Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Want An Application?

I've noticed a woman on my last couple of visits. Not sure if she's been there all along and our paths haven't crossed up to this point or if she's new.

She's pretty far along in dementia. Like my mother, though, she can communicate. She can talk, form complete sentences, etc. It's just that what she says isn't rooted in reality. At least today's reality.

Yesterday, while I was talking to the nurse about a potential cold sore outbreak on my mother's top lip, this woman interrupted our conversation.

Woman: I can't find it.

Me: What are you looking for?

Woman: My car. Someone's taken my car and I can't leave.

Nurse: [Sweeping her arm.] Well this office is too small so your car isn't in here.

Me: What kind of car?

Woman: It's a Ford.

Me: [Pretending to jot down the information.] Okay, I'm making a note of it right now.

The nurse can see that I'm not really writing anything.

Woman: It's blue.

Me: Okay, it's a blue Ford. Got it. As soon as it turns up, I'll come and get you immediately!

Woman: [Bewildered that someone is actually acknowledging her concerns.] Thank you. They've been taking lots of people's cars. I didn't think they'd take mine, though.

Me: That's definitely something we need to keep track of. I'll keep an eye out and maybe we can catch them.

The woman nods and wanders off. I turn back to the nurse to continue our conversation about lip balm.

Nurse: You need an application.

Me: What do you mean?

Nurse: To work here. You're really good with the residents.

Interesting observation. I guess I've let the frustration go and just go with whatever these people tell me. I've considered this as a potential new career, but I'd like to work in the office doing marketing rather than work the floor where I'm constantly responsible for their health and well being.


Latane Barton said...

Some people just have a knack. You did a great job handling that situation so I'd give you a job in a heart beat.

citygirl said...

That is a great story :) You smoothly rolled with the situation and I'm sure as soon as the lady felt her "concern" was heard, she forgot all about it and went on with her day.

It's much easier for you and much better for the patient to just play along - I figured this out after YEARS of fighting my mom. Wish I had known earlier.

You're hired!!!

A Single Man said...

Indeed, great job! You have all the experience working with mum to qualify you. But, yea, office work seems appealing compared to professional caregiving.