I have spent almost 70 hours this week in class training to be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). I am two nursing home clinicals, two tests, and a CPR class short of being ready to enter the job world as a CNA.
What does a CNA do you might ask? CNA's work in hospitals and doctors offices, but you will see them mostly in nursing homes, working with the elderly. They help with the activities of daily living (ADL's). This means we help residents walk if they are unsteady, eat if they are too weak to do it themselves, go to the bathroom, and shower - all things that can become increasingly difficult and less private as you age.
Aging is a tricky thing. You gain so much wisdom and perspective on life, but you also lose some of the basic mechanics of your body- joints, hearing, seeing. Is it worth the trade? As a dancer, I am acutely aware of how completely amazing the body is in its functions - your body is the greatest instrument you will ever own. I can't imagine losing my ability to control it, because that is what I take such great pride in.
I am generally a positive person, but I can't say how I would react if I lost control of my body. Some are continually amazing in their grace; some are forever saddened by their loss of control... who is to say which way you will be... either way, I think this experience will help me regain my appreciation for my youth and gain a fresh zest for life and its awesomeness... let's hope... we will see when I report for clinicals Wednesday at 6 in the morning... more reflections to come!