Hi again everyone, I'm back again, and I plan to try and stay more active now, if I can find the energy to well, mostly I've been doing pretty good since last time, making progress, much thanks to my therapist, and some few good friends... every now and then I hit my down spots, but geuss there's really no gettingthat to stop completly, and mostly they aren't as bad as they used to be, tough at the moment I'm in one of my weird moods where I just have a ton of mixed feelings, and just no one to talk to at the moment (everyone's asleep, since it's the middle of the night where I live).
I went to the movies with my best friend tonight, and had a great time, so I'm really happy, but at the same time I feel like crying.. and then, I'm going to my therapist tomorrow, and I don't really want to, cause I feel she's done what she can to help me, but I don't know how to tell her that, and I'm afraid if I quit going I'll get worse again, but at the moment it's just bugging me to go there... and then, even tough people keep telling me I'm kind and full of empathy and so on, some toughts I'm having make me feel evil, and what makes me feel worse is that I don't feel guilty about it.. for example, I work in a nursing home for dementia patients, and since the patients are really old and ill someone dies every now and then, cause that's just the way of life, so last night when I was at work this old man who has only lived there for a week gets really sick and dies, and all I can think of is that I'm just kind of relieved, cause he was really a pain in the ass and disturbing the other patients and annoying the hell out of all the staff... I mean, a human being has died and all I can think of is that I wont have to hear him shout for stuff every damn second anymore...it feels wrong, and mean, but I can't really feel guilty about thinking it... and that kind of makes me wonder what's wrong with me...
so yeah, I'm feeling all this stuff at the same time, and it kind of feels like I wish my brain could just make up it's mind and stick to one feeling, preferbly the happy one... well, anyway, just needed to tell someone that...
Those feelings are normal in the nursing field at first. But soon you will know in your heart, dementia people are living with a disease they can't control. It's like they go back in time to a world of terrible two's all over again...mostly with end stage illness...so be patient and kind to yourself, your human to feel this way.
But try putting yourself in their shoes..i will never forget a lesson in School..
The teacher made us cut up a piece of paper in ten squares..and then we had to write all the things in life that we loved, excluding religion..then fold them up...and one piece at a time she said what would you give up of these ten things if you had no choice..This was the most tearful lesson I ever had in school...but we gave up one piece of our life ten times..until we had nothing left at all..thus why religion was not allowed..we cant give that up...its a belief of a real thing...but not a tv..or music...so we ended up with nothing in the end. And thats exactly the way the elderly with illness feel..they have nothing, they just have a roof over their heads..no nothing else..but the food they are served..they dont even have a choice in that. And after awhile..the visitors stop by their families..and thats when they lose the will to live..because even on my little paper...i put my family members..but after awhile they go away too..They lose the will to live..and thats really not the way it should be..try your best to think of why they act the way they do..it will open your mind up again...try it..you will see what a difference it makes..in loving what you do.
08/10/2011 12:53 PM
Posts: 14112 Group Leader
Hello Ida and welcome back dear it is good to see you. I agree with Patty you are human and it is hard in those situations.
I will say I was the patient twice in nursing homes and it is really bad. Alot of the people feel your just a burden to them because they do not get paid much and are over worked and Patty is right over time family do tend to pull away. And they pretty much have no one but you guys. Alot of them are cold and hard acting but when you realize all they have lost you have a better understanding on why they act like they do. They are like little childern again and need love and understanding. Of course it does not mean it will not be annoying at times and rough to take but put yourself in their shoes to help have a better understanding on how they feel and why. Your such a sweet person I know in time your heart will soften to their needs.
Take good care and welcome back. Hugs and Many Blessings!
well, I just want to say that I did treat him well, as I do with all the patients, no matter how annoying I think they are... cause that's what my job is, to help them and make their life as good as they can be... and most of the patients I feel sorry for, and I do understand their ilnesses and that they can't help how they act most of the time, this is the only patient I felt this way for when he died, so yeah, I don't know, I'm not as terrible as you make it sound, or so I think at least....vand then, almost none of the people I work with is hard and cold to the patients, we try to make it as loving a place that we can... that's why I feel like there's something wrong with me when I for the first time just feel nothing but relief that he died... it's not something I'm used to...
