Friday, July 15, 2011

Cute Comes in All Ages

My 90-something year old trauma cutie. Sweet as pie. She was gardening, when she fell forward, hit her head and broke both wrists. Ortho doctors put both her arms in casts and when they were done, she laughs and says, don't come too close now, I can karate chop you with these things.
My other trauma patient was a very worn-looking middle-aged woman who got punched in the face and passed out. She was a heroin-user who used 3 whole bags a day and wanted to go to detox. Compare this with my hipster kid a few posts back who took 30 bags/day. If you want to age well, heroin is definitely not the right elixir of life for you.

I was helping take vital signs, when I heard a high voice behind me. "Excuse me, my mommy needs to use the bathroom."
"Where is your mommy?" I asked the young boy.
"In room 5, miss."
He joined his sister when we walked in the room, and I asked "Mommy" if she could walk. Only with assistance, she said.
"Would you prefer a bedpan?" She shook her head. "Then how about a commode?" Yes, she nodded, that would be great.
As I left the room, I heard "Mommy, what's a commode?"
These things are ridiculously hard to find when you need them. They're the kind of supplies that pile up in a corner somewhere because they're everywhere and get in the way. Then when you try to find one, there are none in sight. I ran around the department for 10 minutes looking for them, before I finally found one tucked in the back of the decontamination room.

I set it up and cleaned it, taking it in the room. "Now you two goobers get out," the mom said.
The boy and girl left the room, not before the boy pulled the curtain for her.
"Now would you two like some juice or something while you wait?" They nodded excitedly, "Yes, miss, thank you."
As I grabbed a few apple juices and graham crackers with peanut butter for them, I thought about how innocent they were, how they didn't know the patients they saw around them were our rude-mouthed homeless drunks and surly psychiatric patients. What a stark dichotomy of good manners and poor within a few square feet.
When I cleaned up and left the room, I heard the little boy whisper "mommy, that lady was really nice to us." I hope I never forget to be.

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