Clearing My Head

I spent some time with patients this afternoon, visiting and talking, seeing how they are doing, what they need, even if it was just to chat for a while. I was nervous; I felt like I was barging into a very private, intimate arena of their lives, their dying process, and I wanted to make sure I was respectful and worthy of that. A 90-year-old woman with breast cancer squeezed my hand and wouldn’t let go, so we walked around hand-in-hand. She kept apologizing for not being able to remember things. I told her I have 3 calendars, a Day Runner, and a to-do list, and I still forget things, and she smiled and gave me a little amused chuckle. She ended up showing me the colorful stickers her grandkids decorated her bandages with. As I left, she thanked me for coming. I thanked her for letting me come, and letting me hang with her for a bit.

Another patient was a man in his 60’s with brain cancer. He was bed-ridden, so I leaned over his bed railings to talk. I didn’t want to feel like a scientist, standing over him, jotting notes. His nurse and counselor are also female, so he gave me a sly smile and told me he didn’t know what to do with all these pretty ladies taking care of him. I laughed and told him I thought he would surely find a way to manage. He sang part of the song “You’re Beautiful” to me and his nurse, and I left again feeling like these people were giving more to me than I was to them; that they reached right in and gained a grip on my heart. Today was the first time I truly realized how hard this is going to be, knowing we are going to lose all of them, and fairly quickly.

Ahhh. I’m back at the office now, and I needed to take a breather, collect some thoughts before I turn to the already-heaping pile in my in-box. Make the transition. Clear my head.

For the record, I noticed some hits on my other rough-draft blog, Lipstick Graffiti, last night. There’s nothing there yet, just a title, and no, that’s NOT the blog I mentioned yesterday. It’s a totally different project that has barely left the drawing board…I got the idea with some of the comments left on the Sephoraaaaah… post, that a blog to review beauty products, share ideas, or clue each other into some great finds would be a fun blog, mixed in with psychology concepts (like the psychology of attraction), or discussion on questions like, “How old will your daughter have to be before you let her wear make-up?” Sort of a brainy beauty blog. I don’t know when it will be up and running, but I will let you know! Start thinking of your favorite beauty products and ideas, so we can jump right in!

About TheSmirkingCat

I am endlessly trying to make sense of a world that has completely and unapologetically lost its mind.
This entry was posted in hospice, learning, new blog, patients. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Clearing My Head

  1. furiousBall says:

    this might just be the codeine talking after the wisdom teeth getting pulled, but what the heck, let’s get married

  2. Christy says:

    Wow. I know this is something I could not do. As much as I like helping people and being there for them it would drain me. I would come home every night and have nothing left. You are a strong and admirable person. =o)

  3. Smirking Cat says:

    Furiousball: Bah, wouldn’t be my first drug-induced marriage proposal!Christy, my primary job isn’t working with the patients, so it’s not something I do all day long. I agree, it would be a difficult, draining job…I am still considering pursuing my license to do just that, though! I met some amazing people today.

  4. zarlyng says:

    I think this new job will be good–head clearing, so to speak, and grounding. We all leave this earth in a process, just as we entered it. I can only hope that when my time comes, it is with grace and dignity. And I think hospice lets us tell the story of our final days in exactly that manner.I love the idea of Lisptick Grafitti. Holy mac and cheese, Batman, I’m gonna have to deal with makeup and preteens in a few years….z

  5. Stephanie says:

    I admire you for working in that industry. I have been thinking, of late, of ways to get off of the mind-numbing train that is corporate life and do something that matters to someone… somewhere… anywhere.Good for you for doing it. I’m inspired.

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