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Friday, June 13, 2008

True Story.

This just happened today.

I was having a conversation with one of my patients about wrinkles. I few days ago I was treating her knee (only, her hip was her major problem but somehow it affected her knee) and explaining a lymphadema massage to her. How her kneecap, in extension, should bare wrinkles. Hers didn't. Her knee was pretty swollen. So I performed the massage at that time.
Today, she came back talking about how her "knee has wrinkles" and "it feels soo much better".
She was really excited about her wrinkles.

One other lady in the room next to her, receiving therapy, commented on her excitement saying, "Well if you're that excited about your wrinkles..you're in the right place. This place is crazy".

(the vast majority of the patients I treat are permanent residents of the facility. This other lady started out here and demanded to go home and just come in for treatment. She couldn't stand sleeping overnight there. Like she LIVED there.)

Anyway, my knee lady changed the subject to how she, at one point, wanted a face lift. She wanted to get rid of her droopy neck. This woman is extremely young looking. I wouldn't even have guessed she would be a place like this if I saw her on the street.

I kind of shrugged because I don't really know how to give advice to elderly women who want plastic surgery and they are oblivious to the fact that there are other MORE IMPORTANT issues that need to be addressed.

Like maybe addressing the reason why they randomly fall and break their hips.

I just told her: I gave up trying to get my supermodel body back after I had my three kids.

She said: You're right. Besides... (she says as she stokes her neck) I WORKED HARD for the wrinkles in my neck.

*silence*

Then I BUSTED out laughing.

She knew I knew what she was talking about.

I. Cracked. Up.

On top of that. I broke out the Wii.
One of my ladies was having a birthday today so I told her we were going to go bowling.
So we're there and I'm egging the ladies on and bringing out their competitive sides.

What some people often forget...most elderly people are rotting away in nursing homes sleeping, eating, being placed in front of the TV in large rooms.
No mental stimulation.

When I'm treating my patient, I like to talk and joke around with them as if we've been friends forever. I ask them odd questions and they love it because it's not the same old stuff that people always ask. They get to come up with their own witty answers.

So...the Wii....Nothing like a little competition to get these people going. They eat it up and they start bringing themselves to therapy instead of us hunting them down in the halls.

We played and hollered and cheered and smack-talked. It was fun. These ladies were pretty much neck and neck with about 4 points separating them all.
Nearing the end of one of our games, (around the 7th frame) Mrs. "Wrinkles" decided she needed to go to the restroom. We have one in our gym. She gets up from her wheelchair and hobbles with her walker to the restroom saying, "Don't nobody take my turn!"

At that moment, "Birthday" lady blurted out, "Well, you shouldn't have gotten up then!"

I BUSTED out laughing. Again.

I turned my back to repeat the story to the other therapist who was co-treating with me and as we chuckled a little, the bathroom door comes busting open and Mrs. "Wrinkles" comes hustling out saying, "THAT WAS THE FASTEST PEE I EVER TOOK!"

You know what happened then...Busted out.

In the game...."Birthday" lady was in the lead and Mrs. "Wrinkles" made a remarkable come-back with TWO strikes in the tenth frame.

That's what I'm talking about!

Adrenaline pumpers.

Everyone went home happy.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Another conversation:

One of our new elderly rehab patients had just come into the gym and the ladies were remarking about how lovely her hair looked. They asked her questions about when she had gotten it done and who did it. (We have an in-house hair dresser).

The new lady "Mrs. Curly" informed them that she had gotten it done two days ago but not here in this building.

The Ladies were oohing and awwwing over her do.

One lady "Mrs. Snippy" asked if she was trying to catch a man.

Mrs. Curly asked: Do you think so?

Mrs. Snippy: Well, I don't know if you want to catch a man here. If you do happen to get one, you might just have to change his diapers.


The Ladies loved that one.


93 comments:

insane mama said...

So sweet!
My grandma was in a nursing home for a short time and the nurses really make the difference. I know when she had a good nurse or a lazy nurse. I know you are a physical therapist, and taking the time to really talk and care about them is so great!

AFRo said...

That was pretty funny. I was cracking up at the little old lady busting out of the bathroom so no one would take her turn.

Mama's Losin' It said...

Your job sounds like so much fun! I bet they LOVE you!!!

Cyn said...

LOL. I love old people, they are just so funny! Nothing like a Wii to get them going. Speaking of old people, I was outside this morning with grandpa and Aiden had just woke up, tons of mosquitos and you know how gramps is, there he goes talking about making a mosquito taco!

Julie said...

Too funny! Although I get enough of old people spending an hour with my inlaws. OMG they get on my nerves after awhile!

Mrs. R said...

