Pam "SFSOM" in TN Posted July 3, 2008 Share Posted July 3, 2008 So yesterday, I'm at a nursing home. We're feeding people. [And an aside -- how in the world do all these people get fed and toileted when we (the student nurses) are not there??] This sweet little woman who has no use of her arms is eating, and I'm talking to her and, I dunno, telling her I'm sorry that it's hard to understand her and that I'm glad she can tell me when she's had enough, and that if she gets too tired to try to talk and doesn't want any more of something, just to close her mouth and I'll understand. I hold her hand and continue to feed her. So she sorta finishes eating, then starts vocalizing at the top of her lungs. She is practically impossible to understand, as she is hoarse and has some perseveration of syllables and is not clear with anything but "yes" and "good." And she's practically shouting these repeated phrases, and I'm struggling to figure out what she's saying, then it dawns on me. She's singing a hymn. So me, with my brain imprinted with more hymns than Charles Wesley ever even thought about writing -- I was working at a UMC nursing home, hence the reference to Wesley -- I am compelled to lean over and sing along into her ear. My singing to her calmed her, although I'm not sure she was agitated exactly, just maybe exuberent. But what does poetry do? What does singing do? They make me freakin' cry, that's what. So I sit and sing and try not to sob, and after I leave Ms. Effie I go to the alcove where I won't be seen, let it out, push my tear ducts shut, then go to check up on a resident whose best buddy left for Alabama last week. I'm all nice and calm, figuring I got away with the whole stupid crying thing, and the lunch room lady -- I'm sure she has a more official title -- comes out and starts asking me why I was crying. Did anyone say something to me? To one of the patients? Was it a patient? A staff member? A nurse? A CNA? Nope, I'm just a little overwhelmed today, says I, unwilling to explain that it is inevitable that I will sob on verse five of Oh For a Thousand Tongues at any given time, and particularly after a day where I spent two hours interpreting for a scared deaf, almost blind woman who was absolutely freaking out in a place where no one understand sign language. (!!) Just overwhelmed, I say, no one offended me. She *seemed* satisfied, hugged me, went away. Then next thing I know, the Director of Nursing walks around the corner, hugs me, pats my back, tells me "We love you, you know," which starts me ACTUALLY crying. Good grief. Very professional, yes? I'm making a FINE impression here in Tennessee. :-PPPPPP (And yeah, I know, it's not bad to show compassion, yada yada, but do you know how STUPID I feel? Stupid. Out of control and *stupid*. I *hate* crying in public.) I think I'm going to apply for jobs in Alaska. Someplace where I won't ever sing a hymn, read a poem, or get hugged by the director of nursing. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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