My Most Memorable Patient - Geraldine

by saramoss04

My most memorable patient was a lady whom I cared for for only a few hours one day. She is from up north and immediately told me how much she loved seafood and asked if I would like to have dinner with her one night at a restaurant here in town. A few months later I found her contact information and thought why not give her a call. Since that time we have remained good friends. We talk weekly and up until a few months ago when she had to move up north we would have regular dates - shopping, lunch, tea, dinner etc. I truly love her and consider her a part of my life and family. She tells all her family and waits by the phone on the days she knows we will chat.

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    My Most Memorable Patient - Geraldine

    Patients create a lasting memory for numerous reasons. There are the very critical patients who may not have a positive outcome but you know you learned some valuable lessons from; there are the funny patients who always make you laugh either appropriately or inappropriately; there are the really gross patients whom you can only talk about with fellow co-workers (because normal people would not be able to handle it); and there are the patients who you just want to take home with you as a mother, father, sister, brother, or grandparent. Geraldine falls into the last group of patients – someone you just want to take home with you.

    Geraldine was a patient on our floor, one of whom I had the pleasure of caring for one day. She was a pleasant 94-year-old woman who was content to read the paper and sip on her morning coffee. As I came in to do vital signs she put down the paper and we began to chat. She then said to me in the sweetest Boston accent, “Lawbster – I just love lawbster! Look at this restaurant (pointing to add in the paper for Bone Fish Grill) have you ever been here…they have lawbster!” I told her yes I had been there and it was really delicious. After some additional small talk about how much she loved seafood she asked if I would like to go to that restaurant with her one day. She was just the sweetest elderly woman I had ever met and I just instantly loved her! I said I would love to and she then proceeded to write down her phone number and address. Not much time had passed into the day and she was to be discharged. I learned that she drove herself to the hospital (yes she still drives and lives alone) but her son did not want her to drive home that day. We set up transportation for her and as I stood waiting for her at the front desk, she came walking down the hall, all five feet of her, dressed in her clothes with her purse around her arm ready to go. I am not sure why but I will always remember that moment and how cute she looked.

    Fast-forward a few weeks – maybe even a month or two and as I was cleaning out my workbag I found the note with Geraldine’s phone number and address. I thought to myself, “Oh what the heck I will give her a call.” So I called and Geraldine remembered me and exclaimed how much she was hoping that I would call. She said she told everyone about me and when she was in the hospital another time with her son she tried to call different units to see if I was working so she could come and see me (she couldn’t remember which unit I worked on). We made plans to go to Bone Fish Grill and from that point on became very close friends.

    For the next few months, Geraldine and I would have our dates. We would chat on the phone about once a week and we would go out and do different things, we went to Panera Bread; we went and had Tea one afternoon at an English Tea Shoppe complete with scones and small cucumber sandwiches; we went shopping together; and she even made a spaghetti dinner at her house complete with salad, bread, and dessert. Geraldine introduced me to all of her friends and even her son that lived in the same building. She was like my grandmother and we were friends.

    One day I called Geraldine and she told me that her son, who was ill and in and out of the hospital very frequently, had passed away. She was so sad to have lost her son and to add to the grief and pain her other son, who lived up north, was coming down to get her to take her back to live with him and other family. Her son that passed was the only family that lived in Florida and now that he was gone, her son was moving her up closer to family. She was devastated to leave the place she had known for more than thirty years. As she continued to tell me the story she cried and I found myself sad and crying as well. She was my friend and we always had fun together and now she had to leave. Not only did she have to leave but also she was doing so against her will and just after her son passed away. I asked her when she had to leave and she told me she was leaving on a plane in two days. I promised Geraldine that I would come over right after work the next day to say goodbye.

    The goodbye was sad. Not only for losing my friend but also for seeing how sad and upset she was about the whole thing. I met her son, the one moving her up north, and he pulled me aside and said thank you for being such a good friend to her. He said that she talked about me all the time and how much she looked forward to the times we would talk and go on outings. It meant a lot to her and her whole family. The way he made it sound was as though I was doing a job – I tried to explain that I really loved being with her and I was sad she had to leave. Her house was all in boxes and she sat on the couch as her son sold her car (no more driving) and packed a suitcase. The house that she had always kept so clean and organized and decorated sat in boxes. After about two hours I said my last goodbye and went home. She left on the plane the next day.

    Geraldine has been up north for just about eight months. During this time she celebrated her 95th birthday and has moved into a new apartment that she says is so big she might just get lost. We still talk weekly and she tells me how much she hates the cold weather. When she asks how the weather is in Florida I don’t have the heart to tell her it’s now December and it is still 80 degrees (she loves the hot weather). She constantly asked if my boyfriend had proposed to me yet, and if he hadn’t she was going to have to have a word with him (he did and she was over the moon happy). She has taken pictures of her apartment and sent them and I sent her pictures of my new home, she always asks how the house is coming along. And just this past week I told her I was planning to come visit her this spring and she could not believe it she was so happy she almost cried. Every conversation she tells me she loves me and misses me and I tell her the same. She is my little Geraldine.

