In My Eyes Photography

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. July 2020

So little new stuff to say, so much time to say it? No, not at Panorama. Lots of new, clever, creative things to talk about and do! For instance, for six weeks, Panorama Lifestyle Enrichment planned In Your Eyes Photography Project. Each week had a theme that our photo should relate to. The notice on our resident portal called Kya stated all residents were invited, not just experienced photographers. I was excited; I’m not a pro, but love to take tons of photos.

We looked forward to watching our Panorama closed-circuit Channel 370 or to tapping computers at any time to view the slideshow. The creative interpretations were snapped all over our campus.

Week one’s theme? Heart. I was amazed at the many entries! The first photo showed Patricia at her sewing machine lovingly making some of the over 3,000 face masks for others. Then there was the cute brown teddy bear with a red heart on its chest. Hearts were tucked inside decorations year-round, hanging on hallway door-hooks in the Chalet, Chinook, and Quinault buildings.

Even though I keep remarking on how our campus reminds me of the lush beauty of pictures of the Garden of Paradise, I must admit, I did not realize how many leaves were in the shapes of hearts! All shades of solid greens, red and green combinations, etc. Plantain Lilies shot up from heart-shaped greens outlined in cream. There was the ironing board striking a pose on its straight edge wearing a covering with outlines of various colors of hearts!

Week two sent us looking for Beauty. I smiled viewing the first photo: a headshot of a resident honoring her beautiful, serene, soft-smiling mother. Her bright red lipstick and lovely hairdo announced the 1920s era.

With over 600 varieties of flowers on our Panorama campus, many are difficult to find, hiding in unusual corners, small and inconspicuous, or seen for a short time.

Magenta roses as large as my hand appeared too gorgeous to be real. (Remember the last time you spotted a nylon rose and asked if it was real or artificial?) We viewed at least 4 versions of tulips, violets and pansies. Then the strong red chrysanthemum morifolium with large bright yellow center! This week’s slideshow was bulging with real winners.

Week three featured Support interpretations. Most were various fun plant-supports for tomatoes and flowers. Purple, red, orange, yellow vined-blossoms hung from patio rafters, arches, and a gazebo!

I snapped a photo in the driveway of Bill’s garden home. Oversized black hand-grippers supported a 3-foot long paper sign with 1-inch wording to a pole in his driveway: “Why can’t your nose grow twelve inches long? Because it would be a foot.”

So clever was the photo of the label in an undergarment that read SPANX!!! Talk about support!

I couldn’t resist sending a picture of an intersection on campus that gives resident and off-campus drivers great support.

One of my favorites was the last slide of a resident leisurely lounging while he was supported in a large, heavy-duty hammock in the shade of a tree . . . in a lush green lawn (manicured by Panorama Grounds crews, of course).

Fourth week’s slide named CHANGE began with a comfortable outdoor Panorama bench covered with about 2 inches of snow, immediately followed by a dramatic photo of outdoor bright shades of autumn oranges, yellows, browns, and reds! And then cleverly returning to the snow bench again!

Someone had arranged four different Lime Leaves in seasonal colors: one in dark green, the second in multi-colors from yellow to lime to brownish red, the third in red with a splash of yellow, and the last in white!

From our 5th floor balcony, we have panoramic views above tall treetops of the Northwest skies. I snapped both a beautiful blue sky punctuated with large fluffy white clouds AND, in the same view, heavy dark gray clouds ready to explode. 

I noticed the big contrast in a simple photo of an empty outdoor bench (COVID-19!) to the complicated photo of the large construction of our Assisted Living addition.

As week six approached, I was disappointed the project would be ending.

It’s poked me more than just a nudge to get outside, despite my never-ending TO DO fun list at home. Writing for many venues, including this monthly blog, my new in-progress book, Goofies and Goodies, piano practice a couple of hours, strolling outside while my walker appreciates the beautiful perfect sun, cleaning our humongous small floor plan which I sincerely love, trying and mending new recipes, climbing over and cleaning up the mess when I’ve turned over a TV table with unfinished projects in my tiny craft room, keeping clean the great love-to-look-through 5th floor window-view of tree tops. I had to reread this last paragraph to find out what blessings I have been numerating. Oh, yes, why I needed the poke to get out for the In Your Eyes Photography Project!

