Confessions From Hospice Nurses Part 1 (G-uno)

In my opinion the majority of nurses can be divided into two basic categories the amazing Florence Nightingales, or the batshit crazy ones. Of course those two categories branch off into a thousand other categories, but those are most definitely the first two divisional starting points. “Ellie May Clampet” is dying. This is the part of my job that I absolutely hate.
She is an amazing woman who has lived a first rate life. I call her “Ellie May Clampet” for two reasons. The first is to protect her privacy, and the second is because in her younger photos she looks just like the beautiful blonde bombshell character in the old television series “The Beverly Hillbillies.” We have reached the stage where Hospice nursing is required around the clock.
Before every nurse out there wants to hang me from the nearest tree, let me just say I have the deepest respect for “MOST” of the nurses out there, but even you all cannot deny that the batshit crazy ones do exist. They are just a part of the whole medical community experience. I know most of you work your backsides off to care for your patients. You have a thankless job where your patients, their family members, doctors, D.O.N.s, CNAs, and facility managers who don’t have a clue as to what you do bitch, moan, and complain to you endlessly. I am truly sorry for this because you are truly extraordinary human beings.
Then there are you the “batshit crazy ones,” (stop shaking your heads you know who you are) the ones who pocket your patients antianxiety meds & pain killers. You hover over your nursing carts pretending to be busy, shaking your heads in the yes motion to every plea that comes your way while you simultaneously manage to never meet even one single request. There’s also the always stressed messed nurse who barks at anyone who even ventures to approach her cart. It keeps people from approaching you at all so you can hide until your wretched shift is over.
Hospice Nurses are usually nurses who have been floor nurses at hospitals, or other facilities. After years of dealing with the system they decide to revisit their initial desire to fully have time to care for a patient on a one to one personal basis. I believe that is the inner dream of all nurses. The system quickly robs your ability to fulfill this noble desire,and may even be somewhat be responsible for flipping a Florence Nightingale type into they batshit crazy type. Once again deep respect for the truly dedicated nurses who deal with this most difficult end of life nursing. That being said you tend to draw in your own special brand of batshit crazy nurses.
Ellie May’s family (a beautiful bunch who love their mother deeply) have asked me to continue being their mom’s assistant as she makes her journey to the other side. I have agreed to this so now when I am with her I am also sharing this time with her Hospice nurses. I prefer to physically care for Ellie May in the way that I have since we began our time together. While caring for her some of her nurses have decided to confide in me, sharing their personal stories. I think the fact that we are sharing this small room early in the morning with no one else there except Ellie May, makes it the perfect setting to tell two people who you will not see again some pretty personal confessions. πŸ˜‰

 

 

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  1. #1 by oceanswater on January 9, 2016 - 4:17 pm

    As an ex RN,BSN, I totally agree with the descriptions of some of the nurses. I have known nurses to go into a patient’s room with a pain injection med and the patient was so out of it that they never knew she was injecting them with normal saline and taking the drug herself…

  2. #4 by emmagc75 on January 9, 2016 - 6:02 pm

    My sister-in-law is a nurse and while she’s great in an emergency, her own Mom called her Nurse Rachett lol. We did hospice at home for my Mom so it was different. The nurse came 1-2xs a week. The aide was there every weekday for 6 hours. The aide Amanda, a total angel whom we loved lived far away so they sent her somewhere else. The rest were ok but lazy n not very helpful. We asked for Amanda back n I guess she agreed! I’ll never forget how shocked n happy my Dad n I were when we saw her car pull up outside 1 morning lol. We held hands n jumped up n down like little kids LMAO. He’s 6’4 and was 63. I’m 5’8 and was 33. My Dad had agreed to pay for her gas. My Mom adored her too. I actually have to call her n see how she is and Patricia the aide that took care of my grandma! Both truly special women that I consider angels n we stay in touch with. Thnx for the reminder!!

    • #5 by idioglossiablog on January 9, 2016 - 6:06 pm

      I’m sorry for your loss, and equally happy to know you bumped into a couple of angels! G-uno

      • #6 by emmagc75 on January 9, 2016 - 6:54 pm

        Thanks! I definitely believe that often we get back in this life what we give out. We treated them both like family and they were good to us too. Maybe I’m naive but I still find that most of us are good people.

