Reflections on Catholic Healthcare

One of my favorite pastimes has to be taking off my shoes and just going around barefoot; walking around on either the grass or a sandy beach is especially delightful. I have noticed that many people share the same joy of being free from the constriction of shoes. However, there are various dangers associated to walking barefoot and so you must walk very carefully (con cuidado) every time you forsake footwear.

Some of our residents are lucky enough to forgo many of the barefoot hazards simply because they are able to cruise around in a wheelchair all day. They don’t have to worry about stubbing their toes or stepping on a sharp stone. One resident in particular loves being barefoot. You can see him kicking off his shoes everyday no matter where he is. There is one hazard, however, that he has not been able to avoid, but it definitely brings a cascade of laughter. Let me set the scene for you.

The morning was fresh and the residents were gathering outside for the kick off celebration of our first Spirit Week. As we waited for everyone to arrive, I meandered around the wheelchairs greeting each person. Soon Father Patrick showed up as well. Then it happened. One of the sisters noticed the feet of our resident peeking out from beneath his blanket. She went to tuck in the edges and inadvertently brushed the bottom of his feet. Immediately, he erupted into laughter and we discovered that he was ticklish.

His smile grew wider as he saw us delighting in his laughter. Then another sister came forward and threatened to tickle his feet. He laughed and exclaimed, “Aye. Aye. Aye.” Soon, there was plenty of laughter and even Father joined in the fun. So if you are ticklish, you may want to think twice before kicking off your shoes or at least do so “con cuidado.”


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