What would you say you do here?Posted: May 12, 2011
There’s one question I have for many of the staff members at my grandfather’s nursing home.
If these idiots spent half as much time working as they do goofing off and finding justification for not doing their jobs, Natchitoches Nursing and Rehabilitation Center would be first rate. But alas. Getting these people to bring a pitcher of water or pain medication is like getting blood from a turnip.
I’ve had two major blowups in the past three days. The first one came a few days ago, when one of the nurse’s aides popped into my grandfather’s room. It was the first time all day I had seen any signs of life from the nursing home staff.
“We’re having a bingo tournament for the residents. It starts in 10 minutes.”
“Thanks,” I said. “But I think we’ll decline.” I motioned to my grandfather, who’s bedridden and barely responsive.
“Well, it starts in 10 minutes in the activity room.”
I threw my hands up in the air. “Ma’am, he hasn’t left his bed since he got here. I’m not wheeling him out for a parlor game.”
“Well, I just wanted to let you know.”
“Jesus Christ, lady! Look at him! What would he do at a bingo game?! Serve as an ink blotter?!”
She bolted out of there. Good riddance.
I almost snapped a couple of times on Tuesday and Wednesday with a nurse who has an utterly piss poor attitude whenever we ask for pain medications. GOD FORBID she administers a dosage 10 or 20 minutes early. Every single time she comes in, she has a nasty disposition. I growled at her a few times, but now I just walk out of the room whenever she walks in.
My biggest blowup came yesterday. My grandfather is going downhill fast. His kidneys are shutting down. His breath is labored and rattles. He’ll go 5 to 10 seconds between breaths. As soon as I saw him this morning, I immediately called my mom and my great-aunt, because I didn’t think he’d last much longer. But the old goat fought through another day.
Shortly after my mom arrived, one of the nurses stormed in. She’s already on my bad side. She previously admonished me for holding my grandfather’s hand when he trembles or moans (which usually happens when it’s time for his pain meds, which never arrive on time because her buddy is too busy sitting on her ass).
“Who called hospice? Why did she take his vitals?! We’re supposed to take his vitals! Don’t you know you’re supposed to come to us first before you call hospice?!”
“NO,” I bellowed. “I DON’T.”
Of course, I was being utterly sarcastic. My aunt probably called them, because she deals with these fools every day. Any request for water, food, or medication requires multiple calls or trips to the nursing station. So to hell with the process. I don’t care who’s looking after him, I just want someone – anyone – to tend to him when he’s hurting. But this twit didn’t notice. She walked over to me and resumed babbling.
“SOMEONE called hospice and told them that his kidneys are shutting down and that his breathing is bad. That’s not true! He’s fine! He’s resting comfortably!”
“Lady, look at his catheter bag! There’s hardly anything there! I’ve been here all day and he’s produced nothing! Listen to his breathing! How can you say he’s comfortable?!”
“Nevertheless, WHOEVER called hospice was supposed to contact us first—-”
“You’re trying to justify your job. We get it. Now dial down the tone of your voice.”
“There you go again. I find your tone and presence offensive. Please leave.”
“Sir, I’m sorry if my tone offends you. I know you’re upset because your grandfather isn’t well—”
“You just said he was fine.” Then I turned to my mom and aunt. “Since she won’t leave, I’ll leave. Let me know when this #$%@ing idiot is out of the room.” I then sat out on the front porch with my brother’s girlfriend and ranted like a lunatic. The old codger next to me didn’t seem to mind.
So I guess I’m the resident malcontent now. For the rest of the day, I noticed that the nurses averted their gaze or walked past me with their heads down. They seemed to have a little more snap in their step when they tended to my grandfather. Whatever. It’s pretty crappy that it took a minor meltdown for them to adopt a pretense of concern. We’ll see how long that lasts. Hopefully this is all over soon.