I worked my second shift at the long term care facility Friday night. I worked the Alzheimer's unit, which was actually quite nice. I learned they don't give them as many meds so I was able to get done passing all the pills by 830, but was still lacking on the actual "care" part. I enjoyed it. I love the little people who yell for their dogs when there is no dog insight. Or tell you how beautiful you are even though they can't see you..makes me smile.
After dinner when almost all the the meds were passed, Fran walks up to me. Fran is this very New York looking older lady with the thick coke bottle glasses with black rims and is always very nicely dressed. You would never know she had any issues at all....she always looks as if she is on her way to a Bar Mitzvah.
She walks up to me and gently taps me on the shoulder. She has tears in her eyes.
"What's wrong Frannie?" I say.
"Can YOU help me?"
She asks me this as she is digging open her mouth and leaning down to show me something inside the cavernous hole. Now, I don't get grossed our very easy, but sometimes teeth and mouth freak me out. I step back and get my breath, just in case.
"Here, Look right Heeeeereeeeeeeeee!"
She is pulling her lip down so far I'm thinking her teeth may POP out, but they don't. She is digging her long, red painted fingernail into the side of her gums, digging desperately at the base of her tooth.
"There is SOMETHING there!"
"Fran, all I see is your tooth...stop digging at it and go brush your teeth,I'm sure that will help."
She turned to me and whimpered with tears in her eyes..."why can't you just pull it out? Can you give me some tweezers?"
Jeesus christ NO...
She wrapped her arms around my neck and started sobbing right into my face. I felt so bad, but there was nothing there. Just an old tooth...
She was angry for the rest of the evening.
I finished my shift, drove home, and immediately hopped into the shower. As I washed all the smells of the long day down the drain, I took a deep cleansing breath. All I could taste was old people. I could taste the smell of old people.