Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Can't Do ANYTHING Right!

My job is hard. It's very rewarding, interesting, heart tugging, tear jerking, frustrating, hilarious and hard. 

For me, physically it is more difficult now than it ever was before. I have a broken ankle, that, yes, it's healing, but it still hurts. It's making my knee hurt, which makes my hips hurt. And, my back.  I'm taking more pain pills now than I was when I first broke the darn thing. I'm hoping my knee is residual and not a different injury all together. 

But, I do love my job.  The people I take care of make me laugh and cry. I enjoy giving them love in return and in some cases, making their last days, comfortable and dignified. 

We do have hospice patients at the Home.  Sometimes, a resident will be put on hospice and will only last days. Sometimes, weeks and even months.  Everyone is different and dying is no exception. 

Ingrid was put on hospice during my first round of employment at the Home. So, that would've been almost three years ago.  Some days, she's barely conscious and doesn't interact with anyone. But, most days, she sits in her recliner, with her door open and yells things at us as we walk by.  She gets lonely. She loves to have her hair brushed, her nails painted and for anyone to come in, sit down and just talk to her.   She does have a catheter and can't walk without assistance.  Her mind, however, is sharp.  As a tack.  That you step on in the middle of the night.  You sort of wish you hadn't encountered it. 

Her sense of humor is my favorite thing about her.  Her comebacks are amazing and her smile lights up the whole room. 

She loves milk. But, milk doesn't agree with her.  One day, she decided to try almond milk. She had it for lunch. And dinner. 

We quickly realized almond milk doesn't like her either.  I think I had to clean her up 3 times.  And, when someone can't stand alone, let alone use the toilet alone, you can imagine how fun it was. For both of us (neither of us??) but it had to be done.
It was during the third cleaning, as she lay naked on her bed, me washing her from head to toe, that she told me she thought she was dying.

Now, she knows she's on hospice, I know she's on hospice so yes, she is dying. But, she meant right then and there, she was going to die.

"Ingrid, why on earth do you think that??"

"Well, LOOK at me!! Have you every seen anyone in this bad of shape?"

"Ingrid, when people are dying, they don't eat 4 cookies, sit and watch Wheel of Fortune, poop or pee. Let alone carry out a conversation about Rachel Ray and whether or not one should get a boob job!" (yes, really)

She flops back on the bed, still totally naked.

"Oh for God's sake, I can't even DIE right!!"

Like I said, I love my job. 


  1. You are an angel. I always think of my grandmother when you talk about your job. She was in a care center for a long time (17 years) and her mind left her in big and small pieces with no order or sense. It was a very sad time for all of us.

    I like to think that someone cared for her the way you care for yours.
    I know they held a service AT the home for her caregivers, and there were many tears and memories to share.

    And I love the elderly lady you just wrote about. Please write more about your job. :)

  2. I love her. :)

    My MIL is home on hospice, which has now been moved to once a week since my BIL's girlfriend has decided to take on much of the responsibility. (I'm done arguing about it.) She's also still sharp as a tack... yet the other night confessed that she's not sleeping because she's afraid she'll go to bed and never wake up. Which sadly, is the way I hope she goes. Quiet and painless.

    I wish you were in the home she was in... she'd be cracking you up as well. That is... if we could get an interpreter... :)

  3. I love hearing your stories about your work! I have missed them. And everytime I read them, I just know how proud Gramma Gin Gin would have been of you! She loved working in the nursing homes also. You are the angel these patients need. I hope you will be feeling better soon Jackie, love you :)


Please comment! Even if you just say "HI!".