Friday, July 25, 2008

TLC Turnabout

I took myself to a local Spa and splurged on a facial . . . the "Signature Facial"--a full 60 minutes of bliss that began with champagne mimosas, fresh fruit, candelight, aromatherapy, and classical music. Then moved on to a warm misting machine, heated towels, countless scented potions, massage, cucumber mask, and a finale of four-hundred butterflies dancing Swan Lake on my face (okay, I don't know if it was really butterflies because my eyes were covered by cucumber slices--but it felt like the brush of butterfly wings. And because I'm a fiction writer, I get to embellish). Let me tell you, this whole experience was wonderful. Before you start thinkin' boy oh boy is she spoiled, must be nice, lah de dah, let me explain that this Spa indulgence was a very rare thing. I've had maybe two other facials in my whole life. Maybe . . . less than 6 massages. (And one of those was technically physical therapy after I broke my neck. Not much glamour there. And not a single dancing butterfly.)

Because, of course, as a nurse my goal was to provide TLC for other people. Back rubs, warmed blankets, lemon-freshened mouth swabs, cool compresses to feverish foreheads . . . hand holding, quiet listening. And, on occasion, whispered prayers. The fact is, I've always been far more comfortable on the giving side than the receiving side . . . but turnabout is a good thing. Besides, I was rewarding myself for hitting the home stretch in completing revisions on my debut Christian novel, CRITICAL CARE. Reading, tweaking, clarifying, adding some new scenes (filled with medical drama and grab-a-hankie emotion), and incorporating wonderful input from my editors. Trust me, sitting hunched in front of the computer for hours on end will put a few knots in your neck . . . and bags under your eyes! So a Spa escape was just what the author ordered.

I'm still smiling when I think of my hour at the Spa, and the direct contrast of that elegant setting to a gritty hour in my former career as an ER nurse. Let's see:

Champagne vs. Hospital Coffee (aged 12 hours and served in Styrofoam)

Fresh Fruit vs. Leftover Halloween Candy (brought to work in . . . February) (and not half bad with the stale coffee)

Candlelight vs. Blinking Flourescent glare

Aroma Therapy vs. We Won't go There (how long can you hold your breath?)

Classical Music vs. Sirens, screams, shouted Dr.'s orders, cardiac monitor alarms

Warm Misting vs. sweaty scrubs

Scented Potions vs. Iodine, burn cream, rubbing alcohol, NeoSporin, Green Soap

Massage vs. a barely dodged right hook, reallllly sore feet, aching back

Dancing Butterflies vs. black widow spider in a jar, snake in a shoebox, and head lice . . . on heads

Uh, oh. Flashback, and . . . Hmmm. Three decades as an ER nurse? 3 facials?

Probably should have gone for the 90 minute Luxury Facial!

And now, how about your day? Uh huh . . . oh yeah . . . my goodness! Well, then that settles it:

Tune up the violins and get those butterflies into toe shoes: TLC for Everyone!


Mocha with Linda said...

Sounds delightful.

Your aroma therapy comparison made me laugh out loud. Oh, there are some smells that never leave the memory of a nurse!!

This was perfect timing after the week I've had with my mom. . . .and the phone conversation this morning when she gave me details about her OD on laxatives!

Soooo, you didn't have a pedicure with carp nibbling on your feet?!

CandaceCalvert said...

Omigosh, Linda--I saw the CARP PEDICURE clip and intended to include it in my blog post: unbeliveable HOOT!! Thank you for reminding me.

AND for the reminder that once a nurse ALWAYS a nurse. Even off duty. For goodness sake, WHY do people (sometimes complete strangers)feel comfortable telling us EVERYTHING? Or . . . um, SHOWING us everything? Once (this is the truth) I was at a very lah-de-dah charity event and when it was revealed (probably by sweet hubby) that I was a nurse, a woman immediately hiked up her very trendy silk tunic and showed me her gallbladder surgery scar! ;-)

My prayers continue for your sweet mother.