Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tales of dementia....

Tonight I worked in the Memory Support Unit (AKA lock-down for Alzheimer's, wanderers, and dementia patients) at my fave old folks home.


I am not kidding when I say I am completely exhausted. 

Let me just tell you how it went with all the humor infused.

Imagine this: Me VS 6 Patients:

Patient 1. Only there for a few days, was into EVERYTHING- would go into everyone else's room, flushed things down the toilet, trying to escape, asked me every 3 minutes on the dot when his wife was coming, shut off the computer a million times, got into the soap, spilled all of his food, almost pulled off the blinds.....made me pull out my own hair.

Patient 2. He passed away during my shift. Literally-not kidding. He went fast, and that was a relief since he was in pain, but I was administering Morphine/Haldol every hour....that gets really hard to do when he is unresponsive and I am dealing with patient number one. I had to try and find to destroy the meds, wait for the mortuary, do post- mortem care, and call the family to tell them....rough. Way rough. Nothing like a death to make you contemplate life.

Patient 3. Used to be a big time gambler....and still thinks she is. You know those holes that are in the door frames where the door locks? Ya, she thinks that is a penny slot. You find pretty funny things in there from her shoving them in there. She also is looking for "tazies" she tells me. I don't know what tazies are, but she is bringing me some. Also she wouldn't eat.

Patient 4: Did great. Easiest one. Watched TV my shift. Praise everything good in this world.

Patient 5: Talked to an imaginary boy all day. Also, anytime I would be talking to anyone else she would answer all the questions and be part of every conversation. Pretty comical. Wouldn't stay in her bed or her chair and had about 1600 close calls for a fall. She was funny, and I love her....but hard. She also wouldn't eat, and she kept trying to find a vacuum. Definitely cleaned her whole life and worked hard because she was trying to clean everything.

Patient 6: Almost clawed my face off when I asked her if she wanted to color. For the most part she was pretty good, but she wanders everywhere and I couldn't find her sometimes. She repeats herself a lot but  you can get her to cooperate most the time when the Lawrence Welk show is on. 

I about needed to be locked up too after a night like tonight! 
 love them so much, but they can sure be a handful...especially all by yourself!

Please bless that I never live to be that senile. I have this idea that I took care of em, so Heavenly Father will take me before I ever get like that. If he doesn't, will someone please shoot me? 

One last funny story to end the night:

A lady calls me over. I go, and she grabs my wrist...hard.

Lady: Sweetheart, call my family and tell them all these people are crooked.

Me: Crooked?? 

Lady: SHHHH!! Don't speak. Go  in my room, get in my purse, open the latch in the inside, in the pocket in the back part. There is a small piece of paper, grab it and call my family. I must get away from all of these crooked people.

Me: Alright sweetie, I will call.

Lady: HURRY!

Oh poor thing. Sa-scared people are after her.

My bed is calling me.
So is a foot rub.
More later!