This is so great. I love how you laugh with them and treat them as a friend. They so deserve that respect. I love these stories, keep um coming!

Heather said...

Hysterical!! I love that they liked the Wii. It's good for them to get moving.

Darrin said...

Gosh, what wit and character those gals have. Sounds like you could write a book about all of the great lines and banter you probably hear on a daily basis.

Erin The Great said...

That is funny. The wii bowling championship. Those ladies sound like a lot of fun.

AFRo said...

Gurl! I've already commented on this one, but I'm back to say CONGRATULATIONS to you!!! Hope you enjoy your day in the spotlight, you deserve it! LYLASitsta.

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

Old ladies playing Wii that is BRILLIANT. It's like something from a movie . . . hmm now there's an idea!

Heather said...

Congrats on your newfound "SITStadom" today! Lovin' your blog...don't you just adore older people? I'm an ICU nurse, and although a lot of my patients are too sick to hold a conversation, every once in a while, you get one that you can really bond with. What a great idea with the Wii...I bet Nintendo had no idea the age span they'd be catering to...or maybe they did.

Heather said...

Oh my, that was great for an early morning chuckle! You rock, by the way - when my grandmother (then in her 90s) had to go to a nursing home because of her Alzheimer's, there wasn't anyone remotely like you on the staff (and this was a "good" facility, too). My aunt would bring stuff in for the residents to do - arts and crafts kinds of things, games, etc, and the residents loved it so much and responded so well that my aunt is STILL going there weekly, even though Nana passed away almost 4 years ago.

Congrats on being the SITS Featured Blogger today, too!

Cheers!

4 under 4 said...

Congrats on your SITS nod, I love your stories, they are great. What wonderful work you do!

I will be back!!!!

ugagirl30 said...

That's hilarious! Those women sound like a hoot. I loved it when I worked in physical therapy. I enjoyed almost every second of it.

Brittany Iverson said...

happy SITS day!

Creative Junkie said...

You sound like you really like what you do. You have a hard job and you obviously do it very well.

Feliz said...

I love those stories! I worked in an assisted living place, and my favorite was to do karaoke with them. Total blast! I love it when they have a sense of humor about their situation.

Kristinia - Loving Heart Mommy said...

That's a really sweet story! Found you from SITS!

Debbie said...

Those stories are a hoot and sweet at the same time! My hats off to you for having the patience and heart to work with elderly people. That is a gift. Thank you.

Enjoy being SITS queen of the day!

emily said...

more important things like why they randomly fall and break their hips...

ok. that is hysterical.

Kathi said...

Great stories! You sound perfect for your job.

Maybe more places for the elderly need wiis....what a great idea!

Threeundertwo said...

You just caught another new regular reader. I used to be a PT aide at a nursing home. I have a million stories from there, I bet you do too.

Molly said...

Congrats on being a Saucy Blog. You are probably one of the few rays of sunshine in their lives, good for you for doing such a wonderful job!

Kimmers said...

Congrats on being featured!

Kimmers said...

Congrats on being featured!

sassy stephanie said...

That's funny! They really do become like children again!

Angela said...

Sounds like you love your job and they love you! I love feisty old people!

Jen said...

I just love older adults. They crack me up all the time. The best are the pleasantly confused.

wendy said...

Wow. You are obviously amazing at what you do and have a gift for working with people. I admire you.

Congrats on the feature, SITSta.

mrsbear0309 said...

Congrats on the feature. You sound like you really love your job.

Dana said...

It sounds like you really enjoy your job. I LOVE talking to cute lil old people. I love hearing all about what they've been through, the things they've seen. It's so cool. I don't think enough people have respect for the elderly like they have earned.... I can just picture that group of little old ladies trash talking while Wii bowling! TOO funny!

Kara said...

This warms my heart. It really does. One of my best friends works in a nursing home and has the BEST stories. Those ladies are WAY better at the Wii than me!

Amy said...

Congrats on being featured! I love your layout, too cute :)

Katie Says said...

you sound like you have so much fun at your job! I bet everyone loves you there.

This is a hilarious post! Thanks for the laugh and CONGRATS on your SITS day!!

Rhea said...

Ok, I must be really slow...but I don't get the neck wrinkle joke...someone explain it to me? Please!

Older people can have such a wonderful sense of humor, and I love that you play Wii with them! What a great idea. :o)

Mekhismom said...

Great stories! I especially like the diaper joke.

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Very funny. Congrats on being the Saucy Feature, today.

jennifer said...

What a coll job you have! And you really take it seriously. Your patients are blessed.

