My job is hard.
It is extremely fast-paced, physically strenuous, and mentally challenging to juggle multiple patients at a time with different needs and requirements. I am a teacher, a coach, a mother, a boss, a waitress, a nurse, a psychologist, a daycare worker, a friend… a therapist.
I am blessed to have a good job and work in a nice, clean environment with other professionals whose goals are also to help people get back on their feet and not just make a buck. But it is not easy.
Number one… if not for Jesus filling my heart with love for the people I serve, I honestly could never do it. Nothing about the sinful being I am without Jesus would want to serve people selflessly, breaking my body in order to help heal theirs. ((Especially when it comes to vomit or poop!))
But Christ loves all of me, and died for me when I was still a sinner. When I was broken. (And man, was I a rotten excuse for a person before Him.) Therefore, He enables me to love them – not perfectly as only HE does – but with a love that He gives me. With strength He fills me with. I couldn’t make it through each day without Him.
Number two… I believe that God blessed us with humor. And second to Jesus, humor gets me through each day. I laugh throughout my day… whether with my patients or my co-workers. Anyone who knows the family I came from (or my quick-witted dad) understands why I joke about everything. My dad would sit in the sound booth at church with one of those children’s sound books and push buttons in to the microphone while mom was in choir practice to freak out the choir. “Why are we hearing frogs in the sanctuary?!” I also remember dad tickling mom while she was working in the kitchen until she could hardly breathe from laughing so hard. I grew up in a very loving, happy family and love to be surrounded by laughter.
I am a very deep, serious, emotional person.
But I am also very much a PLAIN OLE’ NUT.
This is why I have been keeping a collection of quotes from my patients at work.
From day one, I knew that I wanted to share this side of my job with my readers.
The average patient age at our hospital is 70. People come in after having hip or knee replacements, broken bones, strokes, COPD exacerbations, car accidents…
…and thank God that they have a sense of humor. (Or at least, even if they don’t know they do, they give us something to laugh about in what otherwise can sometimes be a tough environment!) Not only that, they are just super sweet and love on me just as I enjoy loving on them!
Things Patients Say. Part One.
(because I’m sure there will be many more to come).
Female patient: “You wanna know what scares a man off faster than anything? Matrimony breath.”
Female patient with dementia stares at me.
Female patient: “I just think you’re cute.”
Female patient while bathing: “The front part is a lot easier. The back side… well, I have so much meat back there…”
Female patient: “I’m so mean, I can’t stand myself.”
(Same female patient later on): “If I had a good BM, I wouldn’t be so mean.”
Female patient: “You’re a pretty little girl. I sure would like to take you home with me.”
Female patient: “Did I flitter in my seat?”
Me: “Flitter? What’s that?”
Female patient: “SH#%!”
Female patient: “I’m so tired… If I had a ton of you-know-what out of me, I’d feel a whole lot better.”
Me, teaching a patient how to use assistive equipment… and joking: “This is your reacher. If someone misbehaves, you can pinch them with it.”
Female patient: “…or I can just whack them upside the head!”
Same female patient later on: “That metal buckle on that belt would be good to whack someone upside the head with!”
Female patient: “You’re too pretty do have to do this kind of work!”
Male patient: “I don’t try very hard if it’s something I don’t like!”
Me, attempting to take a patient’s O2 & not getting a reading: “Are you alive?!”
Patient: “What? Am I in love?!”
Male patient: “I wonder who stays up at night dreaming up these exercises.”
Female patient: “You’re so nice and upbeat all the time. You must’ve taken ‘Nice and Upbeat 101.’”
Female patient: “There’s one thing about this institution I won’t miss… all the various noises, wheels rolling, things clanging…”
Me: “There’s nothing like the peace of home, right?”
Patient: “…yeah, the screaming…”
Patient: “Well, we ARE family!”
Patient to me as I moved furniture around her room to make way for her wheelchair: “If you ever get tired of this job, you could work as a mover!”
Patient referring to her wheelchair alarm: “If I had a place with one of these, you know where I’d put it? …as far as I could throw it!”
Me, attempting to tell a patient he could take a break. Or a rest. “You can take a breast. Break!! Rest!!”
Patient: Laughs & laughs.
Me: “Can you tell me your hip precautions?”
Patient: “I remember them but I forgot.”
Female patient: “My cripple toe is stuck out like a snake head.”
Female patient: “I need to wee wee.”
Me: “What did you say? You have to pee?”
Patient: “Everyone calls it something different.”
(a few minutes later…) “Can I tee tee with this catheter in?”
Male patient: “I do aerobics with a bunch of lard-butt women. They kick my butt.”
Me: “What does that say about you?”
Patient: “I’m a P.O.S.”
Male patient (presses call light): “Can I have a Percocet? On ice?”
After asking 96 year old patient if he would like to practice his ADLs for therapy (bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, etc.), he stated, “He## no, let’s do therapy!”
96 year old patient: “There sure are a lot of old people around here!”
96 year old patient: “Y’all sure do a heck of a lot of work, sitting around watching us old folks work!”
96 year old patient: “You live and you learn, then you die and forget!”
96 year old patient: “Are you married?”
Me: “No sir, but I would like to be.”
Patient: “Well, are you dating someone?”
Me: “Yes sir.”
Patient: “Well, what number would you dial if you and your boyfriend ate a jaybird?”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Patient: “281-JAY-BIRD! Aaahahaha…”
Me: “Would you like to brush your teeth before we go to therapy?“
Female patient: “Yeah, it’s been such a long time since I’ve brushed my tooth!”
Female patient: “You’re a saint. Really, you’re a saint.”
Female patient: “If I had a fortune, I’d put you in my will!”
Female patient: “Can I take you home with me?”
90-something year old Female patient: “I’m so jealous of you.”
Me: “Why is that?”
Patient: “Because you’re tall, thin, and you have a sexy body!”
Therapist: “What brought you to the hospital?”
Female patient: “The ambulance!”
While I was working with a female patient on her on her ability to raise her arms & she could finally reach up in the air, she stated – with arms in the air – “Now I can praise JESUS!!”