My second and final week of Level I geriatric fieldwork begins…
Today was quite quiet because most of our high-maintenance people were not there, and/or were sleepy. I spent almost 2 hours in the art room with FixxyLady, because I had printed out some old famous poems for her, as well as a Wikipedia thing on needlepoint, which she enjoys, based on chart information. (Needlepoint that is, not Wikipedia, lol).
I asked her if she’d read those poems out loud to me because she had such a nice reading voice. She did. Again. And again. And again. And again. She’d either comment herself or respond to my comments, more so with each repetition. She managed to more or less communicate with me when I would ask her about things like what warp/weft were, in the needlepoint thing. (She said, more or less, that it would be easier if I saw it, to understand).
But do you know what she liked the most? Of the three printed poems on that page, I had hastily written “For FixxyLady” with a smiley face on top. After we had gone through the poems repeatedly, I asked her which one was her favorite. She said, “For FixxyLady”. lol. Those simple handwritten words dedicated to her meant more than anything else. Which is cool, because based on how she responded today, I can hopefully do even better tomorrow. I plan to try a few more well-known poems, and a few other neat things with her tomorrow. I might also do the MMSE (mini mental state exam) on another patient, plus do some more art-projects. I read “Creating Moments of Joy” or whatever, about how to handle things with Alzheimer’s patients, and it was pretty neat. I have two more to read asap. But I also have those handouts and stuff to work on – and I’m so tired that I could fall asleep now. Too bad I need to wait an hour for my laundry, not to mention shower….and oh man, I forgot to go to the store, and no way am I going now! Boo!!! Guess I’ll be eating….um….well……ummmmm……..I’ll probably put a few spoonfuls of peanut butter in a bag and go buy bread at Walgreens during lunch (next door). Dude, bummer. Oh well.
So anyway, I enjoyed my time with FixxyLady, although that afternoon I put my hand on hers and she snapped “Don’t HIT ME”. I was like whoahhhh. LOL. But literally 30 seconds later, she was fine.
I really like seeing how these very confused or incomprehensible patients, become relatively lucid with the introduction of a meaningful occupation.
One of the activities today – which I found somewhat appalling – was that a group of about 10 people were handed a handful of buttons and some cardboard containers. No glue, no real art work – just sit there and play with buttons, sort them, put them in a container, whatever What was interesting is that the people really didn’t seem to care one way or another. So I guess it’s not appalling if nobody cares. I don’t know. The man across from me told me about growing up and working in a factory and having some fancy giant Italian calculator or something.
This afternoon, I spent a lot of one-on-time with various individuals, giving them hand massages with some sensitive skin lotion. One lady had a hard but not painful knot on her forearm, she said her mother-in-law was taking her to the doctor, but I reported it anyway to the team leader because we are supposed to note such things. Plus I always see zebras instead of horses so now I think she has metastatic cancer and will be dead within two weeks. Kidding. Kind of.
The ladies seemed to really enjoy the one-on-time and the massaging, which made me happy. Several of the ladies asked me (not related to massage) for my number or information today. For the lady who wanted my number, I said “When I find some paper I’ll write it down for you.” For the other one who wanted my information, I wrote down my name and something nice , like “I look forward to seeing you again soon, Ms. X.” She seemed fine with that and I was glad.
One lady who I thought was pretty with it, turned out to be um, not. We played Bingo and she could not, for the life of her, handle it. She would slide chips off to hold up the Bingo card, she would slide chips away to make sure they covered the right thing, she would stack like 5 chips at once, or slide everything off to check to see if the back had anything…even with me sitting beside her, it was basically useless. The PCA seemed to want her to do it right, but honestly, this lady didn’t really care, and it seemed pointless to keep frustrating her. A lot of the Bingo-players just put a chip on every box and then just sit there for the rest of the game. Others need to have each box pointed out to them. Others get confused about having different colors of chips. It’s quite intriguing to see how someone is smart one way but not another way. I truly expected this lady to do just fine, so it was my first glimpse that things aren’t always as they seem.
Honestly though, overall, considering the lack of high maintenance people there, today was pretty mild. Tomorrow we should be back in full swing though. I’ve had a headache most of today so maybe tomorrow will be better. I’m tempted to shower now, collect my laundry, then go to sleep at like 9pmish…maybe I’ll get up earlier or be more prepared to handle stuff tomorrow. I need to get a move-on though. Ugh. It’s stacking up and starting to stress me out!!!
Ok this is my shortest journal entry yet, but I don’t have a lot to share that is new or different. Tomorrow should be a much more interesting day! And a long one, since I’ll be gone all day, work on classwork all afternoon, and work 9 to midnight. Yuck!
Ummmmm. Ok. good night.