Thursday, January 12, 2012


Back to my blog home page:

My assignment should have ended tomorrow. 18 weeks. I can't believe I have been here 18 weeks. (I've extended until the end of March!)

I remember my first week here.

The noise from the residents with dementia was overstimulating. The well-meaning staff had not been trained how to deal effectively with behaviors.

Remember this little chicklet at the Royal Wedding?  This was how I felt, too, for the first few weeks of this assignment!

I'm happy to report that it's gotten much better.

In fact, if you review the blog I linked to above, you'll remember the tiny  lady, Lizzie, who cruises her wheelchair down the hall singing, "Dum dum dum dum dum" and "By by by by byyyyy."


The most curious thing happened with her. I sat at her table the other evening when I was working with her tablemate on another ADL (activity of daily living), feeding. I started talking with her, and she could hold quite a conversation.

I realized something...I had not given her the benefit of the doubt!

I had simply resented her for making noise.  I had not made the attempt to figure out what made her tick. I had made no connection with her until now.

After that dinner, she recognized me when I passed in the hall. I stopped and greeted her, held her hand for a moment several times this week. I realized yesterday that her behaviors have curbed quite a bit over the last month or so.

Until tonight.

I was trying to get the heck out out of the building in 8 hours! (Isn't every SNF like a black hole?!) I was banging out my billing and daily docs on Casamba when I heard her singing down the hall. The sound was getting closer and closer. I knew she was headed to the exit door, and I prayed to God she wasn't going to set off the alarm!


Instead of heading straight toward the alarmed door, she wheeled right into the rehab department toward me.

"Well, Lizzie! How are you?"

I gave up all hope of leaving quickly. She had the sweetest smile on her face. I asked her about dinner. She told me she had a lovely dinner with her family even though I know she had been in the dining room with all the other residents. She talked about her son and the rest of her family.

Finally, I told her I needed to get the paperwork done so I could leave. "It's been so nice to see you!"

I really meant it.

She took my hand and stroked it. (I just love those tactile little old ladies.)

"You're a grand person..." and she lifted my hand and kissed it.

I've had people compliment me, but I've never had anyone tell me that I am grand.

She melted my heart.  Really.

She made my day.

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