Friday, August 1, 2008

She was small of stature, frail, in her 80s, and moderately short of breath. At that age, with a heart rate ranging from 136-160, who wouldn't be? The poor lady told us she'd called and called out for over an hour, but nobody came to help her - nothing at all surprising in this assisted living facility - a story we hear over and over again from residents here.

How is it, that when someone pays thousands of dollars per month for care, that this happens? I asked her if she had a phone in her room; she nodded. I told her to just call 9-1-1 next time and don't even bother with the staff - and to tell her family that this is happening. It's a shame that we have to do this dance, isn't it?

On the way to the hospital, formalities of physical exam and medical interventions out of the way, she took my hand in hers, asked me my name, and called me by it for the rest of my time with her. For the most part, I sort of float through my shifts on autopilot, efficiently rendering care, handing off the patient, and making ready for the next one. Lots of times I couldn't tell you my patient's name half an hour after I transport them, not if my life depended on it. Especially so on days like today, when I am hanging past my shift an extra 2 hours, and my last call of the day comes in at hour 12.5 of a 14 hour shift, last full shift before vacation.

Some days, though - some patients - are different. My heart was touched by this frail little lady who told me how much she trusted me. The lady who wanted to know my name, and who called me by it again and again. A lady who, once transferred to her bed in the ER, took my hand again, kissed it with tears in her eyes, then kissed my cheek. It's days like this I really miss my grandma.

I wish everyone could see the side that I see of personal care homes, assisted living facilities, and even skilled nursing facilities, before making the decision to place their loved ones in such places.

Today's schedule:
  • ? run?
  • Cardio (mandatory)
  • Lower Body (optional)
  • Abs (optional)

I'm tired just looking at that. And.. my Little Girlie goes to the kennel first thing tomorrow morning. I'm hoping to get her out for a run/swim at some point today too. I might cry a little less at kennel drop-off if we have a fun day today. Doubt it, though. Those big brown eyes get me every time. Old Girlie will have a pet sitter that she adores.

No comments:

Post a Comment