This is about a patient. If they bore you, skip it.
Sometimes we get a chance to make a difference in the life of a human being. Sometimes the difference only lasts a moment...
I do 2 days a month in a nursing home. I know....you are probably in shock if you know ANYTHING about me. I do hospital nursing. Most hospital nurses rarely step into a LTC facility, unless their grandmother is a patient. Even then, the hospital nurse has a deep desire to clean all of the carpets with something caustic to get the damn urine smell out. (it's true...they all smell like pee)
I started doing 2 days a month over there, because I realized I DO like to talk to my patients occasionally. So many of mine are tubed and vented....conversation is limited at that point. ;) So, I spend time with the Elders once every 15 days or so, and I have a damn good time with it.
We play balloon volleyball in our wheelchairs. We color, string beads, sing....etc. It's fun for them, it's fun for me. Sometimes I have to close someone's eyes and call the funeral home, but hey....the person was probably 97 with senile dementia. They probably led a full, decent life.
And then you meet that one patient that tears your heart into bits, stomps on the bits...then eats them and spits them back in your face.
She is quite old, she has senile dementia....and sometimes she thinks I am a Female Nazi guard when I arrive in her room. You see, "Anna" has a very distinctive tattoo on her arm. You know the one I mean....Numbers. Blue. Tattooed on her while she wondered how many days she had to live. While she wondered where her little girl was...they said they'd bring her back.
She screams, because she is somewhere in the past, when the Nazis invaded her home. She hears the doors being kicked in, and begs me to hide her. She talks about the walk to the train, and the actual train she rode to the death camp. She talks about being desperately cold, and hungry. I feed her cookies 10 times a shift, because I can't stand the idea that she thinks we are starving her. Sometimes I leave a pile of them on her night stand so she can have them whenever she wants. The CNA's yell at me halfheartedly for the crumbs in the bed. :) And she's a diabetic, too...so there! ;)
You will be sitting at the desk, doing some paperwork and hear a blood curdling scream come from her room. You RUN down there, and she is asleep, or staring at nothing. Sometimes she thinks you are coming in to kill her. Some of the nurses don't even move when she screams. They piss me off, mightily. I cannot ignore a human being in distress.
Sometimes, she knows you are a nurse. She begs you to stay with her. She tells you to hide her from the soldiers. Her Husband has already gone to the ovens, and her daughter needs her. She's only two....if she is still alive. Then she screams again, remembering that her daughter is NOT alive, because some bastards killed her. She lives this moment over and over again.
Sometimes she tells me she loves me. I always reply that I love her too. I hug her, kiss her forehead and tell her I am going to turn out the light, and that it is time for sleep. When I have time, I stroke her hair or hold her hand until she dozes off, then tiptoe out.
And I made a difference, for just a moment. Until the Nazis return and she screams again.