Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Pals the Elderly

Two months into my new and completely different-than-the-NICU job here in Colorado Springs I am finally getting into a groove. It's not a deep groove, mind you, but it's there. Suddenly I find myself completely comfortable asking, "Did you have a bowel movement today?" and "Can I check your bottom for pressure sores?"

Now, since I've brought up bowel movements, I cannot contain myself from going there. My mother is an RN and when Josh and I were kids we were not allowed to call a #2 "poop". It was a BM. That, she claimed, was the correct and least crude way of referring to this touchy subject. However, as we started making friends in school and at church we quickly realized that calling it a BM was certainly not what the cool kids were doing. We got teased relentlessly and quickly changed our terminology to be more socially correct. Though I have adopted the nursing term now, I have made a mental note to never do this to my children:). I love you, Mom!

Back to my job. For the most part home care here in Colordao works like home care in Mozambique. The only real differences are that I drive around a company Jeep rather than Suzie-Roo (personally I liked Suzie better) and carry a navy duffel bag rather than a big red backpack. That and I understand the language around here which is a nice change, but Sarah is not here and I hate that with a passion! The vast majority of my patients are over 65 and hilarious. If they are hard of hearing the visits are generally even more comical. Last week I asked a lady to take a keep breath and she responded, "TAKE MY TEETH OUT?" She had them halfway out of her mouth before I could stop her. Some are skeptical of my youth and look surprised when they open the door and I am standing there in my pink scrubs. One gentleman asked me if I was still in high school and I assured him that I was qualified to take care of him:). I'm learning SO much about how to dress various types of wounds, how to assess the heart and lungs, how to teach patients about CAD, CHF, diabetes, and seemingly endless other ailments. The continuity is wonderful, and I can develop relationships much more than I could in the hospital.

Having an 8-5 job has made it much more possible for me to spend a good amount of time with the Lord in the mornings, which I need desperately. I had gotten out of that habit working 12-hour shifts when I had to leave the house at 6:15am. I would easily convince myself that I needed the sleep more, but that just is never true! How MUCH I need Him to help me in my great weakness and to show patients His love and care. I used to think that nursing was just going to be a job, but I am seeing more and more how God created me to use nursing, wherever I am, to bring Him glory.

Time to go. I'm reading 'Poor People' by Fyodor Dostoevsky and can hardly put it down. Call me a geek, it's fine. Just be aware that I may, at some point, publicly ask if you are having regular BMs.

How did your parents teach you to refer to this touchy subject? Will you or are you doing the same with your kids?
Comments, please!


Kyle and Melissa Hardie said...

That's hilarious! I too have a job that requires frequent mentioning of "poop", but many of my students call it "!*#$@#". Seriously? I'm pretty sure that we somehow got a nickname for it, "eh-eh"....not really sure where that came from, but based on my husband's preference I'm sure "poop" will be the official term here when kids come--yikes! :)

Ginna said...

Haha, I love it.