But just recently, the Lifestyle Enrichment Department has listed more themes to interpret! Yea! I wanna get outside!

Remember going to drugstores or Kodak kiosks with our films to be developed, paying extra for “next day pick-up”, then being disappointed with the color, angle, or lighting? Sometimes I take for granted the ease of grabbing my iPhone, snapping or videoing instantly to my family, or forwarding my gems to the designated Panorama staff person to set up a slideshow!

Thanks so much Panorama for all the suggested fun activities. We are blessed again!

A Cautionary Tale

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. July 2020

We all know the fear of falling at our age . . . and in preparation for a possible unforeseen happening, we signed up for the “Learn How to Fall” class that was given by our fitness coordinator. That was last Fall before the coronavirus shut down gatherings, lectures and classes. I am so grateful for the tips I learned. Our instructor suggested falling on soft things. That was not in the cards when I fell on a hardwood hallway floor! Due to the tips I learned, I was able to save wrist damage, head damage, and no broken hip.

Much damage can be done when one keels over, and the first instinct is to brace yourself thinking you will break your fall. However, protecting your head should be the first consideration in that insane second and a half you have from upright to flat down. Falling backward requires you to tuck your head forward. Falling forward (in my case) you must keep your head/face from hitting the floor. Tilting your head back as you go down will save dangerous and unsightly damage.                            

I have always moved too fast, for no real reason. I am tall and that is just how I move, indoors and outdoors. Well, I was moving too fast when our beloved cat raced along in front of me, perhaps thinking I was on the way to her food bowl. She has literally never done this before!

Finding me sprawled on the floor . . . we were all alarmed. I tried assessing the damage and just wanted to get up, which I did by myself, only to feel a terrible pain in my dominant arm elbow. Carefully, I felt a bone piece moving about and went directly to the freezer and got the frozen peas. Not being a mom, I only learned of using frozen pea packages from friends in the face of an awful injury.

What is a lifesaver, or at least a comfort to us at Panorama, is the closeness of a Providence outlying clinic for urgent care about 12 blocks away that has x-ray and lab capability and immediate care with no long waits that can occur in the main emergency room at Providence St. Peter’s hospital 6 blocks away. Coming from a community where medical help was 2 hours away, this is such a luxury. This is not to say our walk to our Panorama Clinic in 4 minutes isn’t helpful . . . it is wonderful. But trauma as I was expecting this to be is best seen where x-ray is available.

My x-ray did show a displaced fracture of the olecranon (in medical-ese) and the provider I saw sent a referral to the Orthopedic department for follow-up and probable surgery. To make a long story shorter, I was seen and booked for pinning and wiring of the bone piece back onto the lower arm bone from where it broke off. An interesting side-bar to treatment options came to light. Fractures are looked at in terms of a patient’s usual modes of living. Sedentary lifestyles may result in less invasive procedures. Active lifestyles result in repairs destined to give the patient as close to 100% mobility as was experienced before the injury. Who knew?

In due course, I showed up for the outpatient/same day surgery under general anesthesia.

This brings up my morbid fear of general anesthesia, having worked for years in a post-anesthesia recovery room, seeing patients waking from it. It IS poison of a high order, after all. The anesthesiologist explained it was a total arm block of numbing and I was relieved, as I imagined this would be with me awake. No, it was to give me 24 hours of pain-free post-op time before it wore off and I was aware of all the damage that had been fixed! I dreaded the block needle, but it seems that it was done with me asleep, using a sonogram to identify the main nerve in my comfy pre-op bed!

Looming over me was a cheerful nurse offering me some ice chips! I said no and that I couldn’t have any as I was due to have my surgery. She laughed and pointed to my arm in a splint and sling that was bigger than my leg and said, “You already have HAD surgery!”

