Interesting Little Story...

  1. 0
    I just wanted to share something one of my residents said to me with you all today that had me biting the inside of my mouth to keep my serious face on that I thought you'd all enjoy. And there is a question right after. Here's the brief resident background first: 45 year old female with below average IQ, bipolar and generalized anxiety disorders, high functioning autism, type 2 diabetic diet-controlled and Torrette's. She is very chatty and extremely articulate but has trouble understanding metaphors and analogies and such.

    The exchange:

    Her: "Do you believe in telekinetic powers?"
    Me: "I don't know. I've seen it done in books and movies,"
    Her: "I experienced telekinesis back on the tenth of May, 1993."
    Me: "Oh, really?"
    Her: "Yes. I sent my spirit out of my body and moved my friend around on the porch and then lifted him up into midair and threw him off the porch! My sister says never to do it again cause it's witchcraft!"
    Me: "Well, just as long as you don't do it to me! I like my feet on the ground. Literally!"
    Her: "Don't worry! I'd never do that to you!"
    Me: "Oh, good!"

    Question time:

    Does this sound like a delirium "reality" possibly due to an illness, blood sugar or medication changes , (She was recently in the hospital for minor surgery, (toe amputation) and they gave her two new meds which she's been on now for about a week and a half and I checked her blood sugar and it was with normal range for her and she knew the correct date, time, president and vitals were good, etc...or...

    Do you think she was just trying to see how gullible I can be by telling me a very detailed little story? Of course I don't believe she really used her spirit to move another human being, but if she truly believes she did then for all outward appearances to her I am a believer. But, I wonder if she was thinking; "This new caregiver will believe anything!"

    I think telling stories, if that's what this is, and not something she can't help, should be discouraged as it may lead to more harmful falsehoods like; "He/She touched me!" etcetera and all kinds of trouble could occur.

    Anyway, I had never heard a resident tell me such a thing that was so detailed with dates and everything! Took me by surprise to say the least!
    Last edit by Skayda on Oct 3, '13 : Reason: Changing Title.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights: Student Edition newsletter.

  2. 4 Comments...

  3. 0
    Honestly, it could be anything that you mentioned.
    If this is out of place for her to do this, then I'd report it so that medical or psych issues can be ruled out and addressed.

    Be careful how you redirect.
    If she knows she's telling a tale, redirection usually isn't a problem, in my experience.
    If she really believes it, you may meet with resistance... and sometimes it's not pretty.
    You're not going to know what her statements will lead to, so you need to monitor, document and report.

    Hopefully, you and your coworkers can have a discussion on how to best handle these stories so that everyone is on the same page.

    I wish I could be so smart as to say, "Ah-ha! It sounds like mania/delirium/attention-seeking/nothing!", but that's not realistic.

    She does sound interesting and I liked your story.
    I bet you have more interesting conversations to come...



    .
  4. 0
    It sounds like she saw something on tv and repeated. Maybe a Halloween movie since that's coming up....perhaps hocus pocus since that takes place in 1993?
  5. 0
    Speaking as a custodial stepparent to a 14 year old who is very similar to the person you described, it is probably something she saw on TV. We don't play along with her stories; we tell her that it was a nice story but not something that really happened. She usually agrees and goes about what she was doing. There is no harm in reorienting someone like that. As long as you frame it with the truth, you should have no problems.
  6. 0
    Quote from Skayda
    I just wanted to share something one of my residents said to me with you all today that had me biting the inside of my mouth to keep my serious face on that I thought you'd all enjoy. And there is a question right after. Here's the brief resident background first: 45 year old female with below average IQ, bipolar and generalized anxiety disorders, high functioning autism, type 2 diabetic diet-controlled and Torrette's. She is very chatty and extremely articulate but has trouble understanding metaphors and analogies and such.

    The exchange:

    Her: "Do you believe in telekinetic powers?"
    Me: "I don't know. I've seen it done in books and movies,"
    Her: "I experienced telekinesis back on the tenth of May, 1993."
    Me: "Oh, really?"
    Her: "Yes. I sent my spirit out of my body and moved my friend around on the porch and then lifted him up into midair and threw him off the porch! My sister says never to do it again cause it's witchcraft!"
    Me: "Well, just as long as you don't do it to me! I like my feet on the ground. Literally!"
    Her: "Don't worry! I'd never do that to you!"
    Me: "Oh, good!"

    Question time:

    Does this sound like a delirium "reality" possibly due to an illness, blood sugar or medication changes , (She was recently in the hospital for minor surgery, (toe amputation) and they gave her two new meds which she's been on now for about a week and a half and I checked her blood sugar and it was with normal range for her and she knew the correct date, time, president and vitals were good, etc...or...

    Do you think she was just trying to see how gullible I can be by telling me a very detailed little story? Of course I don't believe she really used her spirit to move another human being, but if she truly believes she did then for all outward appearances to her I am a believer. But, I wonder if she was thinking; "This new caregiver will believe anything!"

    I think telling stories, if that's what this is, and not something she can't help, should be discouraged as it may lead to more harmful falsehoods like; "He/She touched me!" etcetera and all kinds of trouble could occur.

    Anyway, I had never heard a resident tell me such a thing that was so detailed with dates and everything! Took me by surprise to say the least!
    Here is the deal.....there are many different kinds of people out there with all kinds of different beliefs. There are those who believe in witchcraft and fear it there are those who believe in witchcraft who believe it to be true and worship it. Does telekensis exist? I don't think so.....however...... I believe there are many things that exist that we don't understand.

    There are people who believe in ghosts, psychics, telekinesis and aliens. Some people practice Voodoo....some people are pagans....some people are Christians and some are atheists. One is not really more right or alert than the other.

    This patient may actually believe she accomplished this feat...and her sister actually told her it was witchcraft. It is not your place to tell her her beliefs are wrong or not truthful.

    I would tell this patient that it was an interesting experience for her and I have never seen anything like that but I would prefer fair warning if she decided to use her gift. Just like you did.

    She sounds like a patient I would like to care for.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top