Getting drunk at work.

It’s around 7:30am and I’m half way done in getting my residents out of bed for breakfast (yes, I am THAT quick on occasion) when I stop to look out the window. The view itself is nothing special – busy streets, apartment buildings and pedestrians. What intrigues me is the little white drops falling from the sky. I smile as I watch the snow fall. I know it won’t stay, it’s only here to visit for maybe an hour or two, but while it’s here I intend to enjoy its presence. Winter time is always such a magical time I find. Yes, there’s the obvious hate of winter driving and cold fingers but if you look beyond that it really is quite enjoyable. First off – if you can’t drive in the snow, then get the fuck off my roads and secondly, wear some gloves!

I run into one of my favourite gentlemen as I make my way up the hallway.
“What’s shakin’ J!” I greet him quite loudly. He smiles at me and shakes his head. “Not much babe,” he replies.
“Want to go play in the snow?”
“The what…?” he looks so perplexed. Have I got two heads all of a sudden?

“You heard me, look outside it’s snowing! I want to go play in it.”
“You’re drunk.”

Oh, to get drunk with my 90-year-old buddies would be fantastic. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been asked to bring in some beer or to some how make a martini. If not for the dozens of medications they ingest on a daily basis, I’m sure alcohol wouldn’t be an issue.

Tomorrow night I am attending a seminar which my DOC asked me to go to. There are 10 spots available and she asked ME. Now, this isn’t too surprising as I’ve always been on good terms with her but still, I feel pretty awesome when the big boss specifically asks for me. I’ll let you know what happens 🙂

Christmas Trees & Loose Bowels

I had a lovely day at work today. I wish I could just leave it at that but one sentence doesn’t seem worth the update, although I think that’s what describes it perfectly.

One of the many, many reasons I love my place of employment is because at this time of year everyone is happy. Sure, we’re all stressed because of shopping and food and overtime and crazy drivers but underneath all that crap we realize that life is pretty good. When I walked in to work this morning the first thing I saw before the elevator was a massive Christmas tree. A beautiful mass of green with twinkly lights, coloured balls and ribbon. I can’t describe – although I try – how lovely that was to see. The first sign of the holiday season always makes me smile. But I’m getting off topic, maybe I should start a blog on Christmas? HA!

A lot of people ask me if Christmas time especially is depressing at a long term care home. You know what? It’s not. I suppose a lot of it is based on how you view it, but if you look closely you’ll see a whole other world. It’s not Christmas like you and I would celebrate. We have the luxory of going out and visiting family – most of which are still living – and KNOWING what Christmas is. Some of these people are so far gone in their dementia that they’ve completely lost the concept of the holiday. When it gets to that point, it’s not sad anymore. For other residents, most of which have family and there are always events going on.  I do believe I’ve touched on this before so I won’t bore you.

Speaking of the season and the generosity it brings out in people, let me tell you something that happened to me today. This was completely unexpected and totally blew me a way. I do believe I almost cried – yeah, I’m very girly in that way, I don’t like it much but what can you do – because that’s how touched I was.

I received a little card with a lovely hand lotion from a resident’s daughter. It simply stated how happy and greatful she was for all the work I do for her father.
I don’t do this job because I expect gifts or bonuses. I do it because I enjoy it and I love helping people without anything in return. However, I am so happy and pleased that the work we all do – as PSWs or nurses – doesn’t go unnoticed. That little bit of recognition and a simple thank you is more than enough for me, so the idea of receiving a gift is the equivalent of winning the lottery.

The next time I see her I’ll have to give her a hug.

In other PSW news, my poor darling – well, one of them – had a very very loose BM today and it got all over her pants. She was so embarassed, but I calmed her down by telling her the story of how many times I’ve vomited in front of people. We had a good laugh. Loose bowels and vomit is nothing to be ashamed of people!

I now have very sore feet, so I think I’ll go relax before my cat decides to sit on my computer.

Noodles & Flu Shots

Oi. It’s that time of year again, where the flu is abundant and everyone you know is sniffling, sneezing, coughing, or all 3. And if they’ aren’t YET, chances are they will be. The last time I was sick was just after Thanksgiving – great timing – so I’m hoping I won’t get sick again for a while. But hey, who are we kidding. It’s me, and I work with the elderly and already sick. Neo Citran & NyQuil are some of my best friends. However, even though I find it silly to try to prevent the inevitable, I got my flu shot today. Even if I didn’t want my flu shot, I haven’t a choice as it’s a job requirement. Luckily I work with nurses so I just get it when it’s available at work which saves me having to go out of my way elsewhere.

You know what else is fabulous about this time of year? ISOLATION! Alright, let me explain.

If a resident is severely sick with the flu or cold, they are isolated to their rooms as a way to prevent other people from catching it. Worse case scenario is that EVERYONE is sick and bed ridden – oh, it happens – and that means tray service to all the rooms. Disposable trays, utensils, plates, robes, gloves, masks – EVERYTHING. It is a lot easier to monitor people ans help people when they are all in the same room. Some residents cannot be left a lone to eat as they need help or at risk for choking. So figure it out: 3 PSW’s – at MOST, 1 in the dining room and the rest of us running from room to room to help those that are sick. Pain in the ass? Absolutely. Do I complain when I’m at work? NO. Seriously. I knew this going in, so I just roll with it. Today I had 2 residents on isolation. One of which is capable of eating on their own, so I checked up on them every couple of minutes to see how they were making out. My other resident is blind therefore needs my help. This doesn’t happen often, but it happens.

We’ve also been lucky enough to have some extra help the last couple of weeks and today was their last day. 2 students from …. damn, I forget which school, have been working with us as a part of their course. I LOVE students. First of all, I know what it’s like as I’ve been there before and secondly, extra help! 2 more pairs of hands! It’s very exciting and helps us out tremendously. Today they brough us some fancy noodle dish and a cake from their native Philippines as a thank you to us for helping and teaching them. I thought that was such a lovely gesture as no one was expecting it at all.

Just some more reasons as to why my job is AWESOME.