Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Butt-Sized Bra and other stuff

Things have been pretty busy over at the GreatRep, what with activities department people quitting by pulling the ever-popular no call/no show, and caregivers getting pregnant and then never staying through a shift. I laughed and laughed when one of my charge nurses got snippy about that, saying "I worked here throughout both of my pregnancies. I've vomited in almost every room in this building! She needs to get her butt in gear and work through it because this illness? Is SELF INFLICTED!"

So we're all pulling extra shifts down there to try to keep it running smoothly enough until we can get more staff hired. And I'm tired, but I still like my job.

Highlights of my week: I have this resident, Mildred, whose children do not speak to her. I don't know why, I assume she did something to them to make them dislike her back before the dementia, and she's certainly a handful now. I genuinely like Mildred and find her funny, which is lucky, because as one of the two Med Aides at my facility, it falls to us to help Mildred wash her panniculus daily. Panniculus is a fancy word for "apron fold" or, less politely "big belly that hangs down enough to make a crevice that gets ouchy unless kept clean and dry at all times". Mildred's Granddaughter is a huge pain, and refuses to get her Grandma any new clothing that is the correct size for Mildred and her panniculus to fit into. So I'm at Goodwill the other day, looking for scrubs (found a cute pink top, too!) and I see a GINORMOUS bra there. Big enough that I could almost fit my butt into one of the cups. Perfect for Mildred! So I spent the $2.99, bought it, embroidered her name onto it, and brought it into work. Then, not wanting the buttsized bra to fall victim to our industrial washing machines, I wrote the following note, complete with illustrations of the bra, and taped it into Mildred's closet:

"Attention Caregivers! I got lucky and found a Mildred-Sized bra at the Goodwill. Let's only wash it on shower days so that the hooks can survive longer; I bet I won't find another one this big at Goodwill again. Thanks, Polly"

So hopefully it'll survive and Mildred will start being a little more ... contained. By her garments. Speaking of which, if anyone has maternity pants with those giant elastic waistbands, size 18-ish? Send 'em along. I'll embroider those with her name too, and then she'll be comfy and modest, both of which would be a welcome change to all of us over at the GreatRep.

Then the very very best part of my week was that the visiting wound care nurse came, and very enthusiastically showed me the pressure sore she's treating on another one of our residents, and the stuff she's using to treat it, and all sorts of awesomely disgusting and wonderful things! I told Mr. Polly about this, and his response was "There's such a thing as a wound care nurse? Why aren't you that? You would be in heaven. You should go be that." And he's right. I frickin' love that stuff. I googled the Tree Man (have you?) and am fascinated by burn treatments, weird rashes, deep pressure sores, etc. We don't get much of that at the GreatRep because really, there's no excuse for our residents to be developing pressure sores that get beyond a stage 2.

The wound care nurse was in for a lady whose pressure sore got deeper than we'd have ever let it get because she had MRSA. Not because we didn't position her correctly, or use cushions, or any of the other stuff we did. Just so you know.

So much as I'd like to see pressure ulcers that go down to the bone, and wound-vacs, and tunneling wounds... where I work isn't the place to get all that.

But I looooooooove when the wound care nurses come in!

1 comment:

  1. Polly that was utterly and sincerely wonderful of you to take care of Mildred and buy that bra for her. And you even took the time to embroider her name on it. What a wonderful caregiver you are!!