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Tales from the ICF: Ed-EEEEEEEE!

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 249,909 Profile Views; 9,734 Posts

Tales from the ICF

Tales from the ICF: Ed-EEEEEEEE!

This one is about Ed, the crusty curmudgeon of "ear WAX!" fame from "Elders Say the Darnedest Things". Without revealing too many personal details, let us just say that this gentleman is one of my favorite residents, EVER. He's been on the ICF (otherwise known as intermediate care, or long-term/custodial care) unit of our facility for a couple of years, but in the relatively short time I've known him, I've discovered that underneath his gruff demeanor and crude manners lives a mischievous lad with a sense of humor that won't quit...and even a little sweetness.

Like most of our residents, Ed has more than just a touch of dementia, but he can be amazingly sharp at times---especially when he's trying to pull a fast one on the nurse! He's caught me flatfooted on more than one occasion, and he likes nothing better than to tease me about it afterwards. So yesterday evening as I was delivering his mealtime meds, I figured he was just trying to lure me into another of his traps when he warned me, "You better be careful when you step around to the other side of the table."

Me (chuckling): "How come, Ed?"

Ed (eyes dancing gleefully): "Well, some dog went and (insert vulgar term for defecated) in that corner there by the TV."

Me (not believing it for a second): "Oh, Ed, you're pulling my leg. Here, take your metformin."

Ed: "I'm not joshin' ya, there's a pile of it right over t' other side."

Me (still thinking he's full of it): "Yeah, right, I know you---you're just trying to make me look silly."

Ed: "No, I'm not---just step over there 'n take a look if you don't believe me."

About this time it dawned on me that he might, indeed, NOT be joking. A couple of folks from the local ASPCA had brought in a little Chihuahua and a kitten earlier in the afternoon for the residents to pet (and the staff to seriously consider adopting); I supposed anything could've happened, so I obliged Ed and went around the table..........and sure enough, there was a pile of dog feces on the floor. Which prompted me to lose all decorum and announce loudly, "OMG, it's just like being at home: I gotta pick up dog poo off the floor!"

Ed cocked an eye at me as I scooped up the mess in a napkin, and commented dryly, "If my dog woulda has done that, I'd-a drop-kicked 'im through the goalposts of life." It was a reference to an old Bobby Bare song that we discovered, some time back, that we both knew and got a kick out of (pun intended). I looked at him, he looked back at me with a self-satisfied smirk, and we both broke up laughing.

He's not always funny, I must say. I've seen him sob like a broken-hearted child after waking up in the middle of a dream about his much-adored (and long-dead) "Momma", with whom we all suspect he had some abuse issues. I've also seen him curse the CNAs at the top of his lungs and lash out at them physically when they change his briefs or try to get him out of a T-shirt he's been wearing 24/7 for the past week. But as a World War II veteran and former train conductor, semi-professional bowler, factory worker, and Wal-Mart greeter who never married or had children, he's had it pretty rough, and we can understand why someone who's always been alone might have trouble living with a bunch of other people and being handled by kids young enough to be his great-grandchildren.

He'll yell at the woman who sits in the dining room screaming obscenities to "shut the (blankety-blank-blank) UP!!" He sees nothing wrong with zipping up and down the halls in his wheelchair hollering out whatever comes to mind (last night it was "pain PILL!") or swearing when his flaccid left arm slips off the arm of the chair during church services. And he thinks WE'RE strange because it tickles the heck out of us to hear him way down on the other end of the building yelling "Ed-EEEEEE!"

But we just can't help loving that man...........and the day he goes to that great Oregon Ducks game in the sky will be a sad one indeed.

I'm a Registered Nurse and writer who, in better times, has enjoyed a busy and varied career which includes stints as a Med/Surg floor nurse, a director of nursing, a nurse consultant, and an assistant administrator. And when I'm not working as a nurse, I'm writing about nursing right here at allnurses.com and putting together the chapters for a future book about---what else?---nursing.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 249,909 Profile Views; 9,734 Posts

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VickyRN has 16 years experience as a MSN, DNP, RN and specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

3 Followers; 105 Articles; 5,349 Posts; 131,926 Profile Views

This reminds me so much of my first job after graduating from nursing school - small community hospital with a skilled ventilator unit.

When I was placed in the ventilator unit, I loved it. I loved all 10 of the patients, who have all since passed on. I remember Bruce (named changed) who meticulously taught me the Ps and Qs of personal care. I remember Ruth (name changed) and her beautiful crafts that filled her room and occupied her time. I remember Daniel (name changed) and his sweet child-like nature, yet wild temper. If he was ticked off and you were in the line of fire with his motorized wheel chair, you better watch out!

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 9,734 Posts; 249,909 Profile Views

Ed, on our current heat wave: "It's hot enough ta make yer eyes bleed!!"

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1 Article; 17 Posts; 2,227 Profile Views

I love your stories viva you have such a heart for your patients!. I've seen the "living loved" line on your profile I was wondering if it had to do do with

Wayne Jacobson and the Godjourney, if not never mind. Great stories keep'em coming.

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1 Article; 11 Posts; 1,842 Profile Views

I worked in a nursing home for 4 years. Your story is great, but the way you told it captured it well. I felt like you do about the friends I made as patients. Isn't it great to have a sense of humor?

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 9,734 Posts; 249,909 Profile Views

I love your stories viva you have such a heart for your patients!. I've seen the "living loved" line on your profile I was wondering if it had to do do with

Wayne Jacobson and the Godjourney, if not never mind. Great stories keep'em coming.

Thank you. And the answer to your question is Yes......that, and "The Shack".:) Living loved is the only way I can do this job!:chuckle

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1 Article; 17 Posts; 2,227 Profile Views

That's awesome!:yeah: My husband and I read the shack and He loves me and So you don't want to go to church anymore too and since have been avid listeners of the GodJourney. We met Wayne at small group gathering here in Phoenix. We don't belong to a church but we had friends that have a home church in Gilbert and the pastor is good friends with Wayne and invited him last December, it was awesome. The room was crowded with people, the majority were not part of the homechurch itself.

My husband is a family therapist and says the same thing you wrote, if he didn't live loved, he would not be able to do his job.

Thanks for your reply, I just find your post really refreshing and hopeful, the way you see people is very compasionate, I hope I can have that kind of compasion when I become a nurse and not get sucked into the I'm not loved mode" as often.:)

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