The entire process of the block, moving me onto the operating room table, then off the table into a post-operative bed happened while I was just not there!!! It seems that anesthesia and procedures are way advanced from when I retired from nursing in 1992. Well, of course, it is now 2020, 28 years of advances have happened! I was admitted at 7 AM and home at 12:45 PM same day!

So, what is the point of all this rambling and what is this woman getting at, you ask? I think we can all be grateful for the services we have locally. Then we can be grateful for medical advances that are a slam-dunk, mostly. And last, but not least, is the concern of our Social Services department here at Panorama. With a husband, I had plenty of help at home, but they were there and wanting to know the progress and what they could do to help.  I am further grateful that I could muddle along, albeit a LONG healing process ahead. I worry now about 77 year-old bones healing properly. I am minding all the doctor’s orders and waiting until I can do things again! I took myself off the opiates that were prescribed after day two and have done well on Tylenol. Shifting a standard transmission vehicle seems daunting just now.

I’d like to let everyone know; you aren’t in trouble on your own! Reach out to the services and help that we have here. It is a blessing. You can rest easier if you know bad things can happen and guard against them, but be grateful you are in this caring community with services so helpful.

STOP, POP & GO: Banking on Foods at Panorama

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. June 2020

Standing with my walker about 30 yards outside the exit of our Quinault Building, I knew something special was going on in the northwest area of our Panorama campus. Thurston County was moving to Phase Three, but Panorama was opening, thankfully for our benefit, with narrower, firmer guidelines. 

That special day, residents seemed to be leaking from nicks and crannies – enthusiastically aiming for the same destination. Some clung to plastic or paper bags. Others gripped envelopes. Cars were neither bumper-to-bumper nor inching along, but they too were headed toward the same destination.

I smiled, returning energetic arm waves, as my walker turned into the identical direction. I hadn’t been outside much, so instead of my daytime PJs, I actually “dressed-up”in my jogging white-striped black pants and matching top. No need to figure out how to apply make-up again – my mask covered my nose to chin, as did masks of all shapes, colors, and designs of my family of friends. I didn’t recognize eyeballs of many, but called out a Hi there!!  

“Oh, Mary Jo, it’s you. Clever signs!” I kept forgetting I was wearing my quickly hand-printed sign I had made for fun. It read: “I’m Mary Jo Shaw!” When I’d see my reflection, I didn’t recognize myself. My big floppy hat covered my forehead. My glasses turned brown outdoors, and I was wearing that mask.

We were traveling between 10 o’clock to noon to the Thurston County Food Bank Drive-Thru Donation Drive in the covered entrance of our Aquatic & Fitness Center. Cars, canes, walkers, scooters delivered non-perishable food items. Others gripped sealed envelopes with checks made out to “Thurston County Food Bank”.

Drivers who steered under the extended covering would STOP under the covered entrance and POP their trunks open to drop off their donation without leaving their car. Staff and employees removed bags of foods or an envelope with a donation check from the trunk. In a matter of seconds, the drop-off was completed for that resident and they would GO on their way. The energy at the tables with donated items was eclectic and exactingly organized.

The warm sunshine, cool-in-the-shade weather that God shown down on us enticed our walking and greeting – while distancing to chat with friends we hadn’t seen in months!

What an outing! I’m going to make myself get out more often to walk.

It had been a day of giving to the Thurston County Food Bank, but I had received more – blessings of visiting with lovely friends, refreshingly perfect weather, and knowing that Panorama cares about us as they remind us of the restrictions necessary to keep us well. We still have 0 cases of virus on our campus of over 1,200 residents, including the hundreds of staff on our campus daily.

Thank you Panorama for your care for us and helping us care for our off-campus community in need.

I started to tap SEND to this Panorama BLOG when on our Panorama closed circuit TV, News with Lu, announced that in addition to 32 large boxes of foods, those envelopes added up to $10,326!

AMEN . . . let’s go for it again!!