About those really "hateful, crotchety" patients... - page 3

Ever have any of these? The kind who truly think their face will crumble if they crack a smile? Well, we have one. Just ONE, mind you... the only one we've ever had, and she's relatively new..... Read More

  1. by   jnette
    Quote from mother/babyRN
    I count so many of my lessons in nursing from those patients. For instance, as a new grad I worked with an elderly gentleman who the term crotchedly was made for...As we were going on the elevator for his discharge, I was happily chattering his discharge teaching to him when he took my hand, smiled a rare smile and softly said, little one, you are a wonderful person and a special nurse, but sometimes you can't fix things and sometimes patients are just not going to do the things they should...It struck me that all the teaching I had done had been for me because he was a known uncompliant diabetic and my idealism was not going to change that. From him I learned that you can't save everyone and as he eloquently told me in his own way, you have to let some people be and just hope for the best....After that, he took my chin in his arthritic hands, gave me an eskimo kiss, thanked me, got into the car and went out of my life..I remember him because of that and the lessons he taught...We can only do what we can do...Life does the rest....

    Shew... this gave me goosebumps... still prickling up and down my arms.

    Wow... and so very, very true. Thanx for sharing that.

    And ktwlpn... yes, I can see you being that way ! :chuckle Good for you !!!
  2. by   missmercy
    You just about made me cry! My grandmother had altzheimers and lived in a nursing home. Before she was ill, she was an outgoing, pleasant, wonderful woman who would do anything for anybody, smile constantly and always find a way to make whatever was wrong a bit better. When she was in end stages of her life -- she became one of those nasty, mean, unlovable ladies -- pinched, bit, slapped... the whole nine yards. I always wished that the nurses could get a glimps of who she used to be -- to look past the illness and it's results and really SEE her. Your story reminded me of the nurse who I overheard talking softly to Grandma before I came in her room. She was saying, "margaret, i know that somewhere inside of you there is a wonderful lady... a lady who would be absolutely mortified to behave like you do sometimes -- I want you to know that I understand that YOU are not pinching and biting, it is someone else, someone who is ill -- I am going to find that good person Margaret -- I will always look for her in you -- I know she is there!" Granted, Grandma's behavior didn't change much and she died shortly after that, but to have a nurse, who ( like you) saw past the difficult crusty person and found a way to reach the real person inside -- it meant sooooo much!!

    Great job!! Keep up the great work!
  3. by   Gromit
    Jnette, shucks! You actually managed to bring a tear to this old bikers eye.
    I always try to make my patients laugh -I'm an odd cookie, and I play on that (grin. I tell the ones that laugh, I'm just an out-of-work comedian!)
    I just got off shift, and will be "off" for about 4 days. These last two shifts, I had a patient who went in to have a whipple, and found out he had pancreatic cancer, metzed to the liver (and they believe elsewhere). In a nutshell, hes' terminal. Hes busily working through the "Anger" phase. I've been feeling pretty bad for this guy (cancer took two of my family while I was in nursing school, so it kind of gets a little personal). This isn't a candidate to joke with, and I've been trying to be as helpful and available as much as humanly possible for the guy. He has to work through this stage himself. Hopefully he has decent family support.
    But its kind of gotten me down a bit, and I'm greatful to be off shift for the next several days -the odds are good he will be off of the Step-down unit by then -and I feel a little guilty for even thinking that way.
    Your story, well, it did me a lot of good.
    Thanks for sharing it.
  4. by   BBFRN
    Great story, Jnette- I really enjoyed it a lot.
  5. by   jnette
    Quote from Gromit
    Jnette, shucks! You actually managed to bring a tear to this old bikers eye.
    I always try to make my patients laugh -I'm an odd cookie, and I play on that (grin. I tell the ones that laugh, I'm just an out-of-work comedian!)
    I just got off shift, and will be "off" for about 4 days. These last two shifts, I had a patient who went in to have a whipple, and found out he had pancreatic cancer, metzed to the liver (and they believe elsewhere). In a nutshell, hes' terminal. Hes busily working through the "Anger" phase. I've been feeling pretty bad for this guy (cancer took two of my family while I was in nursing school, so it kind of gets a little personal). This isn't a candidate to joke with, and I've been trying to be as helpful and available as much as humanly possible for the guy. He has to work through this stage himself. Hopefully he has decent family support.
    But its kind of gotten me down a bit, and I'm greatful to be off shift for the next several days -the odds are good he will be off of the Step-down unit by then -and I feel a little guilty for even thinking that way.
    Your story, well, it did me a lot of good.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    So sorry to hear of your patient, Gromit. Tough all the way around.. believe me, I know.

    And all we can do is attempt to make what time they have the very best possible. Be it a smile, a laugh, a hand to pat or hold... or even to allow a tear to roll down our own cheek... yes, even in their presence.



    P.S. Like your avi.. hope to have my bike avi up there soon as well. Whooot !
  6. by   leslie :-D
    it is usually the crotchety patients that have the most soulful eyes.
  7. by   jnette
    Quote from earle58
    it is usually the crotchety patients that have the most soulful eyes.
    aah, the eyes do tell it all, don't they?

    I've always maintained a person isn't smiling unless their eyes are.

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