blog and get going after sleeping to 7:45ish without only a few interruptions. The window is always open, and the city’s sound, which changes around 7ish, wakes me.

The 1 train was packed and I had to call out, “Move to the center,” a few times. Halloween costumes were everywhere.

Again, I hope you enjoy this blog.


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