1. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    #1 jc141265, Apr 27, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2006
    To the staff who think some visitors are overwrought and oversensitive:

    There once was a little girl who’s daddy was the biggest, strongest, cleverest daddy in the whole wide world. She still remembers how when she was just a little tike, she used to wait at the front windows of the old house she grew up in for five o’clock to come, because at that time, she would see her father striding down the road on his way home from work. She used to run out the door at first sight of him, run all the way down the road, full pelt and when she reached him, with a smile that lit up the world, he would reach down, and then whisk her up high, and then carry her home in his arms.

    Now there is a girl who’s father is dying, but not only that he’s lost his mind. Some say he’s already gone, his spirit has left his body, other’s say the real man is still there, he just can’t communicate. Each day that girl wakes up and thinks to herself, ‘what am I going to do today, with my free time?’ and then each time she remembers that her father is in a home now and how could she be so mean as to not visit him, and she realizes with a heavy heart that her free time will be spent visiting him. Not that she doesn’t still love him. In fact her heart is so heavy because she loves him so much.

    So this girl on every other day, comes home from work, or leaves her family on the weekend to go spend some time with her ailing father. Walking in the door of the home, the smell nauseates her, is it the smell of hospital like food cooking or is it the smell of old people, the sick and the dying? Walking through the halls, she passes the frail and the elderly and shudders as she remembers what the ones in the rooms that she can't see look like. When she gets to her father’s section there are not only old and sick people but crazy people. One lady has called her an ‘f’n b’, another has hissed at her for not letting her out, then there is the lady that comes and dribbles on the girl and her father, or sometimes tries to slap them. There’s the man who is so crazed the girl sometimes stays extra long with her father because she worries he is scared of the other man and there are no staff available to reassure him. All the while the girl herself is a little scared of all this too. There are the days when there is no staff in sight, and it seems like every resident is crying out to the girl for her to help them, something that wears her thin as she is struggling enough emotionally just coping with her father’s situation. Last but not least, there are also the days where her own father yells like he is being murdered, hits his daughter in the face, looks like the most miserable person in the world.

    So when this girl snaps at you when you tell her she doesn’t know her father as well as you, just remember who’s father it is, and that this girl has bitten her tongue when you and others have said similar things a 100 times before.

    So when this girl looks upset when you don’t change her father’s soiled clothes at her request, just remember that she’s been sitting next to him for the last 30 minutes smelling it, he’s been yelling at her as if to say ‘why aren’t you helping me’, and again she has sat silent in similar circumstances a 100 times before. See how long you could bear it, I dare you.

    So when this girl bursts into tears when you tell her she is not allowed to unlock the front door after hours to get out, just remember that it takes every ounce of her strength to walk in that door every day, that she has silently without complaint gone to find someone to let her out a many times before, and silently gotten more and more upset that noone ever volunteers to let her out although they can see that she is leaving. On most evenings there is noone to be found in the halls and in the end she often ends up having to rescue some poor resident who is also looking for a staff member.

    The girl is tired, the girl is sad, the girl has a heart that is breaking, the girl knows that there is nothing to set her watch by, she could be doing this for one more week or ten more years. The girl doesn’t know what horrors lie in store for her father, or what horrors he may be spared from. What she does know is that she is stuck until God has mercy on her and her father. And when he does that will be no welcome nor bless’ed mercy either.

    So what can I say – give the girl a break, try to be polite, try to be sensitive, remember how you’ve felt when you’ve gotten attached to a dying resident, and then multiply those emotions by 10 and add the feelings of family duty in as well. If you’ve had a family member in the same situation, remember how that felt.

    I have no interest in complaining and causing trouble, but I don’t need to be made more upset then I already am by the rude and insensitive.
  2. cynron

    cynron Registered User

    Sep 26, 2005
    east sussex
    I feel the same

    Nat that was so well put. I often feel the same but in this case it is my husband who at the moment is in hospital for assessment he is in his 4th week and although i am told to have a day off now and then from visiting ,i feel a compulsion to go. He still knows me and nearly knocks me off my feet with hugs and kisses when i visit.

    sending a hug to you

    love CYNRON X X X
  3. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Did you send it Nat?
  4. daisymaid

    daisymaid Registered User

    Mar 7, 2006
    lincoln uk

    That was so well put it made me cry, thats all i seem to do at the moment

    from one girl to another

    hugs daisymaidxxxx
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    What an amazing post! Nat you 'got' me. I only returned to it now to respond with a big hug because I thought I was safe to do it without bawling all over the keyboard again - not so....

    Can't do much but send a hug.... and a huge thank you for sharing that.....

    Love Karen (TF)
  6. maria29al

    maria29al Registered User

    Mar 15, 2006
    Thank you.

    Big Hug

  7. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Nat, can understand a little of what you are going through, so thank you for articulating it all so well for us.

    Hope you sent a copy to dad's home, and if not, hope it has given you some solace posting here.

    Love and best wishes,
  8. jan.

    jan. Registered User

    Apr 19, 2006
    Cheshire, UK.

    What can i say....... That was AWESOME!!! It really allowed the feelings to flow....

    Best Wishes,

  9. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    Can't think of a title

    Nat, it takes someone special to write something like that. In a funny kinda way, I'm glad I'm not the first one here to tell you that in reply. To express what you're feeling (and many of us share in diferent ways) so eloquently is very very moving to read. As Connie said, I hope breaking your silence to us made your burden feel a little lighter tonight.

  10. May

    May Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    A touch on the heart

    You speak for us all probably with those words.
    Thank you & take care
  11. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    Thanks everyone, am glad my midnight outpouring was appreciated by others as well. Couldn't go to sleep last night because I'd had enough of being silent and being spoken to rudely and insensitively by staff at Dad's home.

