Sunday, March 28, 2004

Show Me The Way To Go Home

Rachel used that as a title to one of her entries a few days back. The song, though I really don't know it, sparked a memory of a lady I used to care for in a nursing home. Since that day, this lady has been flooding my mind so I feel the need to share the story. So here goes...

I used to care for this lady (we'll call her Jane) in a nursing home years ago. Jane suffered from old age and dementia. She was bound to a wheel chair, though could stand and pivot on her own. She could also walk about 20ft with a bit of help. Anyways, she was always into trouble. She'd wheel by you in the hallway and pinch you on the bottom. Or she'd wait until there was a crowd of people and come up to you and say, "Did you fart?" And then always just smile this big, wide toothless grin. Everyone adored Jane. She was a lot of fun to be with. At night when we were putting her to bed, we'd kneel down and sing (very off tune) in her ear, "Show Me the way to go home..." and she would bellow out "I'm tired and I wanna go to bed..." When we would lay her down, she'd call out, "are you coming in?" :)

So one day, the state was at the nursing home doing their yearly inspection. The State Inspector was standing at the nurses station where a nurse, Rod, and myself were charting. The Inspector was talking to us and all of a sudden I felt Rod kicking my leg. I was about to turn around and tell him to knock it off when I looked into the lounge and saw Jane topless. When I went to her and tried to put her shirt back on (without the Inspector noticing) she yelled out "I don't wanna do that" I finally got her shirt back on and she started to scoot away in her chair but not without going by the Inspector, pinched his bottom, and asked "Did you fart?" :)

Jane had a husband who was still fully capable of taking care of himself. Everyday her husband would come to the nursing home and feed her her dinner. One day her husband came in and we were all sitting around the feeding tables. I looked over at Jane and she had a very mischievous look on her face and I was really just wondering what she was up to. I looked over at the nurse who was sitting beside me and said, "heads up" and nodded towards Jane. A few minutes later, Jane looked over at her husband with this huge grin and says, "I could ride you all night, Stallion." at which point his face turned beet red and she threw her head back in this very full belly laugh. The nurse and myself couldn't help but bust out in laughter. He just kept saying to her, " you don't say things like that in public!" and she couldn't stop laughing. It is one of my favorite memories of her.

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