Wednesday, April 14

Flowers for the old people

I just have to say that I have the most AMAZING husband in the world.
I've been doing clinicals at a nursing home for the past couple
weekends and it has been a bittersweet experience.
I have absolutely loved every minute of it,
but at the same time it's been heart wrenching.
Most of the people there are never leaving....they will die there.
Some of the people have family & friends who come to visit them regularly.
Some never have any visitors.
There was one man in particular who (the nurse told me)
has not had one visitor the whole time he has been at the nursing home.
He was my favorite :)
I'm not sure exactly what was wrong with him, but he couldn't talk.
He would try his hardest to but the only sound that came
out was like a grunting sound.
Whenever he was not down in the dining room for a meal,
he was sitting in his wheelchair
at the nurses station just watching everything that was going on.
He didn't want to be sitting in his room alone. I don't blame him.
I wouldn't want to be either.
He wanted to be around people.
Whether he could talk to us or not, he still wanted that human interaction.
I was shaving his face for him one day & I was leaning over
looking to make sure I had gotten it all & I said, "Look how handsome you
are underneath all that hair!" He put his hands up to cover his face &
when he moved them, he had this big mischievous grin on his face!
I laughed & then it hit me...he's still in there.
He's stuck inside a body that is failing him.
A body that doesn't work the way it's supposed to anymore.
I cried for him a little bit inside, thinking how frustrating that would be...
to not be able to control your body....
to have to rely on everyone around you to even get out of bed in the morning.
One afternoon, a package was delivered for him.
Inside was a pair of new diabetic shoes.
We put them on him and from the look on his face you
would have thought it was Christmas morning!
I don't think he stopped smiling & admiring his new shoes the rest of the day.
A new pair of shoes was seriously the most exciting part of his life.
How sad is that? :(

There was another little lady who I just loved.
She was so sweet & always so polite.
Every time I went in to help her with anything she would apologize
over & over for bothering me. It broke my heart a little every time.
And I told her over & over that she was not bothering me & that
I would love to help her with anything she needed.

During some down time one day, I went in her room & sat and
talked with her for probably 20 minutes. She told me all about her grandchildren.
Her face lit up & I could tell she was just so excited to have someone to not only talk to,
but to listen to her stories.

She had some really cool dyed easter eggs sitting on her table that
I asked her about. She told me they were from way back when she was a little girl
(the egg had been sucked out & just the shell was left) & they had
colored them with onion skins. She told me exactly how they did it &
I'm totally going to try it next year!

Anyway, I came home from clinicals on Saturday & cried to
Jeff about how sad I was for the old people & how lonely most of them are
& how I wish there was something I could do to change the situations they are in.
Sunday morning I found dozens of roses on the kitchen table with a note saying
to take them & give one to all the old people to brighten their day a little bit :)

He is the GREATEST!


Heather Strong said...

Gosh this brought tears to my eyes! That is so awesome that you are able to give the old people some affection. I also love the letter from your little sister. So funny! That is so annoying as a married couple, everyone just sort of sits around and waits for you to get pregnant as if you have nothing else to do ha ha. I must admit, though, having a baby is awesome. :)

Caitlin said...

You're going to be the best nurse! My mom always talks about loving nursing but how there are so many people who just do it because it's a career and they have to pay their bills. You can always tell the ones who love helping and actually care. I'm so excited for you to finish. You're going to be the best!!!!

Amy Nielson said...

What a nice Jeffy!!

You are going to be such a great nurse!! You are definitely going into the right career for you. I can tell how much you care about people.