Saturday, January 27, 2007

People Pleaser

O.K., I've come to notice a bit of a problem here. Because I've been extra nice to some people in the hospital (the fellow sharing Mom's room, for one), they've kind of "invaded" my space when I'm there. And Miss Nicey Nice doesn't quite know how to handle it.

The other night it was that volunteer who is such a sweetheart. Trouble is this - I was having a quiet moment with Mom...standing beside her in the dark holding her hand and stroking her hair. It relaxes her and she was drifting off. And S came bounding in, bubbly and chirpy. She pulled up a chair and stayed for the duration of the time I was there. It was nice of her, but I needed my alone time with Mom. I may not have much. And she was interacting with me as if we were out for coffee somewhere...leaving Mom confused. Mom's having trouble connecting the dots and having someone in there who she doesn't really know just adds to her struggle. It agitates her when she's overloaded with info. And that's what happened.

Same thing happend last night, but with a nurse I've befriended over Canuck small talk in the hallways. Mom and I had the game on with very little sound and she had noticed. I told her I'd give her updates, meaning I'd come to her at the nursing station to do so. Well I'll be damned if she didn't spend the entire game in and out of Mom's little bedside area, loudly questioning "who scored", etc.

Both times I had Mom's light out and the curtain pulled, almost completely around her bed. And both times, although I'd exchanged a few thoughts and some small talk with these very nice people, I didn't want to make a party out of it. When I'm there, it's deep. I need to reflect and to comfort. I don't need to entertain others who are focused on me instead of on Mom. Sounds ungrateful and bitchy but, honestly, they should understand that. And they don't. Once would be o.k., but it's starting to happen on a regular basis and I'm going to have to address it soon because my quiet time with Mom is important to me.

Last night the young nurse was really bad. She's quite young and obviously very inexperienced....the head nurse was guiding her through things and she didn't seem to have much of a clue how to interact with the patients - so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. But the last time she came in for an update, the game was long over, we were in the dark and Mom was sleeping. I'd muted the TV and I sat with only the glow of it so I wouldn't disturb her. And this nurse came bounding in, threw back the curtain and loudly said "oh damn, it's over....who won?". And it woke Mom up, damn it. It also confused her because she's in a very "worried" state right now and keeps questioning "who's there". I'd just convinced her she was safe and that only I was at her side and she could rest. Once she's agitated/worried, it starts her entire stream of questioning of "who's there?", which it did. Hmm.

The last little problem is the fellow in Mom's room. He's a doll and, although his wife stays at his side all day, he has noone there at night. And, because I've befriended him, he calls out to me. "Deb, can you come here for a minute?" is becoming quite routine and the poor fellow just wants some company. But, again, in another situation I'd be more than glad to divert mine to him but my focus right now needs to be on my Mom. Each time I go over and sit with him I'm leaving her side and she becomes disoriented and afraid and calls out for me. So it's creating a bit of a problem here. I usually go over and give him a quick reassurance, but he's starting to want to draw that out into longer and longer interactions...poor guy, he needs someone there.

The last time the volunteer S was there, I kind of "redirected" her to him, thinking that would be a good solution. Mom and I don't need her with us and he obviously does. This fellow J cries when he talks of his son and daughter who apparently both live in the area. Yet I haven't seen them at all.

Right now I'm wearing thin and, although I've decided that down the road I will invest some time volunteering there, for now all of my attention needs to go to my Mom. *sighs*

(Picture by Jill Greenberg)
I know, I know....whiner.


Blogger Deb said...

and would it be wrong of me to pin a sign to the curtain that says "stay the fuck out. Please"? That's courteous, isn't it? I'm a rotten bitch when I'm tired and fed up.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

Actually, I was going to suggest that you close the curtain all the way and pin a sign saying ... well maybe not "stay the fuck out" - lol, but "please do not disturb". And if they still interupt, I would say something to the staff. Obviously you have established a good relationship with them - talking hockey etc, maybe you could tell them (although for crying out loud they should be able to figure it out for themselves!) that your time with your mom is very precious and you need some privacy and quiet time.

I don't know what to suggest about the poor man who shares a room with your mom though.

8:56 AM  
Blogger tkkerouac said...

Nice face Deb,
I tried to embed a you tube video into mt blog, under "new post", however, it didn't accept the code that i pasted. said it required a Tag. When i embedded the code into a page element( to the right hand side of the blog) it worked, however, the video was cut in half.
I followed the directions from You Tube, utilizing only the embed box but it did not work.
can you please help.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

the "for crying out loud" is how I feel Barb. Shouldn't this be a given for them? It would be with me.

For someone who's usually brutally honest, it's hard when I think I might hurt someone's feelings...I don't do well then, never have.

Yes, that fellow is an issue. He's in desperate need of some attention and if I give him a little bit it's hard to cut it off....he goes off on a rambling account of things.

