How I spent my summer vacation
Story By: CHUCK ANDERSON,
The Long Island Advance
Paris? London? Hawaii?
How about the Bellhaven Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care in Brookhaven, selected for reasons not found in any tourist brochure?
So, shortly after hip replacement surgery at the end of June, I awoke one night to find my wife and a couple of grinning caregivers from her unit at my bedside. After that pleasant introduction to Bellhaven, my days have been filled with the following activities, hardly found in a resort or cruise ship brochure: two hours of physical/occupational therapy, an hour’s visit with my wife in her unit, followed by lunch in the main dining room, catching up with old friends like Ed Sives of the Brookhaven Fire Department and Suffolk Hall of Famer Tom Murphy. They call our table “the Fortune 500,” for some reason.
Some of my favorite moments?
Playing Bingo in my wife’s unit, where we invariably win, and sitting in the garden with my wife, son and grandson, soaking up the afternoon sun. As we bask in the warm rays, I could almost imagine sitting on the sun deck of a cruise ship to Bermuda.
No matter where we are, we are tended by a small army of angels who look after us with kindness and compassion. As I prepare to go home in a few days, I am particularly grateful to my primary aide, Andrea, who has taken care of me as if I were an overgrown baby, changing my diaper in the middle of the night, making sure I brush my teeth, bathing me in the morning and other matters of personal hygiene.
Some days, it is as if I were a child again.
I am also grateful to Cat and Lori, who have literally helped me get back on my feet, preparing me to go back to work in the fall. They epitomize the expression, “tough love,” as no amount of whining keeps them from their assigned tasks.
Finally, I would like to thank the man who runs this tight ship, the medical director, Dr. Robert Roche, who steers us to health and safety through the Sea of Recovery.