Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up... think you want to live forever.

Our capacity for artificially extending life seems to be growing by the day. If you don't let your family know what you want, undoubtedly they will do everything in their power to keep you alive. Even if it means feeding you through a tube surgically implanted into your stomach and inserting catheters and tubes into places that were designed to be "Exit Only".

If this is how you want to spend the last few years of your life, please, have at it. However, if the thought of laying in bed in the same position until someone can turn you, having someone clean you up after you soiled yourself and watching your roommate eat while they put fluids with vitamins in them directly into your stomach through a tube, please fill out a Living Will and any Advanced Directives before you think you should. If you wait until you become injured and/or sick, you may not be able to tell your family to let you go quietly. They may decide that you like living in this condition or that you will be "up and dancing in no time" if you can just get over this bump in the road.

I am all for hope. I believe in miracles because I have seen them. But my residents who have been on a downward spiral for several years deserve to be put under hospice care and allowed to meet their Maker with dignity. A little preparation in advance of catastrophe would allow them to do that instead of being forced to exist just because their families don't want to let them go.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Frustration Post


I find myself asking "Why?" so often that I think it might be the only sound I can make. Sometimes it's preceded by "I don't understand" when I'm making a statement.

For example:
  • "Why can't the people who are scheduled to work, come to work?"
  • "I don't understand why someone keeps bringing Mrs. A potato chips when she's diabetic."
  • "Why don't they let a CNA attend the care plan meetings?"
  • "I don't understand why the doctor won't prescribe better pain medication for this resident."

Today is my "hump day". After this, it's all downhill until my "weekend". I think I may make brownies to bring to work on my "Friday". Chocolate doesn't cure anything, but it sure tastes good.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Time Warp

"What are we watching?" Mrs. A asked her roommate.

"Lawrence Welk." Mrs. B answered.

"Lawrence Welk? I thought he was dead." Mrs. A said, sounding surprised.

"He is, honey. This is just a re-run." Mrs. B said, laughing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

O/T Eulogy for a Good Dog

Jubilee passed away on Sunday.

We got Jubliee and her sister, Annabelle, after we lost Sam eight years ago. Jubilee was the biggest dog in the litter, bigger than her brothers. She was a "reverse brindle" Boxer, so she almost looked like a giant Boston Terrier. She has always been the protector. Her sister used to sit or lay on her constantly. After Annabelle found a new home (an interesting story there, too), Petrucci, our male Boxer, took her place in using Jubie for a seat. She tolerated this pretty well most of the time. When she was done being a tuffet, she was done and she would let them know.

Jubilee was the one who would wash you with her tongue as long as you would sit still. If one of the other dogs was sick or wounded, "Nurse Jubie" was the one taking care of them. When Brad's mom was staying here, she had a key chain with a black and white stuffed cat on it that meowed when you pushed it's belly. Jubilee took that thing and carried it around and talked to it like it was alive. We often wished we hadn't gotten her fixed so that she could have had a litter of pups. She would have made a good momma.

While we're sorry to see her go, we're glad she didn't suffer long. Jubie was always a strong, healthy girl.

We miss you, Choob. See you on the other side.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dr. Jack Kevorkian

I guess this is technically off topic, but I have something to say, so here I am.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian passed away yesterday. In the hospital and not by his own hand. It's kind of anticlimactic, considering the way he put himself on display with his suicide machine.

Dr. Kevorkian could have been an advocate for assisted suicide without acting the fool. If he had, maybe we would be farther along the road to legalizing euthanasia for human beings. Instead, "Dr. Kevorkian" is a punchline and we have people who are terminally ill, suffering, and are forced to watch themselves waste away instead of having a quick and dignified end. What a shame.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Just Wait

I got yelled at by a resident the other day. Loud. In front of an entire room full of people. I wanted to crawl in a hole. I don't mind being the center of attention if I put myself there. I don't like when someone else does it for me.

That was my last exchange with this resident for the entire day. So, with this unresolved mess in my head, I went home, ate and tried to get some sleep.


I woke up at 4:00 trying to think of what to say to the resident. I fell back to sleep about 6:30 and had the dogs waking me up at 8:00 and found myself thinking about it all morning. To the detriment of my workout and chores, because one didn't get done at all and the other was done poorly at best.

When I got to work, the aide handing off the cart to me told me that the resident had given her a hard time that morning, too, and that she had finally gotten out of the resident that their stomach was bothering them. So, when it was my turn to talk to them, I asked how their stomach was, did they want their meds now and if not, can I check in with them later.

Not so good, no and yes.

So, I let this rent space in my head for nearly 20 hours, stressing out over what to do and all I really needed to do was relax and wait for the answer to present itself.

Lesson learned. Now I hope I remember it the next time I find myself in that space.