Mid-Shift Shower

Nellie was an 80ish year old lady with Alzheimer’s. She wore red lipstick and big sun glasses, even just sitting in her room. She had no children, no family so to speak of. She had been married to one man, her entire life. His name was Chuck, however, she rarely spoke of Chuck or acknowledged his existence, she spoke very lovingly of Leroy, her child hood sweet heart. Nurses Announcements Archive Article

Mid-Shift Shower

All names have been changed and some words are misspelled for pronunciation purposes and curse words have been changed or left out.

She talked about dances they would be going to, hay rides, walks along the river, school and other things like that. We would often ask her questions about Chuck and she would in turn tell us the stories about Leroy. She was just kind of stuck in the Leroy years and had seemed to have forgotten her husband almost completely. Nellie didn't think she was so 80ish, kind of more like she was 16ish and she hated showers.

She would yell and would also often become very combative.

One day while giving her a shower in the rolling shower chair she became upset and started in yelling, "Get that water offa me you fool. I'm gonna call the sheriff. I don't want no darned pneu-monia."

I told her we had to get her all prettied up for Leroy. This was something we often said and it usually eased her and she would be a little more cooperative, however this day she screamed, "I'm a married woman, you wanna tell my husband that?

You tryin to ruin my honor?"

I quickly apologized and told her that I had meant to say Chuck.

She replied, "Who the heck is Chuck?"

I didn't know what to say, so I continued with her shower.

"Listen hear, you get that water offa me, my daddy will get you for this."

I explained that he had fully given permission for her to have a shower, and that we were almost through.

"My daddy don't want me warshed by no preverts." She would occasionally swing out and try to hit me, but nothing too bad or too violent.

I said, "I promise I'm not a pervert, I'm a nurse and I'm trying to get you cleaned up."

She nodded her head, "Yeah, that's what they say ain't it?" At this point I was finished with her bathing and needed to rinse her off.

I explained what I was going to do. She allowed me to rinse her off, and honestly, I thought she was finally okay with the shower, so I proceeded to rinse her hair. I was very careful not to get any soap in her eyes.

As I was finishing, she grabbed the shower sprayer out of my hands and pointed it directly in my face, "Let me wash the filth offa ya, you sinful heathen."

I attempted to get the sprayer from her, but she began swinging it frantically. I stepped back, right into a puddle of soapy water, and flat on my butt I went.

She began to sneer, all the while spraying me with the water.

Every time I would try to get up, I would slip right back down. Finally, I crawled backward to a semi dry spot and was able to use the toilette to stand. I stood up, sopping wet and pulled the emergency light, and then slowly made my way through her arcs of streaming water to cut the water off. (Why didn't I think of that first, I wondered?)

She threw the sprayer at me and I hung it up. I told her I was sorry for giving her a shower, but I had to get her clean.

We both sat there for a moment, then I grabbed a towel and gave it to her. She began drying off, I began sopping water up off of the floor. I kept wondering where my help was.

I had pulled the emergency light some time ago, and I could hear it beeping. "Well, ain't ya gonna get me decent now that you've had yer fun?" I proceeded to assist her with drying off and dressing. I sat her in her w/c and began to wheel her out of the shower room.

At this time one of the male nurses came to help me. I looked up at him, and he was almost busting at the seams. I looked around, through my water splattered glasses.

There was water everywhere. He didn't even ask if I need help, I guess he could tell I was a little flustered. "Sorry, lunch break." He said.

I cut the emergency light off, and Nellie said, "Sheriff, I need to press me some charges on this here prevert. She done poured water on me for a Leroy and a Chuck. She gonna trade me, put me on the market? My daddy ain' t gonna like this one iota. Look at her, what kind of operation is she a runnin'? She got one of them red light houses?"

He couldn't contain his laughter any longer, however he did manage to say, "Let's go work on that paper work, Ma'am we've got some spare clothes in a closet out there, why don't you get cleaned up."

He then proceeded to wheel her out into the hall. Her all the while telling how I had taken advantage of her virtue, him trying to hold in his laughter, but failing miserably. I came out behind him, soaked to the gills and began walking down the hall to the extra clothing closet, wondering why I had volunteered to do this shower. I slipped in my haste, and was sprawled flat on my back, this time with many witnesses.

As I got up, several people were laughing, I looked down then and realized I was wearing white scrubs and pink polka dotted panties. I couldn't get to that closet fast enough.

Hospice Nurse Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Hospice, LTC

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Specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep..
All names have been changed and some words are misspelled for pronunciation purposes and curse words have been changed or left out.

great story!

Specializes in med/surg.

Great story!!! And I hope we are laughing with you now!

Specializes in Orthopaedics, Nursing Education.

Ha Ha that was great, reminded me of the good ole' care center days. Kudos for having the guts to share!

Specializes in peds critical care, peds GI, peds ED.

That story made me smile! Sometimes no matter what you do, you just can't win.:chuckle

Specializes in Hospice, LTC.

I do laugh thinking back about this, still can't bring myself to wear whites.

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

Reminds me of my very first patient, a nursing home resident who I showered each week during clinicals, and I swear I got wetter than she ever did! She'd also smack me on the bottom and giggle whenever I accidentally tickled her feet, which was at least once every time I bathed her.

What great memories! Nice read, too. Thank you.

Specializes in LTC, Assisted Living, Surgical Clinic.

I also have had a mid-shift shower, but unfortunately not quite as interesting as yours! :p What a character "Nellie" sounds like! Gotta love 'em.....

This is why I like being a NICU nurse. Thankfully, my little patients fit in the small pink tubs and won't get me wet in protest. :-) Great story.

Specializes in Hospice, LTC.

Nellie has since passed, but looking back she is one of my favorite patients. It seems that the ornery ones are the ones I have the best memories of.

This was hilarious. Loved it!!!

Specializes in Hospice, LTC.

Nellie is the basis of several of my stories. She is an all time favorite pt of mine and hopefully I will be able to share more of my "Woah Nellie" days with ya'll soon.