  3. #8 by emmagc75 on January 9, 2016 - 6:04 pm

    Oh I hope Ellie May is comfortable and not in pain. Hugs xo! And we need an update on ur friend whose husband left.

    • #9 by idioglossiablog on January 9, 2016 - 6:08 pm

      Thank you. Ellie May is lovely! She’s a warrior. I will work on that update. πŸ˜‰
      G-uno

      • #10 by emmagc75 on January 9, 2016 - 7:01 pm

        That sounds like my Mom lol. A tiny barely 5 foot fierce and lovely warrior. She fought so hard to live til the very end. The only problem with warriors is you have to give them permission to let go. We had to leave her alone for a little while each day n tell her over n over it was okay to go for a few weeks before she would. Extremely difficult but it was necessary.

        • #11 by idioglossiablog on January 9, 2016 - 7:12 pm

          That is so true. What a beautiful acknowledgement of your Mom, and such a loving gift to her! This has been brutal for her children & family as well. Why is it that the most necessary things in life are equally as difficult… G-uno

          • #12 by emmagc75 on January 9, 2016 - 7:27 pm

            I don’t know but I accept it. Honestly after all she had done for us, we would’ve done anything for her. But it did take time to be ready. A few months prior late at night she called out Mom is that u, I see the light n I came running in my parent’s bedroom as my Dad popped up. I started clapping my hands loud near her n said STOP!!! GET AWAY!! STEP AWAY FROM THAT LIGHT RIGHT NOW!!!! Lol She woke up and we all laughed so hard. I just wasn’t ready to let her go then. But in my family we have always found things to laugh about πŸ™‚

          • #13 by idioglossiablog on January 9, 2016 - 8:57 pm

            A most difficult thing to accept. Even when we do it seems to take years to resonate. I’ve had a front row seat to many passings, and while the process is different for everyone the emotions of those left behind has always been the hardest thing to see. G-uno

          • #14 by emmagc75 on January 10, 2016 - 4:32 pm

            Yes while grief is different for us all, we do all have to eventually accept the loss. In time I made peace with losing a piece of my heart when I lost my Mom. But she’s always with me and I will be with her again one day πŸ™‚

  4. #15 by robertmgoldstein on January 11, 2016 - 5:34 am

    I went through so much dying during the AIDS epidemic. At that time Hospice care was something of a luxury and reserved for the rich. But gay men were dying twice: once from the homophobic system that thought they deserved it and then from the disease that ravaged them.

    As treatments improved the community responded with the Shanti Project…http://www.shanti.org/ …which was staffed by volunteers. As the epidemic deepened and lives got longer we had hospice care provided by volunteers.

    What you describe appalls me. The thought of being on my death bed and STILL at the mercy of an abusive addict fills me with dread.

    But I’m glad to know this.

    It affirms my thought that I’d rather just die then go through the agony of ending my life the way I began it.

    • #16 by idioglossiablog on January 11, 2016 - 4:29 pm

      Oh Rob my heart breaks that anyone could think any person deserves to have any sickness, or to be mistreated for any reason. I do want to say that in my situation it was not the Hospice nurse who got caught stealing the pain meds. It was the facilities’s floor nurse. Like any profession one bad apple spoils the bunch. We as a community, family member or friend must find a way to provide a way to oversee their loved ones care in any medical situation. G-uno

      • #17 by robertmgoldstein on January 12, 2016 - 6:12 am

        We had to live with AIDS, live with a political movement that used our suffering to gain power, and somehow learned to work around and with professionals who should have known better who also believed we were dying because we deserved it.

        We were lucky in that Lesbians really rallied and saved the day. They did most of the organizational work and caregiveing. If anything positive came from it it was that we proved that when a community pulls together it can survive even its most vicious enemies.

        • #18 by idioglossiablog on January 13, 2016 - 7:38 pm

          Love grows where the heart lives. It’s appalling to know this kind of hatred can exist. I don’t why we can not seem to learn to love one another in this life. Such an easy concept with phenomenal & boundless possibilities. G-uno

  5. #19 by Neurotic nurse on October 4, 2016 - 7:55 am

    Yes!

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