two seniors laughing

On the night shift, someone was calling out in the dining room in the early morning.

Old gent with Dementia, poking his head out of his room: “Someone is yelling out there and I haven’t got my shot gun.”

I tucked in next to him, hoping to nudge him back into his room.

Old gent with Dementia: “What are you trying to do? Get behind me so she can shoot me instead of you?”

I explained that his room was the safest place to be and he shuffled inside.

Old gent with Dementia: “Why is she yelling like that?”

Me: “She’s sick. She’s lost her mind.”

Old gent with Dementia: “Most women have.”

Me, as I escorted this Old Gent with Dementia back to bed: “They’ll be coming by to get you up for breakfast soon.”

Old Gent: “You mean I have to go down with the commoners again?”

Me: “Oh, are you royalty?”

Old Gent: “Yes, I am. I’ve been telling them that, but they won’t believe me.”

Me: “What’s your title?”

Old Gent: “The King of Fifth Street.”

I looked across the dining room to see Sweetie, speaking her usual gibberish, sitting at the table in her wheel chair with bright green, amoeba-like globs of mucus spattered over her bib. I promptly went over and changed it. Standing behind her, I secured the fresh bib around her neck and then put my face down next to hers, giving her an impromptu hug.

“I love you,” she said.

Two Sweeties approached me in the hospital hallway. Sweetie #2 was weepy.

Sweetie #1, with concern: “You’ve helped me many times in the past. Can you help this woman? She needs a hug.”

Me, throwing my arms open wide to Sweetie #2: “Of course!”

I administered the medication.

The other day, I was answering a bell and the gent was sleeping. I nudged him. “What do you need?” I said.
He looked up, slightly bewildered, unaware that he had pushed the nurse button. “Well, it’s not my birthday, but maybe you could sing O Canada for me.”

I obliged and this toothless gent joined in, all off-key and smiling away. After our duet, he commented about how fortunate we are to live in this country. Indeed. I thanked him for the reminder.

99-year-old sweetie, standing by her bed: “Should I jump into bed now?”

Me: “Sure.”

99-year-old sweetie, after she turns and slowly sits down: “I forgot to jump.”

Same 99-year-old sweetie, as I’m wheeling her carefully down out of the shower: “I’m a heavy, old bag, aren’t I?”

99-year-old sweetie, as I turned her light on this morning: “What did I have, a boy or a girl?”

Funny female patient with no filter: “I see you’ve got your winter tires on already”.

She pointed at the rolls of flab around my middle.

Me: “They’re All Season.”

I whizzed by a patient’s room on my way to somewhere else, when the patient called out to me. “I’ll be there in a moment,” I called back.

When I arrived in his room he said, “I only wanted to point out the beautiful sunrise this morning, but, as you can see, it’s almost gone.”

I was surprised and delighted by this uncommon summons. I assured him that I had caught a glimpse and explained that I noticed, since moving to Lethbridge, the unusual beauty of the sunrises and sunsets here.

“Why do you suppose that is?” I asked.

“Because we are blessed”, he said.

Me: “It’s early in the morning. You may want to get a bit more shut eye.”

Lovely Lady preparing for the day at 2:00 in the morning: “Did you hear about the lady that went to heaven?”

Me: “No”

Lovely Lady: “Well, that’s me. I’m going to heaven today.”

Me: “Really?”

Lovely Lady: “Well, not right away. My daughter is picking me up first and taking me shopping. I need some towels for heaven.”

I am currently doing a temporary run of full-time nights at the hospital. I float around the darkened unit like a goodly ghost, stocking up the necessities for the next day, tending to those with night-time woes, offering quiet care and smiles. I recently was helping a lovely gentleman with dementia get washed up.

“Pooky-face”, he said randomly.

“What’s Pooky-face?” I said grinning, unable to hide my amusement.

“Oh”, he sighed, “just a little name I like to call myself”.

Talking with an elderly resident today.

Me: How long were you married? (His wife had passed)

Him: 37 years.

Me: Congratulations. That’s a long time to be married.

Him: Not long enough.

A Married Couple on the Dementia Unit

Him, rising from the dinner table: “I’m going to get up and walk around.”

Her: “What are you gonna do while you do that?”

Him: “Think about you.”

Me: “How are you today?”

Lovely Lady: “I’m old.”

Lovely Lady (a self-proclaimed Missionary’s child), just a little anxious, after being lifted into bed safely: “How do we get ourselves into these predicaments?”

Me: “Well, someday, when we go to be with God, there will be no more predicaments, only peace.”

Lovely Lady: “You’ve got it all figured out, don’t you?”

Old gent approaching me at an injured snail’s pace: “How are you?”

Me (bright and cheery): “I’m well! How are you?”

Old gent: “Goin’ like hell.”

Me to a gentleman struggling with Parkinson’s Disease: “It must be very hard to have Parkinson’s Disease. It must be very frustrating.”

Gentleman, wiggling with a mischievous grin on his face: “It drives me crazy and with me, you don’t have to drive very far.”

Written by Polly Krause

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