08/10/2011 01:26 PM
Posts: 5177 VIP Member
Hi Ida, nice to have you back. I am a big believer that no thought, feeling, opinion can be right or wrong. HOWEVER, what we do w/ these thoughts, feelings and opinions are the real 'tells'. In your case, if a family member came to the nursing home for any reason and you said you were so relieved at the death of this person's parent, cousin, whatever, you've got serious problems. But if you feel the way you feel and stuff it in until you are away from work, possibly w/ a family member or a friend you trust not to scream at you for your feelings, you can let the feelings out by talking about them in a safe place.
As you may remember, I was shoved into a dementia ward based on screeners' documents that let me know that,w/ a few exceptions (thank goodness the one who did my hearing) even judges don't give a damn about mental patients. When I FINALLY found a way to get the records that were illegally being kept from me, I saw that all 3 documents were one paper, copied 3 times and given to 3 different different shrinks to sign. But if the judge had even bothered to look at what s/he was signing, there should have been questions. And the forms were all made up. I am not psychotic and do not have dementia. My mind decided to go on vacation when my kidneys tried to stop working. But my kidneys came back w/o my mind because that was being drugged away from me - as was my life. And any educated person in this country (not an insult Ida, I just don't know what the laws are for you) seeing that the only physical problem listed was diarrhea (they left off my many disabilities 'cause the attending who was killing me w/ 30 meds I didn't need just wanted me to die elsewhere), anyway, the documents w/ just diarrhea and then saying I was retired on disability would have to know the idiocy of such a document. A man who did some kind of very specialized work on roofs lost his leg and applied for SSD. He was denied. The reason? He could teach others to do what he did when he was able. That argument could be made for almost anybody applying for SSD, but if anyone reading this believes they gave me SSD because I have diarrhea, I've some lovely ocean-front property in Nevada I'd love to sell. I also told Jim if they were giving me SSD for diarrhea, they owed me for the 50 or so years they didn't pay me. NHI - no humans involved. And that goes for 6 hospitals, but it was only in the first two that they made a concerted effort to kill me. I am not paranoid. MY bp was 90/40 and they were giving me 3 bp meds 3 x day. I had the worst diarrhea of my entire life, and they were giving me something that Jim had told the atending in the med ctr would cause my mind to be unable to reacclimate itself, and if they kept giving them to me I probably wouldn't live out a week. When my mind finally came back I had nurses chasing me all day w/ little cups of meds. And whenever they caught me I refused the meds. One night my nurse was the one who was truthful, had stopped asking me the dementia test, and when I aked her if she'd seen my vitals. She had. I asked her if her bp readings looked like mine (I finally came up to about ``5/78)if she'd take meds for it. She said no. I asked her why she chased all over creation just to hear me tell her I was not taking them. She said it was her job. A lot of time that could be better used in even talking to the dementia patients.
I spent so much time trying to figure out what happened to me (as many of you know) that it didn't occur to me until last week to report the hospitals - all 6 - to Eldercare. The time limit was long gone. The investigator in the prosecutor's office told me to file a complaint about the cop who allowed my kids in here to take my belongings. I asked him if all those who thought I was crazy were going to run around investigating each other. HE
Also, there was one woman I took a liking to. She was 95 years old, black, and her skin was so beautiful that she looked like a cracker-jack make-up artist did her face before she left her room each day. She thought it was 1776. But I told her we'd elecrted a black president, and she perked up right away - w/ a smile to match the beautiful skin. They did a board every day - day, date, where we were, next holiday, etc., and when it was all filled in they'd ask me to read it. One day my friend Sue was sitting at a table reading something out loud. I stayed where she couldn't see me because I didn't want her to think she had to stop. The next morning I asked the person doing the board to ask Sue to read it. She told me Sue was 95 years old. I said, 'your point?' The board got done and the person asked me to read it. I stood up and put it in the right position for Sue to see it and asked Sue if she'd like a turn at reading the board. She shone, glowed, smiled, and read the board beautifully - as I'd known she would. I glared at the person who ran the group until she thanked Sue and told her what a nice job she did.
