You’re so good to me
And I know
It ain’t easy
You’re so sweet
You must taste just like sugar & tangerines…”
And that, in a few lyrics, summed up my day with my patient – we’ll just call her Isabella.
However, she wasn’t good to me, so it wasn’t easy. But then she’d be so dang sweet. When the Ativan was working. And I totally clock watched on that, today.
My day started with a puddle of pee on the floor. This puddle, and I’m not nearly exaggerating, was about the size of Lake Erie. Give or take a few gallons. So picture if you will, I walked into a patient’s room, smiled, said, “Good morning! My name is Cassie, I’ll be your – what the?” Enter my foot into the Lake Erie of pee. Lucky for me, the doctor was feeling generous (after stepping foot in the Lake as well,) and let me put a catheter into Niagara Falls. That was my high point of the day. It all went down hill from there.
Me: “Good morning, dear. How are you today?”
Isabella: “What kind of drug store IS this?”
Me: “Sweetheart, this is the hospital. You’re in the hospital, not the drug store. I’m your nurse, see?” I handed her my badge.
Isabella: “That doesn’t look like you.”
Me: “I cut my hair. And aged about 5 years.”
Isabella: “Hmm. This is one screwy drugstore.”
Me: “It must be CVS.”
Isabella: “I only shop at Walgreens.”
Me: “Well that makes sense!”
Isabella: “Sure does.”
I stepped into the hallway to answer a call light across the hall and she sat up to the best of her ability, grabbed the bed’s side rails and started shaking them with all her might.
Isabella: “GET ME OUT OF CVS! I WANT TO GO TO WALGREENS!”
About 20 minutes later, Miss Isabella joined us at the nurse’s station where all we heard all day was, “ISABELLA!” Isabella, sit back. Isabella, don’t pull at that. Isabella, put your shirt down. Isabella, Isabella, Isabella.
I sat at the nurse’s station and took a long hard look at her while she was taking her minute-long cat nap.
What am I going to be like when I’m 80? Will I be this crazy?
Then I wondered what kind of messed up, embarrassing things I’d say.
See – most confused patients who talk to themselves, talk about things they know. They don’t just sit there and make up stuff like they’re in make believe land with fairies and rainbows. Nope. They talk about their parents and laundry and welding and steel mills and dishwashers and their kids.
SOMETIMES they talk about OTHER stuff. You know. Stuff that we never needed to know about. But I never laugh or think otherwise about it, because, when I’m 80 lord knows I’ll be talking about some silly stuff.
80 Year Old Cassie: “Stop looking at me funny or you’re getting some Ativan! I’m constipated! I need prune juice! For real, Claire, no pee-pee accidents today, OK? Did you know that my husband used to love it when I’d…”
I snapped out of my day dream to Isabella yanking at her catheter and singing an old Frank Sinatra song.
The saddest part? I was the only one who recognized it.