I read on your side bar that you don't wear a cap cause you don't want to look gay. HAH! I laughed good over that cause I have a shot posted of me in a cap today. I knew I looked redneck, and now... Gay too? ACK!

Hah!

Jen

Melanie said...

Very funny. You work in a den of blog ideas! How cool.

EmBee said...

I totally want to visit the home where you work and party with you and the 'ladies'... That would make my day!

God your fun, I love ya, and I just met ya!
:-)

Adiel said...

Wow, I've always wondered how people could do that job. Thanks to you, I now know why. That is awesome!

Belle said...

Congrats on your SITS day! Not everybody has a gift for working with the elderly but it sounds like you DO have the gift. Keep up the good work.

Jenni said...

For most of my life I have had a sort of phobia of old people. I think because I figure anyting I say will likely sound trite. But I recently met this older lady that I am pretty sure still thinks she's twenty. I love that woman, she cracks me up.

Kat said...

Oh, that is hilarious! They are just like kiddos...say whatever is on their minds.

And we got a wii for my mom for Christmas - I think it'll help her get some activity...

Swirl Girl said...

It's good to see the sense of humor is one of the last things 'to go'. Do they know how funny they are?

Peggy said...

God bless you for adding spice to the lives of those in nursing homes!!

Melissa said...

Oh, I love the elderly. My mom used to work at an assisted living facility and has told her fair share of great tales. They actually had a "Serial Pooper" that would leave little gifts outside the administrative office. One time they could see on the security camera, one of the residents flashing the office manager! Great blogging fodder, fo sho! Great post! Congrats on your special day!

Cristin said...

I've been working in nursing homes for 10 years now.... I have dozens of Grandmas and Grandpas! I'll point out cute little old ladies in the mall more than cute little babies!

Sherri - KaysvilleMomma said...

This is a great post!! My grandma just went into a nursing home last week. It has been hard for her and for us. I only home that she has some fun people like you working with her!!

Val said...

Great stories! Love "Wrinkles" and her fast pee!

Happy SITS day!

Stephanie said...

That was such a fun post to read!

Hot Air said...

That one had me laughing so hard I was getting Wii-pee.

Mama Dawg said...

Happy SITS day! I read this a while back and I love this story!

Kimberly said...

Happy SITS day! I love elderly people! They crack me up! Sometimes its easay to forget that they are just as much individuals with personalities and lives because they are sick or slowing down, or whatnot. Anyway thanks for the story...it made me laugh!

thotlady said...

Love this post.

People in nursing homes are the forgotten generation.

Most people don't realize...there but for the grace of God go us.

My father spent his last three weeks in a nursing home with Alzheimer's. They were very good to him. But it was still tough seeing him there, not because the place wasn't nice, but because I knew he didn't have a clue where he was.

Thank you for all you do!

Michelle said...

Phew -- Thanks, Rhea. I thought I was the only one who didn't get the neck wrinkles.

Congrats on your feature!

Jessica said...

HAHAHAH funny. Old ppl crack me up. That's wonderful that you can give them that mental interaction.

lynn said...

Too funny! It must be a riot working with them. Happy SITS day! Love the background on your blog :)

Ronnica said...

The thought of them using the Wii is quite hilarious. But it seems like a great idea to have a fun way to get up and at 'em!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Oh my goodness I love old people. They're so funny because they just say what's on their mind. I envy you your job getting to be with them.

wehave9 said...

You sound like you are good at your job and great with the elderly. Congrats on your day!

Amy said...

That is too funny! I cant believe you thought to let them play the Wii. They will always remember that and bless you for making their lives special! Some people forget they are PEOPLE just like us!

Hairline Fracture said...

I would never have thought of the Wii for them--that was really a great idea!

Cara Starr said...

awesome. i love "old" people. you're right about the way people talk to them. or AT them. The Wii is a kick-butt idea... I may get one for my gramma.

Lindsay said...

I wish that all nurses (at nursing homes and elsewhere) were as personable to their patients as you seem to be. It burns me up to see how the elderly get treated these days, no matter where they are. I'm glad that there are people like you who show them that they're still people and who value their thoughts and opinions. With as many years as they have under their belt it's ignorant to think they wouldn't have anything important to say just because they're a little senile.

Katy Lin :) said...

what fun! i'm glad that these ladies have someone like you to keep them feeling good! :) hope you're enjoying your SITS day!

The Pruetz Family said...

My mom spent a number of years in a nursing home and her nurses, therapists and activities directors made her life so much more enjoyable. They didn't just do their jobs and go home -- they were a part of her life. My hat's off to you, who makes the lives of these people better every single day.

Adelaine said...

Happy SITS day!

It is so refreshing to read about someone that truely enjoys treating the elderly - it takes a special person!

