Monday, December 13, 2004

Love and Aggitation

Thanks so much to all of you who offered support for my holiday blues. I feel so much better after reading all of your kind comments. Honestly. Thank you so much. I hope you are all coping well if you're being hit by the holiday blues. Hugs and cookies - and sweet blogger comments! Yeah, that sure seems to be the cure. :-)

Last night, I worked with Mrs. Roman and Mrs. Lee again.

Mrs. Roman started out the shift telling me that she loved me. According to other nurses, she has not been as affectionate with anyone else. With demenia, I wonder if it is possible to form new short-term memories. I just watched "50 First Dates" with Drew Berrymore and questioned whether or not someone could maintain short-term memory over a twenty-four hour period, but not more. In any case, Mrs. Roman has alerted me to the fact that there is even more that I don't know about memory loss. Perhaps her affection towards me comes from some a small part of her that recognizes me. Or it could be that she senses my comfortability with her and she is responding to that. In either case, we got along famously last night. No cursing nor punches nor biting; just a few shouts of "no!" here and there. And then in the middle of the shift, her "I love you's" were followed by her blowing kisses at me. How could I not respond in kind? I have to say, this is the first patient to whom I've ever said, "I love you, too" and/or blew kisses at. She is so adorable. Despite her poor quality of life due to her multiple medical problems (including the dementia), I will be very sad when she dies.

Mrs. Lee's family is not coping any better than before. They desperately want to take her home for home hospice. But I'm honestly not sure how they will manage. The brothers argue with one another about what should be done. One asked me for pain medicine for his mom last night and when I brought it to the room, the other brother met me at the door and sent me away. I worry about how they will cope with even less support at home. One of the other nurses guesses that they will show up in the emergency room as soon as something minor happens that they don't know how to handle. I guess we'll see. I want them to have that home death, as it is clearly what they think their mother would want. I just hope they can get the support they need at home to make that happen.

1 comment:

dein said...

may both of them in the pink of health....:-)