Once my subconscious mind refused meds and a few days went by so that I was beginning to speak like a relatively well educated adult again, many of the workers saw me as one of them. If they didn't want to do something, they'd ask me to do it. And of course I could read the board more easily than most people in the room, and most of them probably couldn't, but nobody gave a damn. Sue was so sweet and even tempered. I finally gave up on the year, and I worked w/ her during breakfast and lunch each day. When I saw an ambulance crew about to roll her out, I called out to ask them to wait a sec so I could say good-bye. (Not one of the abusive, cruel teams in any of y ambulances would have even answered anyone saying that as they took me out. Can't imagine where the PTSD came from.) I went over to Sue, and I asked her if she remembered what we'd talked about. She said she sure did - that she was a proud black woman and we were going to have a black president in office. She could do more w/ promoting, but the crew already did me a favor by waiting, and everybody in the general area who heard my discussion beamed. I broke a rule (oh well) and bent down and kissed her on the cheek. I told her to keep telling herself about the new president and how proud she was. She said she would, I thaked the crew, and she was gone. When there was no activity, the staff members would leave the people who needed supervision to do nothing while the aides had discussions at the side of the room in very loud voices. Every night one of the aide asked me to pick a movie. I happen to love the same old movies as the people in the ward. I'd pick, the aide would turn it on and immediately turn the already too low volume down, and they'd go back to their partying as I left the room. One night the aide ran to catch up. She asked me why I piced movies I liked every night and then left. I told her I had no desire to watch a movie while hearing only the group of them partying. Think it helped?
Two other things the staff did that made my blood boil (actually almost everythng they did made my blood boil), but one was w/ a patient who washed the tables before meals, cleared them after and washed them again. Then she swept the floor. The aides kept telling her they were going to give her a paycheck. And she believed them. She wsa not 95, and was a bit confused as she was there for ECT, but she knew what they were saying and when she'd ask for her check they'd tell her when she left. When she was leaving she asked and they said it would come in the mail. I went over to them after she was gone and told them, when I helped w/ bingo or called the numbers when the regular person had a sore throat, and the talked about paying me, I knew they were kidding, but this woman did not, and that was nothing if not cruel. The one other thing for now was that the aides didn't disrupt their evening parties for anything. There would be people in the room calling that they had to go to the bathroom, and one aide would call be soon. In Sue's case, she was not totally out of her mind, and she had dignity. When they left her until she wet her panties, she'd get very angry, and they'd call the nurse to inject her to calm her down. And I thought the care in the nursing home where my grandparents died was bad. When they did or said cruel things to me I'd give back what I was getting, always remembering to do it w/ honey, not vinegar 'cause I'd no idea why I was there, that the judge had ordered me out but they didn't tell me for 3 weeks 'cause that was another $15,000 they could charge Medicare for the so-called bed. I was otherwise a cheap patient. I helped the group leadiers, had no food for 4 weeks but jello, had no treatment of any kind. Even when I begged to see the doc who handled physically problems the nurse would say she'd put me on the list when she finished what she was doing. One nurse, I'm reasonably sure the only one who knew I was as sane as she was and who never lied to me told me the best time to request such a consult because the doctor there at that time was kind, listened well, etc. And then she said it was the time and day and she'd put me on the list. Don;t know if she forgot or was ignored, but I was in agony for about 3 weeks and kept from seeing a doctor.
Maybe more people in nursing homes should have to experience staying there for a few days before the staff knows the patient was about to join them - kinda what you said, I think, Patty. Good to see you.
sylvia, of course I didn't tell the man's family how I felt, I'm neither stupid nor mean... and you've told me what you've been trough before, and well, I don't think that would ever be let to happen where I work... cause we do really care for our patients, and try to ask them what they want etc as much as is possible, and we would never try to fool or deciet them just to be mean...