You so crack me up with the wii stories! I bet those old ladies can be spunky!

Party of 5 said...

Happy SITS day.

Man this is awesome. How much fun you bring to thier lives I just know they love it.

MomMega said...

How awesome! I bet they really appreciate being treated like people as opposed to just patients. Someday I will TOTALLY be that old lady hurrying out of the bathroom to not miss my turn!!

Kaza said...

Priceless. You clearly do an important job, but I'm sure it's your way with the people that makes them love you so much. We are doing a crappy job of taking care of our oldest generation in this country in general (as a society, I mean), so awesome people like you really make a difference in their lives. You go girl. Never forget how much of a difference you're making every day.

Judy Haley (coffeejitters) said...

Might just have to change his diapers

awesome

stefanie said...

Came here from SITS, congratulations!

When I get old, will you come visit me??

I used to be an activites assistant in a nursing home, and I loved to make the residents laugh. They also loved to make me laugh too. I remember one lady used to tell me that I had beautiful teeth. Every time she saw me. I have big teeth, and I guess with her limited vision, she was just glad to see something. And one man, Mr. Johnson was such a FLIRT. He would always shyly say "What's your name?" and I got the best reaction when I said, "I'm Mrs. Johnson, but I'm not YOUR wife!" And Grace always put knives in her pocket with pats of butter. Not sure what she was planning to butter later. They quit setting her place with knives. Kind of made me sad...

Mamasphere said...

Those are great stories! It sounds like you are making a huge difference there.

I've found that the older bunch can be quite hysterical!

Perez Family Spot said...

I love how you actually love your job. That's awesome. Happy SITS day!

Wep said...

That's awesome. I bet they are excited to not have someone ask in a condescending voice "how are you feeling today" Bravo to you for treating them with respect :)

Missy said...

I've heard about the wii being used for PT...what a great idea! Thanks for this post - do their families know what a gem they have in you? The residents do, for sure.
I love how elderly people just quit censoring themselves at a certain point. Probably something that everyone should learn a little earlier in the game! My Nonee always talks about "my Pee-Wee" very loudly (her dog) but it always makes me giggle. One day she said "I know why you're laughing, you think I'm saying the dirty word!" (:

Melissa Lester said...

Sounds like you are the ray of sunshine they need! On another note, maybe I should join y'all for the Wii action. We just got a Wii last week, and today my husband had me to do the tests to determine my Wii age. Obviously, I do not have the hang of those games, because it said I was 77!! In real life I am 35! I'll bet some of your ladies beat my scores!

Jenkins said...

Just imagining the whole situation is too funny. Sounds like a good Saturday Night Live skit.

Probably a day they will not forget and will share the story with others as well.

Becky said...

Little old ladies CRACK me up! They can say some of the funniest things! A lot like Kindergartners!

Apryll said...

So awesome! Thanks for sharing these great stories with us. I feel like I was there!

Sarah said...

I did an internship at a senior center in Florida and those ladies were HI-LARIOUS. They definitely made for some fun times!

Tara said...

Thanks for the laugh!!! I bet you could tell story after story!!!!

Karen said...

Congratulations on being the SITS Queen for the day!!

I love spending time with and talking to elderly people. They have so many interesting stories to tell. They also come out with the funniest things. It's like all the things that they wanted to say when they were younger, but felt that they couldn't. Nothing like old age to liberate some of them!! :-)

Migraine Mom said...

Visiting from SITS! This cracked me up and gave me a much needed laugh today!

Givinya De Elba said...

Laughter is so great! It always makes me feel physically and mentally SO. MUCH. BETTER! Glad your residents and you get so many laughs, and thanks for sending them on to US!

The Wii is the best idea ever, by the way!

Smoochiefrog said...

Gotta love mature adults! :)

Jen said...

My Grandma has the Wii system in her retirement home. They do the same thing!!

Jennifer P. said...

I am late to the SITS party, but I just LOVED this post. Once I get over the smell and the few crazies that just mumble and try and run me over with their wheelchairs---retirement homes are some of the best places to hang out. So much wisdom and wit and personality in one place! Those people all sound so lucky to have someone like you around!

Mommy Cracked said...

Morning SITSta!! I'm so glad your patients have YOU. It sounds like you earnestly try to bring some light in their lives and I know they are so appreciative. YOU ROCK!

Sonya said...

Oh my gosh!!! What a great story. I just played Wii for the first time and can imagine it being fun for them to play! I know my grandparents would love it!

Great Post!

Sonya

Kimberly @ AllAboutKimberly said...

How great that they play Wii! I have seen that on tv and it does look great. We personally love our Wii and try to get all company to give it a try.