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I think I miss you…maybe

April 11, 2011

Ninety-two year old Mrs Smith arrived in the ward with a suspected stomach ulcer and anaemia due to a suspected gastroenterological problem.  The bottom line was that nobody really knew what was wrong with her and so they chucked her in bed number six in the women’s bay of the ward to wait and perhaps acquire a few hospital infections along the way while they filled out stacks of paperwork needed for multiple diagnostic tests. 

The five other elderly ladies in the bay were wasting away lying in their beds acquiring infections, and staring into space, but not Mrs Smith; she was something else.  My first encounter with her occurred when I caught her stealing large amounts of coffee and adding 5 sugars to each cup (she was diabetic).  I reminded her that she was diabetic and maybe sweeteners would be better; and so she threatened to knock me out; which made my day because my boring shift had suddenly acquired some interesting drama.  So after I had convinced her not to overdose on sugar and escorted her back to her bed; I thought she’d relax and maybe (hopefully) fall asleep for a while so I could get through completing patient feedback surveys in the ward.

Five minutes later as I was in the men’s bay attempting to conduct a patient-feedback survey with an elderly Parkinson’s patient who was not only deaf, but also had articulation problems; I caught a glimpse of Mrs Smith’s bright pink dressing gown and looked up.  There she was, attempting to drag an elderly man out of his bed.  I managed to get her to stop dragging the poor man out of bed and asked her what she was doing; “finding myself a boyfriend of course!” she shouted back at me with a furious expression on her face.

I didn’t get to complete patient notes or patient surveys that day because of the following reasons:

  1.  I caught her pouring her jug of water over sleeping patients.  When asked why she was doing that she replied “I’m watering the plants dear”
  2. She tried to escape from the ward 8 times (yes I counted)
  3. She went into the men’s bay and stole two patient’s blankets; she then accused me of stealing her blanket and told the consultant that I’d stolen it and hidden it way in my car.  She had a hysterical fit over this which resulted in staff frantically bringing her more hospital blankets and telling her they’d found her blanket (they all looked identical).  Of course she insisted that none of them belonged to her as hers was much, much warmer.
  4. She locked herself in the bathroom and had another hysterical fit.
  5. She took a walk around the ward during lunchtime, seated herself opposite an elderly man who was an Alzheimer’s patient and started eating his food; this resulted in him becoming even more confused and insisting he be let out of prison as he was only fighting this war for his country.  Consequently; this led to him having an hysterical fit and grabbing his Zimmer-frame and shuffling away as fast as he could in an attempt to escape from prison (the ward), and fell over.
  6. She stole and hid my patient surveys.

So for a few weeks; Mrs Smith made my tasks impossible to complete with her constant trouble making but the day she left I actually felt sad and reflected on the one positive event I had shared with her.  I had grudgingly painted her nails bright pink one time (because she threatened to knock me out if I didn’t) and she was over the moon, I have never seen an elderly toothless person smile as widely as she did in my entire life

Yes I missed her :mrgreen:

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Kristin Brænne permalink
    April 12, 2011 12:04 am

  2. April 12, 2011 12:31 am

    This blog made me laugh a lot! She sounds like a nightmare!

  3. Slowlycreepingdeath permalink
    April 12, 2011 1:18 am

    Only the good die young!

  4. April 12, 2011 1:21 am

    Funny and sweet. Well done.

  5. April 12, 2011 6:27 pm

    She sounded very disturbed but by the end of the post I had a tear in my eye. The great diversity of people at large. Dont ya just love it? Like a garden of flowers. Some mild, some wild.

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