I am a nurse. I work at a nursing home. Having said that it isn't hard to understand how I found my way here. I have at times in my life suffered from depression, however, it was neither overwhelming or crippling. The one exception is when I was fourteen. That was a really dark time for me and I almost didn't live through it. Literally.

Anyway, as I said, I am a nurse. I work at night in a nursing home. At the moment I can only think of two jobs that would be worse, mortician or ice fisherman, lol.  Friends ask me why I don't just get another job. Well, we are in a recession, and I am paid well to do what I do. But there is something more. As depressing as my job is, it is not as depressing a situation as the people I care for.

I go into  a room at 5:30 in the morning and the little lady in the bed smiles. She's glad to see me. I have for her a half a dozen pills, some nasty tasting liquid carafate, and nasal spray. Just what everyone wants a 5:30 in the morning. But still, she's glad to see me. She's glad to see almost anyone. Anyone who is nice, kind, friendly. And for me nursing is a side line. My real job is being nice, kind, and friendly. And funny. I have to be funny. I have about 2 minutes in this room and I'm making conversation like I have all day, and trying to slip in some one liner remark that results in a laugh or a chuckle. If I succeed I give myself a mental gold star like the one's you used to get from you piano teacher. Tonight little lady is talking about breakfast, she dreamed she was cooking. "Eggs," she says, "the eggs here are no good, too hard."  I smile, "When I first got married all I could cook was scrambled eggs and grill cheese sandwiches." Then I add, "but we survived." She laughs (a star!). She says, "you have to learn a lot when you get married."  I remember her husband past away last year. I quickly shift the conversation to my children. I pull out a picture. Little lady makes a pleasant remark. All done. Time to go so I say, "Take care, have a good day."  She smiles, "It was good to see you."

Two minutes at the most and to her it was a little visit. For me too. Some of these people have family, some don't. And doctor's want to know if these people show any signs of depression. I think if they are in their right minds they would. If I could put the doctor in here for a month he would never ask that question again. don't know the purpose of this just need to let it out.

3 Comments
  1. flyr 11 years ago

    if you can make someones day by spending two minutes of your time you have alot to be proud of.most people wouldnt even do that i always try to help older people.i have this thing about guilt and regret,i do all i can to not have those two things in my life.I hope that it comes back around tenfold for you,and maybe you wll have many,many good days for the kindness youve shown

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  2. thistle 11 years ago

     

    Wow, a great, well written blog !Too bad everyone in the healthcare industry is not as sharp and as empathetic as you . Having volunteered in a few ,in the past, i relate totally to the picture you paint  so well. I walked in cheerfully and  would walk out depressed each time.

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  3. Ghostgirl 11 years ago

    I understand what you mean. My Dad's Mom, who was never well enough for me to get to know as "Gram", was in a nursing home for a rather long time before passing away. A lot of those people are so alone, it's rather irritating. Their families drop them off, fill out the paperwork, and then take off.

    Once, I met a woman there who seemed confused but otherwise okay. It is my guess that she had Alzheimer's. She talked about where her home was and said, "Nobody calls, nobody writes". She was very together and yet very confused but she could hold a conversation just fine and she was coherent enough to question where everybody went.

    I felt so bad for her that I it was hard for me to walk away when it was time to go. It is truly nice to know that you care like you do because too many nursing home nurses – not all – but too many do not. Really, great job, I applaud you for trying to make someone's day a little brighter.

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