Thursday, November 28, 2013

Other Thoughts about My Day of Volunteering

I really enjoyed it and it was very fulfilling and I wish I could do it a lot more often.  And I am very aware of why I can't do it real often.  At least not for such long periods.

First, I got very little sleep last night.  I had to get up by 6:15 am so I could leave my house by 7:00 am.  Well, a few minutes earlier than that, so I had time to scrap the ice off my car.  I hate scraping ice off my car, by the way.  I hope I will not have to do that very many times this winter.  But anyway, when I have to get up that early, it often means I don't get anywhere near enough rest.

Second, being on my feet for more than five hours (the only time I sat down was when I went to the bathroom) made my feet tired and sore, but that was OK, that was a good kind of tired and sore.  But it also made my back ache and the pain spread down into my hips.  I didn't really want to sit down, though.  I was afraid it would be too hard to stand back up.

The Community Kitchen is in an old building, built in 1905, that used to be a school.  The bathrooms near the kitchen have very low toilets, as if they were designed for children.  The first time I went to the bathroom, I had a little difficulty getting up off the toilet.  When I went to the bathroom again before leaving to go home, I had a lot of difficulty getting up off the toilet.  Luckily the toilet paper holder was really sturdy; I basically used it to pull myself to my feet.  I'm lucky I didn't pull it right off the wall.

There were several times I had trouble with a task I was doing, due to my back.  One of the volunteers was trying to carry three full plates of food and dropped one of them.  She had her hands full with the other two plates of food, plus had to go back for a new plate to replace the one she dropped, so I jumped in and told her not to worry about the mess, I'd take care of it.  She apologized a bunch and I think she really felt bad about dropping it, but it's not like she did it on purpose.  I knelt down to clean it up and then realized I was going to have a really hard time getting back onto my feet.  Again at the end of the day, I bent over to unplug a coffee maker, and had a really hard time getting back up.

Bending over to wipe off tables wasn't too hard, because I could support myself with one hand on the table while wiping with the other hand.  A couple times I saw a napkin or fork or something on the floor and picked them up and that was hard, and then a few other times I saw something on the floor and I just left it there, and felt kind of bad about doing that, but it was too hard to bend over.

I came home and rested for a little bit, took a hot bath, and got something to eat.  I am really tired and my body hurts just about all over.

I am reminded of why I cannot work.  And I'm a bit frustrated and a bit sad, because I only volunteered for a little over five hours today, and I used to work eight hours easily, sometimes more.  Geez, there was a time when I regularly worked double shifts, 16 hours, as a nursing assistant.  Which was kind of hard but I could certainly do it.

I really enjoyed volunteering today.  But physically, I'm just not up to doing this kind of thing very often.

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