A Lick and A Promise
I had a wonderful Grandfather growing up. He had handsome snow white hair, big, bushy, white eyebrows and clear sky blue eyes. And thanks to a workplace accident and a blood clotting disorder, he had only one leg. He lost the leg when my mother was pregnant with me and they told him he probably wouldn't live to see me born. He died in 1990, when I was eighteen and a half years old.
Six months after Pa-Paw's death, I went to work as a CNA in the local nursing home. (The same one I work at today) At the age of nineteen, I wasn't sure that CNA was what I wanted to do, but decided I could do it because it paid better than being a cashier at a grocery store. I was to work third shift, but my first week on the floor, I was training with a Michael, a CNA who had worked the same hall for years. I was learning A LOT!! (A lot of which was very surprising) As the CNA and I worked, I was becoming more and more confident in my choice of jobs.
There was a man there, I'll call him Mr. Alfred. He was pleasantly confused and he reminded me so much of my Pa-Paw. He had the white hair, the blue eyes and the bushy white eyebrows. AND he was even missing the same leg! He was instantly my favorite.
That first day, I did a little of everything. I cleaned urine, cleaned BM, cleaned up a sweet little old lady who had vomited and kept apologizing. I had fed people, and moved people in bed and transferred from bed to chair and back again. And my-oh-my started giving bed baths and showers. This was all a shock to me, as I was a very innocent nineteen year old. I was already falling in love with the job and it really surprised me, as this was not a job I had ever thought I could like, let alone actually ENJOY.
As the day drew to a close, I was happy that none of the "horror stories" I had heard about nursing home appeared to be true. I had not been peed on, or pooped on, or propositioned. I had not been yelled at or spit on, or hit or kicked.
I was SO proud of myself for sticking with it for a whole day. Michael and I were doing our last round before going home and I went back into Mr. Alfred's room to see if he or his roommate Charlie needed anything. They both said they couldn't think of a thing, so I just stood and talked for a while. As we were talking, I noticed that Mr. Alfred's shoe was off of his foot and lying in the floor. I knelt down in front of him and as I was slipping it back on said, " Mr. Alfred, You remind me so much of my Pa-Paw" He said " Do, I really?" and I said yes, as I looked up at him. He had a big smile on his face and leaned forward. I thought he was going to kiss me, so I turned my cheek to him. The next thing I knew, I was covered in slobber. He had licked me from the right side of my chin to my left temple. I stumbled up and quickly said goodbye and went to the bathroom and washed my face thoroughly.
After my "lick and a promise" I surprised myself again by actually going back. Now it's been sixteen years and I wouldn't trade a minute of it for anything.
nursejoy1 has '22' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Geriatrics'. From 'Alabama'; Joined Jul '07; Posts: 164; Likes: 154.2Oct 1, '08 by MaryAnn_RNQuote from nursejoy1As a very young and innocent 18 year old many years ago I was asked to go and shave a patient. Talk about get the wrong idea; I did shave him, very thoroughly. The thing was, they wanted me to shave his FACE and I being too shy to ask questions had assumed for some reason that a shave elsewhere was required (it was a surgical patient). The charge nurse got a laugh and I had a very red face for the rest of the day. The patient never said a word.
...This was all a shock to me, as I was a very innocent nineteen year old. I was already falling in love with the job and it really surprised me, as this was not a job I had ever thought I could like, let alone actually ENJOY.