    The post was inspired by an incident that occurred yesterday evening when I left Dad's home. I, much to my embarassment ,burst into tears when I tried to get angry at a staff member - when she told me off for unlocking the doors to get out - even though I hadn't left and was just unlocking them so that it would be less trouble for the staff member when I found one to let me out - and so I went home feeling miserable and frustrated last night and feeling a bit stupid as well because really it was a silly thing to get upset about.

    Couldn't sleep because I felt like I wanted to scream at someone...I really didn't want to go see Dad yesterday but forced myself too anyway, hadn't eaten lunch, was tired, had a headache and then spent the visit on edge because of the crazy guy I mentioned (when I say crazy guy, I mean no rudeness, it is just where he is at with the disease). When the staff member told me off, I was about to just be silent as always and just nod and say sorry and then I thought 'NO, I need to stop taking this ****.' Unfortunately my attempt at standing up for myself completely failed when the tears made every word I said unintelligible!:eek:

    The frustration bubbled and boiled inside of me until I tried to go to sleep and then found I couldn't. Thus I served the whole thing up on here, from the response it appears that I must have left it simmering for just the right amount of time.:rolleyes:

    Amy, no I haven't handed it in to the home....yet...I am thinking about it....though my husband has warned me that if I don't he will and with a lot more rudeness than I would!;) Also Amy I am not upset at u for the Grrrs just had no time of late...so yes i will get back to you sometime soon with a pm.

    To everyone else, thanks again, its nice to know that I am not the only one who feels like this.
  12. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    It's often the smallest things

    Hi Nat, I've noticed lately on the harder days it is the smaller things that can really 'set me off'. I had a rotten day on Monday (tired, toothache, developing a verucca, miserable meeting with a stupid client, etc.). When I got home, all I wanted to do was dig a hole and plant the plant I'd bought over the weekend and admire how my garden is coming along for five minutes. My partner was raring to get off to the supermarket, pointing out all the housework that needed doing. Although I guess it was really cumulative stress and tiredness, I spent 30 minutes crying over an azalea. Well, at least it got watered I guess. I guess the lesson is that if something that unimportant can send me over the edge, I need more rest and need to look after my health better (or at least move it higher up the agenda).

    I was really distraught when my Mum first moved into her home (still am sometimes, but not all the time), and found the home where more helpful when I explained that to them. Although they are there for the residents, not their carers, I found they understood that I needed a little emotional support and some encouragement - and that this would indirectly help Mum too. I don't know whether 'blowing my top' at them would have done any better or not, but if there's a way of contacting the manager to talk to them about your own feelings that might maybe help? I'm sure - like us - they'd tell you're doing a magnificent job already, and that it's perfectly natural and ok to feel as you do.

    I've now idea what time of day it is where you are, but get that husband of yours to give you a cuddle and tell you how great you are. (I guess you could tell him a few hundred people in the UK told him so, if that helps to persuade him! :)
  13. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    I do hope you find the courage to send it :) Why not stand up for your rights & be counted

    I get like that sometime so angry, that I end up crying.

    Hope today is a better day for you :)

    Love ((Hugs)))
  14. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    Dear Nat,
    I hate what your going through and am so sorry. If your letter can improve the life of even one employee or one patient your should send it. I'm sure people that work in that envionment don't have an easy role either and I imagine they seldom (if ever) try to place themselves in the families shoes. It would be good that they read it from your perspective. You should also send it to your local newspaper. Public awareness can't hurt either.
    Take care of Nat.
  15. Gromit

    Gromit Registered User

    Apr 3, 2006
    Go for it!


    Now I have recomposed myself after reading your note and have dried my eyes so I can see the keyboard again I just had to send you a message.

    Your note was utterly amazing, it really should be seen by a wider audience and in particular those at the home.

    You have shown such courage by recording all of those feelings, expressing them so honestly and sharing them on TP. Sending the note will no doubt be daunting, but it is obvious from your note how brave you are, go for it!

    Thinking of you,
    let us know when you send it.

    Big cuddles
  16. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Hi, Nat,

    Echo just about everything everyone else has already said, especially that such a powerful piece of writing should have a wider audience. Personally I think it should be adopted in the training syllabus for any care worker/health professional etc etc - and a framed copy erected in the 'staff room' of every care establishment!

    On a personal note, can I thank you especially for that conclusion - "but I don’t need to be made more upset then I already am by the rude and insensitive". I've been really upset recently by a particular colleague's reaction to 'my situation' (dismissive etc). Today, I just thought of your words and it all washed over me.....

    Cheers, Nat!:)
  17. Chris Edgerton

    Chris Edgerton Registered User

    Oct 22, 2003
    Warwick District
    Just to say, great item.

    PS don't see it as a complaint, but as an input to enable all to receive a better quality of life in care.
  18. kazlou

    kazlou Registered User

    Feb 3, 2006
    Hi Nat,

    I just want to thank you, it was so moving and true.
    I sadly lost my father August 2005 after many months in hospital and then in a nursing home (this was after a stroke), I went through exactly the same emotions myself and found it so very difficult as I had to cope with my mother who has A.D I loved my father so much but really hated seeing him lying there solitary in a room unable to speak, move, or eat & drink, but I also hated my mother for acting up & not understanding what Dad was going through and also myself brother and sister were going through.
    I love to remember the days when I too would run down the street to greet my father, but also I still live with the vision of those sad eyes pleading with me whilst being stuck in his prison. I pray that I will not have to go through this again with Mum.

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