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just another day on The Unit

*Granma Tully has decided she doesn't like the new girl changing her diaper, and got bitey.  I slipped away in time, bared my snaggle teeth, and said "Grandama, I know you don't do this to the other girls.  And I bet they Don't.  Bite.  Back.'

She cackled, slapped me on the ass and called me a "whitey whore," and everything else was just fine.  Although she did give me a wicked pinch when I told her that, due to her blood sugar levels, she couldn't have sweet tea at snack.

Memory care in the south is...interesting.  I've basically been given charge of all of the caucasian residents, and the rest of the staff is thrilled with it.  It's...hard to process.  The racism is so pervasive, but the women I work with just shrug it off with the "Oh, it's just their age."  One med tech mentioned that I now have all the IBS changes and Miz Stella (who is African-American), so I shouldn't feel too guilty.

Miz Stella loves me.  First of all, her family buys her some *seriously* nice clothes.  You can tell you would never catch her in a sweatsuit.  It takes a little longer to get her ready, but she always looks on point and you can tell it makes her feel good.  I was helping her getting dressed Sunday before last and she dropped me in my tracks with her stare.

"I wish my granny could see me.  I always said one of you would wait on me some day."

There are nuances here I can't process at the moment.   Or, rather, I'm processing, but can't quite brain right now.

*Two of the residents have decided that the nurse call button doesn't get a quick enough response (and, honestly, the bell only works about half the time, so we just get the light).  So they just yell like their being murdered.  Unfortunately, the reasons are either to turn the overhead light on or off or find the remote control.

* I hit Kent with a huge list of how my day sucked, and he said " Odious Resident stabbed himself in front of his mother.  In the stomach with a pair of scissors that I think he got from her room."

Okay.  You win.  And of course he would have to stay and make a witness statement on the day I actually got off semi-on time.

Sorry.  I'm running on a sleep deficit and am snarky as fuck.

I'm glad that this means OR will hopefully be getting the help he needs.  He is violent, non-compliant on every thinkable levels, and was basically a ticking time bomb.  We're not equipped for that.  I'm just thankful he didn't stab his mother (who also lives in the facility).

*I
discovered that two residents are probably leaving us because their kids are bleeding them dry.  One isn't even paying for basic medical stuff, so her mother's cath got removed, because she no longer has catheter care paid for.  Her catheter got fucking REPOSSESSED!!!!

And that bitch asked me to buzz her in because "I'm going to see mom!" as I was leaving.

I wanted to tell her how her mother has been crying for three days.  How I cleaned the wound left when I changed her today.  How she dumped all of her clothes into a bag and took all the pictures off her walls because she thinks she's going home today.

And how yesterday, I took some of the residents to the world's worst Christmas percussion activity.  While I don't expect Desi Arnaz, you don't need to turn it into "Jingle Dirge with Bongos."  (Seriously, where does H find these people?)  Her mom was crying, and I took her anyway, and held her hand.  I sang along with the...er...performers to try to get people to participate, while drying her tears and wiping her nose.

During "Little Drummer Boy,"  she started tapping our clasped hands on my knee.  Then she quietly sang "Pa rum pa pum pum" and looked at me with a watery grin.

So we sang the rest of the song together.  And the rest of the little program.

I've always loved the Bowie/Bing LDB.  It calms me.  It makes me fell settled in a holiday that is frequently fraught with emotional and familial landmine.

We sang.  And she stopped crying.

While we didn't sing this verson, I wonder if Bowie and Bing weren't smiling down on us.  She smiled.  She sang.

And I found an excuse to not cry, just for one moment.  Thank you, Beverly.

Pa rum pa pum pum.


https://youtu.be/n9kfdEyV3RQ

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
eyelid
Dec. 24th, 2016 11:21 pm (UTC)
I would be an emotional wreck after a day. it's amazing that you manage it.
cielamara
Dec. 25th, 2016 12:50 am (UTC)
"Grandama, I know you don't do this to the other girls. And I bet they Don't. Bite. Back.'

This, this right here is why I appreciate you.

And then subsequent lines in this entry broke my heart. An old lady's catheter got repossessed, what the actual and entire fuck?
millysdaughter
Dec. 26th, 2016 04:03 pm (UTC)
Medicare will not pay for her cath??????????????
mac_arthur_park
Dec. 28th, 2016 09:56 am (UTC)
Thankfully, one of our administrators got on it and it's taken care of.

The funny end to the story is that the new bags are different and the way to drain it has a weird new valve. I was helping her change yesterday, and it took BOTH of us to figure it out...which ended in pee spraying everywhere. We both just lost it and laughed like a couple of goons. One of the other PCAs heard the noise (Bev has an amazing, horsey laugh) and came running...and then just stood there, shaking her head.

Hey, ya gotta take the funny where ya find it.
opakele
Dec. 25th, 2016 02:03 am (UTC)
You know my mom is on a memory unit.

This is about right.

My mom is the special snowflake that has three people visit her regularly. Other residents talk about 'her'. 'My kids don't visit', 'why is she sitting at this table?', 'he comes, and he only looks at her...'

Good grief. I don't talk about it all. Maybe I should.
mac_arthur_park
Dec. 28th, 2016 09:58 am (UTC)
You should. It may help. *hugs*

Oh, and the sitting at the table thing. My gods, it's like high school all over again.
blue_eye
Dec. 25th, 2016 03:11 pm (UTC)
So sad.
michikatinski
Dec. 25th, 2016 09:01 pm (UTC)
That's Mike's favorite Christmas song, full-stop. The Bowie/Bing version.

You are a wonderful human being. ♥♥♥
mac_arthur_park
Dec. 28th, 2016 09:59 am (UTC)
Thank you. <3
communitybee
Dec. 26th, 2016 07:22 am (UTC)
You are one of the most wonderful, beautful human beings I have met. The residents are lucky to have you.
mac_arthur_park
Dec. 28th, 2016 09:59 am (UTC)
Thank you. And I am lucky to have them.
davesmusictank
Dec. 26th, 2016 06:35 pm (UTC)
Brilliant, funny and awful in equal measure.
mac_arthur_park
Dec. 28th, 2016 10:02 am (UTC)
That basically describes every day at work for me.
nucleosides
Dec. 27th, 2016 12:09 pm (UTC)

Racism in the south just seems to be... yeah. :(

yshaloo
Dec. 28th, 2016 11:21 am (UTC)
You are definitely stronger than me. No one cries alone in my presence. I'd be boohooing right beside your lady.

I don't have the temperament for elder care, it would break my heart every day.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )