Monday, March 2, 2009

An Interesting Place for Flowers

When I first began working as a nurse's aide, I had stars in my eyes. I was living in this ivory tower of dreams where I would change the world one patient at a time. I was going to bring a sunny smile and a positive attitude.

It was with this attitude that I eagerly arrived at work every day. To take vital signs. Give baths. Wipe bottoms. Clean up vomit. Change sheets. Feed people. It was a bit of an eye opener. And yet, I loved it. Still do. Nursing is definitely a calling that is not for everyone, but if you can look passed the "job" you will be truly blessed by the impact you do make on others each day.

But, enough of the sappy stuff. You get the picture. I arrived to work with stars in my eyes, and an extremely rose colored view of the world. I was working night shift at this time. I was eagerly doing my duties when I was called to another floor to help tend a patient. This particular lady was a very prominent member of the community. She was very well off and very well known. She also happened to have Alzheimer's. She normally had a 24 hour sitter with her at home, but for some reason her sitter was unable to be with her at this time.

I don't know your knowledge base of Alzheimer's but let me tell you, people that may do fine and be able to function okay at home, but when placed in a new environment, they struggle.

So, I was called to stay with this lovely, albeit confused, lady. She was agitated, and angry. I arrived, sunny as a daisy, ready to charm her into doing just what I wanted...Which was to go to bed. She did not want to go to bed. She wanted to get out of bed. She wanted to go home. She wanted her husband. She did not want me. I was trying to distract her. I offered to find a tv show for her. She ordered me to turn off the tv immediately. I did. I tried to convince her to rest for awhile. She told me to get away from her. That's when I spotted them. She had a BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL flower arrangement in her window. I was desperate for distraction. I was determined to charm her into bending to my will.

"What a beautiful flower arrangement! Who sent these to you?" I picked them up for her to admire.

"How lovely!" Her entire face transformed. She smiled at me with the most charming smile you can imagine. "At last" I thought, "she's starting to like me!"

"Do you know what I want you to do with those lovely flowers, young lady?" She continued to smile at me, her eyes sparkling with excitement.

"What?" I was so pleased with myself.

She smiled at me and said in the most pleasant voice imaginable, "I want you to take those flowers and SHOVE THEM UP YOUR A%*!!!!"

Oh. My. Goodness. That was not what I was expecting. However, I was still determined to charm her, so thinking very quickly I said, "Well, not today. I would hate to mess up such a lovely arrangement!" And I put them back in the window.

Yep. I was a charming soul back in the day. Too bad she couldn't see it!