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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Nursing home

Yesterday I had trouble with one of my loonies wanting her mother. So, I phoned my house cause I have an answering machine so she could talk to her mother. I gave her the phone, could hear my answering machine kick in and the old lady says, "Mom! Mom! Come get me. They won't let me out!"

After a few mins, the answering machine clicks off and the phone goes quiet but she still has the phone at her ear. After a moment the old lady starts talking to her mother as if there's someone on the other end of the phone. She's conversing away merrily, asking about her car, and her sister and her dad.

I'm trying to figure out if she really believes her mother is on the other end of the phone or if she's having me on, trying to pull the wool over my eyes. I'm also trying not to laugh.

I wait patiently until she takes the phone from her ear and ask for it back. No. I can't have it. (This is my work phone. I have to have it). I tell her that.

"Fuck off" she says, "Cocksucker." I'm always a cocksucker. "How did you know?" I ask.

"What?" she says.

"How did you know I was a cocksucker? Who told you?"

I get the long-suffering look of death, but granny won't give me the phone. I have no choice now but to take it physically away. She's not amused. "It's my phone," she cries as we wrestle for it, "I wouldn't think twice of putting a bomb under your chair." I win the wrestling match but it doesn't feel like a victory.

This is the same woman who told me I was the most wonderful person she'd met in here. But that was hours ago.

I'm turning around to leave the room and I hear from the doorway, "What're you staring at?" This is my new admission. History of aggression and agitation. Nice way of saying she'll bean you on the head when you're not looking. I mentally do checklist in my head of her drugs, seroquel, ativan and some other psych drug I can't remember. This woman used to be the booking nurse for the visiting specialists in town.

"How you doing Helen?" I ask, hoping my tone will invite camaraderie. "If you will just let me out that door," she points, "I will be on my way," she says. "I can't let you out yet Helen. It's really cold out there and your ride isn't here yet."

My boss comes rushing by. "Have we done a care plan yet?" She nuts? Have we had time to do anything yet but deal with behaviors? Yes but we have to write up a care plan so the staff knows how to deal with behaviors. I don't even know how to deal with these behaviors. Yes, the mighty care plan. It will be the standard read. Toileting regularly, offer snacks, lie her down so she isn't fatigued, distract, redirect. But what do you do when granny says, "I know what you're trying to do. You want to isolate me. You're holding me hostage. Where is my mother? What have you done with her? I want my mother. She wouldn't stand for this..."

I get the glare. "I used to work in a hospital you know? You can't keep me here."

"But you do remember that I would need a doctor's order to release you from care?" I ask hopeful that she'll remember this is basic practice.

"Asshole," she says.

I'm wondering if this is a promotion from cocksucker and decide it isn't.

Bet your day isn't nearly as much fun as this...