Hhhmm, we'll see what happens - I'm going up there now.

Tracey...what I do is this. On YouTube, click on the video you want. Under the screen you'll notice some options beside the red stars that say things like "Save To Favorites" - one of the options there is "Post Video". Click on that and it should redirect you to a place where you can enter your blog address and set up this option. You only have to do this once and blogger is already established there so it's very easy. From then on in you will be set up so that each time you want to post a YouTube video you just hit the "Post Video" command and it's sent directly to your blog. No pasting, embedding, nothing. Set it up once and it's done. I did mine sometime ago so I hope I've gone through the steps correctly. Try it and see what happens...come back and let me know if you're successful. And, if not, we'll try again, k? I won't be responding for awhile here 'cause I'm off to the hospital now. Back later if you need me.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Oh, and Tracey. After you're all set up, don't panic if you post a video and it doesn't immediately show up...sometimes there's a delay. And sometimes it's a long one...I got frustrated once because a video that I kept trying to post wasn't showing up. About three days later they all did and I had it posted about eight times. Usually it works immediately, if not just move on and check back later. And, in the odd case, it doesn't ever appear.

Hopes this helps/works. Back later.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Toccata said...

I must admit I had a good laugh over your curtain sign especially your asking if that was courteous! At least you haven't lost your sense of humour.

Oh Deb, it just seems like it's one thing after another. Hate to say it but I think you will have to talk to them otherwise it will certainly continue. Maybe you could tell the man sharing the same room that you will have a wee visit with him when you come but that you need time alone with your mother. I'm sure I'm not saying anything you don't already know. Sorry, not much help from this end. Good luck.

12:30 PM  
Blogger busterp said...

Deb, go with the sign. Ha. Some people are just blind to those things. Not much you can do except be blunt. Good luck.

Have a nice weekend BTW.

12:37 PM  
Blogger junky said...

Had to think about this for awhile.
I can't offer much advice about the roommate but the nurses maybe I can offer some insight...
For as much of a pain in the ass it can be, be glad the nurses like you and hang out etc. these people are your most valuable asset, they will be the ones that help your Mom when you can't be there, and they will call you if you need to be there.
Nothing is more boring than the last couple of hours of a afternoon shift,nothing except the midnight shift especially when your surrounded by sleeping people, this may be why they seem to flock to you? they are not used to being around a new face that is awake?
Nurses tend to forget that for everyone else 11pm is getting kind of late, while they have just had their morning coffee.
I know it's hard especially when your spending alone time with your Mom or when you have finally lulled her to sleep. They just honestly don't realize they are interrupting.
Wow that probably was no help at all was it? It sounded more like I was making a case for the nurses' union.
This is only loosely based on the fact my Mom was a nurse, actually almost everyone in the family is in a health care position type of job , I used to do it also, didn't like it.
Note isn't a great idea just maybe a talk with the head nurse explaining that you need some time alone each night, not being loud when she is sleeping, (bring cookies or something to this talk, nurses love snacks).
The thing is life is quite like T.V. in as much as on a television hospital type show the patient isn't paid much attention to, whelp the real world is the same way all these folks have their own little dramas and the patient sometimes just get in the way. So be glad they take such an interest in you.
God I hope this made sense.
took me forever and I still didn't get it right.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

toccata...I know I have to level here. I'm just no good at it. I have a hard time saying "no". Today was much better - we had all day together and Mom was in really great spirits. She's hilarious and the nurses told me about her sense of humor that apparently keeps them in stitches. A different shift of nurses today - all my favorites were on (a good day!).

Rob - still thinking it's the most effective way. You have yourself one as well!!

junky - hey, I get where you're coming from. And I totally appreciate the "extra" attention we're getting. The thing I'm noticing is that some of the night shift nurses (who obviously are just starting their shift/day) have no concept of "time" or that it is late for the patients. I'm not kidding - these ones last night were out of the ordinary. They were extremely loud and most people have the common sense to know that when lights are out and a curtain's closed it's time to use a "quiet/inside" voice. We learned that in kindergarten for chrissake. But I do agree with what you're saying, which is why I have to handle it tactfully - don't want the opposite to happen and push them away. Believe me, for every one I gripe about there are four that are angels.

I do all the work while I'm there to try and ease the workload, I assume total care for Mom - I prefer it that way. For the most part I have a good working relationship with the nurses there - they let me go help myself to anything I need and I don't want to to burn any bridges here. And I did create this for myself by overextending myself to them initially. I befriend everyone in there so I really don't have a right to bitch about it when they reciprocate. It's just the way they're doing it, that's all - very intrusive and their timing sucks.

FTR..Dad & I delivered a huge platter of smoked & pickled salmon and other goodies last night to let them know we appreciate them.

Thanks for the input, I truly value your opinion here.

That goes for all of help to put things in perspective for me.

8:01 PM  

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