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Ma’am

May 13, 2011

This dosen’t really qualify as a creepy ghost story…but more of an after death connection…you decide…its one of things that got me going to get into school…just got my LPN…one more year and I’ll have my RN

I was a CNA for 8 years. My first job, actually the place that I got my training as a CNA through was a ltc…they had a ward called SCU…special care unit…it was a psycheward.

It was the scene of the most endearing and rewarding years. I worked with pt with schizophrenia, ocd, Huntington’s chorea, and all types of mental and behavior disorders….I never had any problems…I took the time to get into their world and find out how to communicate with them.

We had one pt in particular that was brutal! He had lung cancer that had metastized to his brain. He was ONRY! We had to take his cowboy boots away from him because he would put them on , holler he was going to kick everyones @##!…and he would try. He also had a colostomy that he was fond of ripping off and throwing at the wall if you pushed him to hard or if he was just in a mood. This poor guy always looked awful, because and I don’t blame them, dayshift was too affraid to shave, bath, or do too much with him. It took me several months, but he did let me in…he talked kindof like a robot…when he did talk..with me he acutally said “Ma’am” and so on. Anyway he would let me shave and clean him up either during my pm or night shift…we would talk about fishin and ridin horses and all kinds of things…the first time he threw his colostomy at the wall and told me to @##@! off Ma’am, I got him out of bed and made him clean up the mess…he actuall smiled when he got back in bed and said to me “Boy, you don’t take my ##$! Ma’am, I like that about you…my mama never took it either!” He would onlly eat for me in the night, and it wasn’t much…I could tell his end was near…He did manage to dump a chocolate milk shake over my head at one time…I don’t know how to explain it, but I think he was more therapy for me than I for him….I know, a crazy for a Crazy…I was the joke of the staff..but I didn’t care…anyway he passed away on a Friday…I had the weekend off and I had a feeling he wouldn’t be there Monday…but that Friday night, before I knew he had passed I had the most wonderful visit from him…my dream was this

I found myself in a cafeteria….could not figure out why I was there, I was looking through the crowd and the people and just couldn’t figure it out..suddenly I see “him, my pt” waving me over…I walked over and he looked fabulous…all duded up from head to toe, including his favorite cowboy boots…he had three trays of food in front of him…all his favorites…He grinned ear to ear and looked as I imagine he did before he was riddled with disease…..he grinned up at me and said “Howdy Ma’am…I just had to let you know I am okay…..after all these years I am okay…you were my friend and I will never forget if you won’t” and he winked and went back to eating….I woke up and was smiling and crying at the same time….It was especially great to see him in clothes, he had to wear these one piece jumpsuits because he had a habbit at one time of getting naked and wondering around..

I think of him often and feel that this is probably the most important type of job we as nurses will do….just to be there for somone who has no one, and take the time to find a way to communicate…

Thanks for your time…Tammy, LPM

– Posted by SissyLyn; Allnurses

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