Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Thank you for your patience – Queen for a Day – The End

on November 19, 2014

Saturday came sooner than Claire hoped. She pulled her sedan up to the front doors of the nursing home right at 9:00 am and without saying hello to anyone, took a straight path to Room 14.  Beulah sat perfectly poised in her electric wheelchair and greeted Claire with a chirpy, “Beautiful day for a shopping trip, beautiful day in the neighborhood”. On her head she wore a broad rim hat, tucked under her right arm, a lime green hand bag. Aides had dressed Beulah in a floral skirt, pink top, and white velcro orthotic shoes.

Claire returned the greeting with only an audible “Harumph” and before Beulah could complain too loudly, had the beauty queen transferred into a manual wheelchair for their day trip. She gave the southern belle a business-like response for her actions, saying that it was policy to not remove any power wheelchairs from the facility.  Feeling a sense of control , Claire took it one step further and swiped Beulah’s hat from her head.

“Miss Pittard, We shouldn’t take any chances of you loosing this hat in some store.”

Beulah’s face flattened for a moment, but lit up again as they wheeled past other residents on the way to the car.

By the time they reached the car, Claire had already decided to avoid the mall and take Beulah to a small strip of stores on the east side. She didn’t want to be seen on her day off dragging a frumpy senior citizen around town. She had also decided that a shoe store was the only place they needed to visit. It suited her well as Claire’s only interest was in getting a new pair of shoes, compliments of Autumn Oaks.

So in they went to Shoe Carnival, an outlet store that carried a wide variety of off brands and styles ranging from stiletto’s to track shoes. Claire rolled Beulah to an area in the back where there was a small shelf of white and tan clunky sneakers with velco straps.

“Well this isn’t the aisle I need to be on, sweetie. We passed the aisle with shoes more fitting for my Sunday clothes!” Beulah waved her hand over and behind her head.

Claire, with a distracted look on her face, shot back. “On those rare occasions you get your derriere up and out of that power wheelchair, you need safe shoes to wear, not some frilly things!” She then gave directions and cash to a sales person who took over attending to the business at hand for Beulah.  Claire moved quickly through the store and found her replacement shoes five aisles over.  She then peered on tip toes over to where Beulah sat with a salesman at her feet. Beulah had a big grin on her face. Knowing Beulah loved attention from the opposite sex, Claire decided to not rush and wandered through a several more aisles .

On her pass down the aisle for dress shoes, she noticed a pair of peek-a-boo heels in pale lavender with a small white bow across the bottom strap. Claire was the practical type, but the shoes stood out, and she felt entitled to the purchase as she was technically getting a second pair of work shoes for free. It’s not like her stained pair couldn’t be worn to work. They just didn’t look “new” anymore. She was almost done with her purchases when the salesman brought Beulah up to the register.

“Well, let’s see what you got there, Nursey-nursey!” Beulah moved her eyebrows up and down in mock surprise as she spoke.

Claire removed the box top and Beulah’s eyes brightened.

“Those are just precious. Let’s get me a pair!”

Claire looked down at Beulah’s pasty ankles and smirked. “You have what you need. And now we are going.”

On the trip back, Claire had some regret for her comment to Beulah and stopped at a dress shop. She picked out for Beulah a simple dark blue dress with pearl buttons down the front. She pointed out the practicality of how easy it would be for Beulah to get on and off. Beulah pointed out well Claire’s shoes would have gone with her dress. There was little conversation after that.

The two women were back on the road by 11:20 and arriving at Autumn Oaks Center by 11:45. Claire gripped the steering wheel a little tighter as she slowed on the circular drive to the nursing home. If she could deposit Beulah fast enough, she might be able to make it back into town for a matinee and a light dinner. Her shoulders relaxed and she came to the entrance. Two attendants, sitting with residents waved and jumped up as Claire pulled in.

“Miss Beulah! You’re back!”

“Boys, yes I am! Now be dears and get my things in the back seat so Nurse Claire can be on her way!” She turned and pointed to the bags they needed to take.

Happy with the good fortune of being able to make a fast exit, Claire patted Miss Pittard on the knee. “We found you a fine dress for your guardian’s visit.” She hit the button that unlocked Beulah’s door and minutes later was on her way. Beulah chattered like a blue jay all the way to her room and entertained her friends for the next several hours. She made her afternoon trip sound like an adventure into Atlanta at midnight.


Claire would enjoy the movie, the dinner, and the rest of her day. Then she would get home and notice the bag in her back seat had Beulah’s orthotic shoes. The following Monday would be even worse when she got to work at notice Beulah in the dining area, in her blue dress, with her wide brim hat on, and the lavender peek-a-boo shoes on her feet.

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