    There are so many other stories and little things that make Geraldine the most memorable patient/person I have ever known. Just as much as I am told that I make her day when we talk and do things, she makes mine as well. I miss her dearly but am happy to be able to talk with her and to be able to make a trip to see her. Anyone who knows me knows about Geraldine and that to me makes her my most memorable patient.
    Last edit by Joe V on Dec 16, '13
    duckydot28, LuvinNurse, JesusKeepMe, and 13 others like this.
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  4. About saramoss04

    My name is Sara. I am an RN in Orlando, Florida. I work in a multi-system; specialty PCU unit. I am 31 years old and have been an RN for 2.5 years

    saramoss04 joined Apr '10. Posts: 4 Likes: 16; Learn more about saramoss04 by visiting their allnursesPage


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    7 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    This is such a sweet story, thanks for sharing.
  6. 0
    Made my day. Thanks for sharing.
  7. 0
    Love it! Made me cry!
  8. 0
    What wonderful times you both have shared. This is such a heart warming story.
  9. 0
    What a great story! I am still in touch with some of my homecare families that I took care of (their family members) more than 20 years ago!
  10. 0
    Quote from saramoss04
    Patients create a lasting memory for numerous reasons. There are the very critical patients who may not have a positive outcome but you know you learned some valuable lessons from; there are the funny patients who always make you laugh either appropriately or inappropriately; there are the really gross patients whom you can only talk about with fellow co-workers (because normal people would not be able to handle it); and there are the patients who you just want to take home with you as a mother, father, sister, brother, or grandparent. Geraldine falls into the last group of patients – someone you just want to take home with you.

    Geraldine was a patient on our floor, one of whom I had the pleasure of caring for one day. She was a pleasant 94-year-old woman who was content to read the paper and sip on her morning coffee. As I came in to do vital signs she put down the paper and we began to chat. She then said to me in the sweetest Boston accent, “Lawbster – I just love lawbster! Look at this restaurant (pointing to add in the paper for Bone Fish Grill) have you ever been here…they have lawbster!” I told her yes I had been there and it was really delicious. After some additional small talk about how much she loved seafood she asked if I would like to go to that restaurant with her one day. She was just the sweetest elderly woman I had ever met and I just instantly loved her! I said I would love to and she then proceeded to write down her phone number and address. Not much time had passed into the day and she was to be discharged. I learned that she drove herself to the hospital (yes she still drives and lives alone) but her son did not want her to drive home that day. We set up transportation for her and as I stood waiting for her at the front desk, she came walking down the hall, all five feet of her, dressed in her clothes with her purse around her arm ready to go. I am not sure why but I will always remember that moment and how cute she looked.

    Fast-forward a few weeks – maybe even a month or two and as I was cleaning out my workbag I found the note with Geraldine’s phone number and address. I thought to myself, “Oh what the heck I will give her a call.” So I called and Geraldine remembered me and exclaimed how much she was hoping that I would call. She said she told everyone about me and when she was in the hospital another time with her son she tried to call different units to see if I was working so she could come and see me (she couldn’t remember which unit I worked on). We made plans to go to Bone Fish Grill and from that point on became very close friends.

    For the next few months, Geraldine and I would have our dates. We would chat on the phone about once a week and we would go out and do different things, we went to Panera Bread; we went and had Tea one afternoon at an English Tea Shoppe complete with scones and small cucumber sandwiches; we went shopping together; and she even made a spaghetti dinner at her house complete with salad, bread, and dessert. Geraldine introduced me to all of her friends and even her son that lived in the same building. She was like my grandmother and we were friends.

    One day I called Geraldine and she told me that her son, who was ill and in and out of the hospital very frequently, had passed away. She was so sad to have lost her son and to add to the grief and pain her other son, who lived up north, was coming down to get her to take her back to live with him and other family. Her son that passed was the only family that lived in Florida and now that he was gone, her son was moving her up closer to family. She was devastated to leave the place she had known for more than thirty years. As she continued to tell me the story she cried and I found myself sad and crying as well. She was my friend and we always had fun together and now she had to leave. Not only did she have to leave but also she was doing so against her will and just after her son passed away. I asked her when she had to leave and she told me she was leaving on a plane in two days. I promised Geraldine that I would come over right after work the next day to say goodbye.

    The goodbye was sad. Not only for losing my friend but also for seeing how sad and upset she was about the whole thing. I met her son, the one moving her up north, and he pulled me aside and said thank you for being such a good friend to her. He said that she talked about me all the time and how much she looked forward to the times we would talk and go on outings. It meant a lot to her and her whole family. The way he made it sound was as though I was doing a job – I tried to explain that I really loved being with her and I was sad she had to leave. Her house was all in boxes and she sat on the couch as her son sold her car (no more driving) and packed a suitcase. The house that she had always kept so clean and organized and decorated sat in boxes. After about two hours I said my last goodbye and went home. She left on the plane the next day.

    Geraldine has been up north for just about eight months. During this time she celebrated her 95th birthday and has moved into a new apartment that she says is so big she might just get lost. We still talk weekly and she tells me how much she hates the cold weather. When she asks how the weather is in Florida I don’t have the heart to tell her it’s now December and it is still 80 degrees (she loves the hot weather). She constantly asked if my boyfriend had proposed to me yet, and if he hadn’t she was going to have to have a word with him (he did and she was over the moon happy). She has taken pictures of her apartment and sent them and I sent her pictures of my new home, she always asks how the house is coming along. And just this past week I told her I was planning to come visit her this spring and she could not believe it she was so happy she almost cried. Every conversation she tells me she loves me and misses me and I tell her the same. She is my little Geraldine.

    There are so many other stories and little things that make Geraldine the most memorable patient/person I have ever known. Just as much as I am told that I make her day when we talk and do things, she makes mine as well. I miss her dearly but am happy to be able to talk with her and to be able to make a trip to see her. Anyone who knows me knows about Geraldine and that to me makes her my most memorable patient.
    What a beautiful story . Thanks for sharing
  11. 0
    What a nice story!!! Reminds me that us nurses are still human and have a heart...sometimes that is easy to forget with all we have going on most times. Kudos!


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