Sunday, April 21, 2013

On Treating the Human Condition...

These are the things that I know...
1.  I sure am happy and proud for the Boston Police Department- every eye on the nation-virtual or physical-was witness to your well -trained, quick-action, and self-sacrificing bravery.  Seriously, you make me so proud to be an American.
2.  The survivors and the families of the fallen- will need our love and our supportive prayers and thoughts.
3.  The health providers treating the survivors, suspect, or who attempted to treat the suspect who died -will need our love and supportive thoughts and prayers.
I once worked in an acute care setting, in a very large city,  where both victims and accused were being treated.  It truly is unsettling.  I was lucky enough to work with a completely professional team who were fully committed to treating patients.  I probably wouldn't have known who to identify as victim versus accused if I didn't see the police waiting for an interview or have chart access for my job.  
But this I do know.
When one has been accused of a heinous crime, and is in a hospital bed, battling for their life- they are simply reduced the human condition.  There is no real word for the feeling that surrounds you when you are in the company of this patient.  Perhaps this is a different experience for other healthcare providers- Doctors, nurses, etc- but for me, it was life changing every time.
The accused, and let's face it, eventually found guilty- is in critical condition and is not communicating- there is a profound silence and ...absence surrounding the area.  A vacuum absent of reason, hope, and love.  And as you are with this patient, you feel an overwhelming sadness that causes you to want to weep for this spirit - the victims, the emptiness and the path of destruction and devastation that this  empty spirit has caused.  I am moved to pray- pray that God's love and light move into this vacuum and fill it with holiness, healing, peace and forgiveness. And immediately I feel my God's presence and am comforted.
This I know.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thank you Al...

Sitting with the family...watching the Florida vs Georgia game...cheering for the Gators- excited about .watching The Lion King tonight-
We are hungry, but I am tooo lazy to go get something to eat.
Thank you Al, for inventing the Intrawebs.
Our lunch/dinner is ordered and on the way to the homestead.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Come In Peace

A year or so ago, I treated a man with dementia. He is well traveled, intelligent, witty, and a general joy to be around.  However, the encroaching memory deficits have caused paranoia, confusion, and obsessive behaviors.  Towards the time he was to be discharged from therapy, he had established a method to remember people's names and jobs  or responsibilities.
In his mind, he was the General in a war-The brain of it all- He had imaginary troops in each direction (North, South, East, and West)- He categorized everyone he met- and was very efficient about it.  His method was remarkable, he remembered the names and jobs of most of the employees.  In short, If I needed information of this sort, I consulted with him.
 If you worked rehab- you were from the nothern troops, social services came from the east, etc.  However, if he ever identified you as part of the western troops...God help you, you had done something that made him very unhappy and you were the enemy- and he was NOT going to willingly accompany, speak with, or tolerated any member of the western troop.  He took his war seriously and we spent hours discussing strategies for troop movement and manipulation.  Basically, he just wanted to know how the troops (nurses, CNAs, doctors, other staff) could best assist him in his current situation.  So, together, we would rally the troops and get tasks accomplished.
I saw him yesterday, in a secured unit of our building.  There was a flicker of recognition in his eyes and a tentative smile.  He greeted me with, "I know you, but I don't recall your name..." to which I responded, "Hi Mr. "Jones," I am "Joyce" and I hail from the North, I come in peace."
He smiled and saluted- and said "Hi Joyce, I haven't seen you in a very long time.  Do you have the latest plans?"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Get thee to Full Blast Adventure and Zip Line

Durango's Full Blast Adventure hosts an awesomely (word) fun zip lining experience EVER.  Do whatever you have to go get yourself up there and have a blast.  The guides are exceptionally reassuring and will give you pointers and tips the entire zip line experience.  Stop reading and go...

Remember Me?!

My discussion with a man who is upset because I had to discharge him from therapy. Let's call him "Larry."

Larry:  "Remember me?!"
(This is a ludicrous question...he knows that he is one of my favorite people.)
Me: "Yes...La.."
Larry: (Interrupting me)  "Of course you don't, you forgot my name, because you quit me."
Me:  "Larry, I didn'...."
Larry: "You poor thing, you forgot me...where are you going?"
Me:  "To see a patient."
Larry:  "Who?"
Me:  "Can't tell you."
Larry:  "I'll follow you."
Me:  "Why?"
Larry:  "To tell her that your gonna quit her too..not to be surprised when you quit her after 30 or 60 days."
Me: "Bye Larry, miss you."
Larry:  (Grinning) "Miss you too."

We All Scream For Ice Cream

The Ice Cream truck visits our skilled nursing facility.
When the residents hear the music, many  perk up and propel to the circular drive.
With walkers, canes, wheelchairs, motorized chairs, and spare change.
And for a moment, every forgets about the aches and pains that come with age.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Me:  What is your name?
Native American Resident: John Tito.----(Name changed)
Me:  John Tito?
Native American Resident:  Yes, I got that name when I was a young boy.
Me:  How old were you when you were named?
Native American Resident:  8 or 9 years old.  I worked for a man who named me.
Me:  What were called before you were named?
Native American Resident: Ashkii.
Me:  What does that mean?
Native American Resident: [Laughs] means "boy"
Me:  What do people call you now?
Native American Resident:  shi' cheii
Me:  What does that mean?
Native American Resident:  [Smiling] Grandfather.
Me:  What should I call you? Mr. Tito?  John?
Native American Resident:  John Tito.
Me:  John Tito- you want me to call  you by your full name each time we talk?
Native American Resident:  Yes, call me John Tito.