08/10/2011 02:30 PM
Posts: 5177 VIP Member
Ida, just saw your second post. Must have come up as I was typing. A fairly new detective on one of my 'law and order' or some comperable show asked her training officer when she'd get used to working w/ the homocide victims and having to tell family members of deaths. He told her if she did, it was time to transfer back to foot patrol or to quit and work collecting trash - which, he said, probably paid better anyway. The idea is to care enough about human beings and to be as kind as you can be, but not to get so attached that it affects your work w/ the patients. The units I was in, even the medical hospital now that I've finally gotten the records, were nightmares. I keep saying I can't figure out how Obama is going to straighten out the healthcare system until he creates a healthcare system. We sure don't have one now. All of these doctors who lied about me to protect the ass of the guy who almost killed me, and, in fact, starting w/ the report from the EMT who took me out of here, it was as if I was going to end in a mental hospital or the attending was going to lose his license trying. The EMT talked about my mind, my apartment not being clean, but she somehow managed to miss the fact that I was so dehydrated and raging w/ fever that I'd have been dead if she'd come a day later. And frankly, what they did to my life w/ all this dreck, I wish to hell my doc had waited a day to call. They left me in a position where I am jailed in my own apartment which isn't even my apartment anymore because my children stole everythng that made it mine, and everything that mattered to me. And in all this time, I am still remembering things they took from me. When I was watching Memorial Day concerts, and there was a quick film of a flag being taken from a coffin, folded properly and handed to the dead soldier's wife I suddenly realized that I no longer have the flag from my Uncle Sammy's grave, and it had meaning for me becuae I inherited love and grief for him from my mother, but as is Jewish custom to name a baby for someone who's memory we wish to keep alive, and I, along w/ about 30 cousins, now in 4 generations of my family are named for him.
I told my doc it's obvious to me that other women on the verge of rrnal failure clean the house, wash the dished and do the laundry, shower, fix their hair and make-up, put on a cashmere twinset w/ the right length pearl necklace nad then they lie down and wait for the EMT's to arrive. I just missed everythng but passing out.
But these doctors, and all staff members and all ambulance units were unbelievably cruel and w/ very few exceptions should have been working on ant farms, not w/ human beings. I will day that all of the complaints I've been filing are mostly trying to let the anger out in the right place while, in spite of what the non-English people thought, having quite enough intelligence to expect nothing from any of the complaints. I am finished except for a letter to the judge, and I didn't have enough background until now to finish the letter. The first two hospitals were illegally denying my request for my records to be sent to my doctor (if they come to me, I'd have had to pay hundreds of dollars; to one's doc is continuing care - no charge.
But another reason I could not give up is that I did not eat dinner next to my wonderful Uncle Abe every night until I got married for nothing. I watched my mother get walked on, but I watched Uncle Abie change the world. And I refused to stop until I was sure I'd done everything I could to save even one patient of going thru what I did. And the country mental house clearing center sent me a letter telling me the outcome of the investigation - they asked the inhuman and inhumane screener if he lied to me. What was he going to say? So I called back the patient advocate and told her she'd missed everything I said. She had to head of the unit I was in call me, and she was the first person I talked to in any of the places involved who actually heard what I was saying. We talked for about 3 hours and she called me aa few days later to check some things she'd written quickly. Then she told me she could lose her job for saying so, but she didn't believe for a second that I was anything but extremely intelligent and definitely not suffering from any severe psychosis, and when she saw the dementia on the for she got out after speaking w/ me she could only laugh. She told me I was the only person to ever give her such intelligent, fair feedback, and after we spoke the first time she'd spoken w/ her boss and they changed a number of the protocols for the way the unit is run so that at least fewer people will end up w/ PTSD as I did. And she told me to keep her number handy at all times and if anyone tried to lock me up to call her and she'll tell the screener to leave me alone. She also said I could call her even if I just wanted my hand held for a bit by someone who wouldn't dissect every word to decide if I was in danger. Her boss called me also and said the same things and asked me to keep his number handy also. The one thing she probably doesn't know is that if anyone shows up in non-working hours, I did something I very rarely do and took her cell # off my caller ID.
I am definitely not saying all nursing homes are like the place I was. It wasn't a nursing home but a STCF (short term care facility), and because of the treatment there, I said and I thought the place where my grandparents were was bad. You may be unfamiliar w/ the way I'm using the words; what I'm saying is that I thouht the place my grandparents were was bad, but it was paradise compared to that ward I got thrown in. Nobody cared about patients at all, and I'm not going over this story again. I don't want y'all tracking me down w/ rotten eggs and tomatos in your hands. Truth is I'm going thru one of the worst things that can happen to me other than a death, and I think the crap from the renal almost-failure and its repercussions is back so I move my mind from the current personal tragedy until I'm ready to deal w/ that.
