Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesdays with Dorothy: There’s No Place like Home

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A view of Dorothy's apartment building
In the conversation recorded here, Dorothy talks some more about how people helped he with shopping needs, and she talked about her health battles, but she kept coming back to how glad she was to have her own place – a place to call home. She definitely had a place she looked forward to coming back to when she had been away for one reason or another. She often talked about how glad she was to be living there on her own.

I have friends that help me when I need to go shopping. Ros took me, but she left [moved to another city]. Another friend of mine has, but she hasn’t been back since the tenth of December.  I really like to go out and do my shopping with somebody. One of my friends at church takes me sometimes. I like to go way out to that big Walmart to do my shopping sometime. 

I had a friend from church that used to take me out shopping, but she moved down to Pine Hill. One time she came by and asked me did I want to go with her to Florida. So I went with her down there for about a week, and then when I got back I never was so glad to get back in all my life. I used to love to go out and spend the night until after I had colon cancer, and I had to have that old bag, and everything. I like to not ever learned how to fix that colostomy bag. The nurse would help me with it, but now I can do it. You have to wear the thing a week before you change it. I keep it washed out with hot water. I had that colon surgery June 14 of 2007. 

I’ve really had a good life in Birmingham.  I outwitted cancer – I got over that and I didn’t even let that hold me down. I knew something was wrong, I didn’t know what. I thought I had to go to the bathroom, but before I knew it blood was running all in the floor. I got it all cleaned up and thought maybe it wouldn’t happen no more. Then the next day I went for my doctor’s appointment that had already been set up. They did a colonoscopy and told me I had colon cancer. 

They put me in the hospital about two weeks later and did surgery. I was in the hospital about two weeks. [When I was recovering from surgery] I remember they gave me this ol’ tall walker. Sandra Faye Jones gave it to me and I took off walking ‘til I got lost and she had to show me back to my room [at UAB Hospital]. Then they took me over to the rehab center on June 15. I was there until August 24 when I came back to my apartment. I was so happy to be back where I could have my own coffee, take a shower and wash my hair. [I was so glad to] sit on the porch and sleep in my own bed.

When I got down here to Birmingham after being at Partlow all those years, I felt like I was free of everything. I know that we had rules we had to go by and everything. 

I’ve been here over 30 years now. I remember going down the street the other day with my friend Nioka and her father and I was just thinking to myself, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” And I almost busted out cryin’. I stayed with them over a week when my heat was out during the cold weather, but I was so glad to get back to my own home!

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