Monday, December 21, 2009

Graceful tactics

I wonder who allowed me such grace in this life? Was it a joke? Possibly. I fall when walking through the parking lot at Target, and I'm the kind of person who yells at the poor soul walking next to me like they pushed me to the ground. I have no grace yet some how I am often able to fake it. Fake it like you wouldn't believe.

"Myssi, make sure you do the treatments...and sign off on them."
yeah yeah, I will...I do everything. I'm pretty organized. I like to get things done, so don't you worry.
Treatments....I can do treatments.

I look at the sheet, get my accouterments (how'd ya like that 50 center?) ready and go into the room.

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR (me screeching to a halt)
hmmm, okie dokie, regroup, and regroup quickly....

"Hi, I'm Myssi, I'll be your nurse tonight...how are you feeling? Are you having any pain?"
I glance around the room, which is tightly packed with a customized hospital bed, Big Potty Chairs, and basically just a lot of stuff. It doesn't smell friendly in here. Frankly, it is kinda stinky.
The heat is cranked up and there is a caccoon of a woman hanging half on and half off the bed, legs like tree trunks, toenails wrapped around each toe. I glance at my medicine sheet to get a little quick info: She's barely 45 and about 400 pounds.
"No pain", she says, "just tired".
"Well good...I have a few treatments to do this evening. We have to get you all powdered up and make sure everything is doing ok skin wise, because you know, sometimes laying in this bed and not getting around you can have some skin issues".

"yeah, I know"
I plan my attack in my head. Should I start with the ladies and work down...or start with the tree trunks and work up? How much stuff will I need?
No sense lolli-gaggin, lets get on it.
"So Ms. Grande (name changed)...I think we could start with the top and work our way down..."(graceful, huh)
I pull on my rubber gloves,( and just so you know I didn't snap them like I usually do and think in my head 'bend over') and get all of my stuff on the table: ointment, antifungal, saline,warm washclothes ,22+ pillowcases, and some smell beautiful powder.
I gently undo her robe, which is barely covering anything, trying to remember this lady is sick, take a breath and start with the boobies.
Each skin fold, or area where skin touches skin I need to clean, powder and place something in between. On first glance I thought maybe gauze would work, or wash cloths, but on better inspection I chose pillowcases. Lifting each boobie I gently cleaned and powdered and tried to make small talk. You know, the weather, animals...avoiding all real talk....
"it's so nice to get clean" she says to me.
"Yes it is...and boy this powder smells like an English Tea Garden."
Each fold I lift is like wrasseling Jello squares, but bigger, and I want to giggle, because life is funny.
I get to her pannus...which is a fancy name for her belly roll... I can't lift it all...but my grace has kept me from calling another nurse for help. I figure this is odd enough for both of us. She reaches her chubby fingers down to help. There appears to be no bottom so I just wipe into the crevice and she announces that I did PERFECT...With a sigh she asks me if I could French braid her hair because she feels like Grizelda and can't bear it anymore. I grimace, I want to...but I can't French Braid...but I offer a normal braid? She glances at me and declines. (note to self...learn the art of French Braiding because it makes people happy.)
I move down to her legs and feel overwhelmed by the amount of skin and weight of her legs, but know it must be worse for her. People don't choose this...so I plod on. Clean, apply cream and powder up...I've places so many pillowcases between things she announces to me that maybe less cases would be better.
Hmmmm? "Maybe you are right"
So I start back at her belly and remove some of the cases and redo some.
I'm finally done.
I wish I had toenail clippers.
I ask her what is going on with her toenails?
She laughs and says they grow too fast.
"I see that", I say.

I step back and admire my work, and the fresh powdery air.
" I need to get up and use the bathroom," she announces into my cloud of powder.
Oh my god...
OK...Let's do this thing.
It takes us about 35 minutes to get up to the side of the bed. She giggled when she rolled back and I yelped.
"Wait a minute!!! Where are you going to?!!!" I screech.
"I'm Tipping ooovvvverrrr"

"Holy Shmoly...not on my clock lady!!"
She laughs, "You are funny."

yeah real funny...

We finally made it to the bathroom.
She sat down to peepee and it went on the floor.

I guess I didn't realize that if you have a large derrière the peepee part is not over the hole.

Oh well...
things happen...
I cleaned it up, commented on the fact at least we had slippers on and helped her back to bed.

"Goodnight, and Myssi, thank you, thank you for being so graceful."

3 comments:

Eliz said...

Your awesome Myssi! And not to mention funny, and yes graceful. Treating people with dignity and a little love is graceful! Good for you :)
PS Of course she had to go to the bathroom just AFTER you get her cleaned. Don't they always?

Mint Julep said...

That was a great story! You are a wonderful, graceful woman!
Glad we're friends =)

Cindy said...

Oh.my. That's all I plan to say.

Have a Merry Christmas!