I do not know what I am doing to get my paragraphs so out of order, but having had no sleep last night,if something doesn't make sense, please put it together w/ anoher paragraph to make it fit?
Dear sweet Ida, I think part of the problem is that we're talking apples and oranges. You are talking about nursing homes and I am talking short term care facilities for people w/ mental problems. Or in my case, a cop who's angry w/ me, and he definitely has very little intelligence. I am sure that he ran out to meet the screener and some money changed hands because the other 3 times he tried to get me locked up the screeners spoke quietly w/ me and knew I hadn't said anything the cop said I did. The things they said I said when he finally got his way, were not only said by cops and not by me, but they were from the other 3 trips, not said that day because nothing was said that day except for him and his 3 buddies screaming at me trying to make me look manic. Still, STCF for those w/ alleged mental problems are totally different from nursing homes. My aunt was in a nursing home until her death at 91, and the place was like a5 star hotel. There is no way to compare, I think, w/o seeing or making clear, what we're discussing. The bottom line is that we are both saying the same thing. LOL
08/10/2011 02:41 PM
Posts: 5177 VIP Member
Ida, I'm sorry. I think you misunderstood my meaning. I know you would never say anything that cruel and hurtful. I was trying to say it's ok to feel, think whatever you like, and it's never 'wrong' because what we feel is ours. But IF you'd said that you'd be in trouble. In other words, if the guy is obnoxious, when you're not at work, or on coffee break call a friend and express what you are feeling to someone you trust. I know you are sweet and caring and would not do that. I was trying to tell you not to beat yourself up for feeling like he was a pain in the ass if he was in fact a pain in the ass.
Did I explain that right? You know I adore you, and even if I didn't I wouldn't accuse you or anyone of saying such things for the same reasons you wouldn't say such things. WHEW! I hope we are in sync now?
08/11/2011 07:15 AM
Well, sorry, I misunderstood you inte first answer =) now we're on the same page, I tihnk and I am sorry for what you've been trough, and wish I could go and knock som sense in each and everyone of the idiots that made you suffer... and yeah, sure there's a different, with nursing home and what you talk about, tough, it's probably different from place to place, no matter what kind of "home" we're talking about... much has to do with the person in command and the typ of people that gets hired... and honestly, I think one problem in the US is that what matters when it comes to helath care is money, wich makes the parts of helath care that has patients who can't pay a lot really bad... here in sweden, the government and cities runs the healthcare, and it's not as much about making profit, since there's a cost limit that when you reach it you don't have to pay anymore. well, I do hope that the helath care system in the US will improve a lot...
and yeah, I think one of the reason I didn't feel so much for this man that died is that he had only been with us for a week or so, so I hadn't really gotten to know him yet...
take care sylvia and hope you're future gets better than the past!!
08/11/2011 07:49 AM
Posts: 9116 VIP Member
Hi Ida, glad you are doing a bit better. Sounds like you are experiencing alot of emotions at same time and that can be overwhelming to deal with. I have experienced that before and it's hard to feel all it. I just try to hang on and wait for it to pass. It usally does but I have to be patient and keep my inner strengh and hope. As far as your job goes, it's never easy to see people in pain, suffer or die. Nurses may initally has difficulty with that and may develop along the way some sense of reality. Maybe they feel close to a patient, grieve over them but recognize how you were a help to them. Nurses have more personal contact with patients than the doctors do and that can be a positive experience for the patients if you are a caring, empathetic nurse.
The healthcare system in the US is a mess and need to be looked at changed. There is alot of uncertainty that is driving costs up with insurance companies and affecting the job market and care patients get, plus hostitals experiecing finacial destress and some even closing. So some changes are in order with real solutions that don't comprimise patient care, jobs, increasing insurance premiums so companies can't pay for it. At the same time, I don't know about Sweden's system but I know the UK system, the government is in charge of your care, tells you if you qualify for surgery and such, has long waiting list so long a patient could die waiting for a needed surgery and that system jeopardizes patient care so I am not for that system either. Hope things can change. The world is all affected by this and the economic challenges. Rachele
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