At first, it was the most frightening thing ever to introduce yourself to a complete stranger and then two seconds later, you're taking their clothes off to start bathing them. They trust you. Completely. I'm not even sure I'm worthy of the trust they give me. It's my first time doing any of this. How can they trust me? My first patient was completely dependent. Couldn't even eat so she had a tube coming out of her stomach that feeds her. My second patient swore and was very hard of hearing. She was a riot. This week I worked with a woman that has Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's. She's an artist. She's beautiful. I gave her a coloring book so she could color a bit while I was doing other stuff. When I came back to check on her, I realized she could color better with a tremor in her hand than I ever could with a steady hand.
I've cleaned these ladies butts, washed their bodies, cracked jokes they don't really get, broken up an almost fight, and picked out 95 year old clothes and yet my favorite part has been with a woman who doesn't speak. At 12 they get their lunch. We sit with the ones who maybe can't feed themselves or don't want to eat. I sat with a nun. She's sleeping most of the time with her eyes closed and no real muscle strength to do anything for herself. She stirred a bit as I sat next to her but still had her eyes closed. As I placed food near her lips she would smell it and open up her mouth to receive it. I feed her lunch for about an hour and she was still then she was only half way done. She would fall asleep in the middle of it so it was hard to keep a good rhythm. As I sat and fed her I thought about all the good she had to have done in her convent. I couldn't imagine the stories she could tell me about the children she worked with and the people she got to love. I dreamed about the life that she had lived and quickly became sad at how she had no family to visit and love her in her most vulnerable state. I guess I just felt honored that I could serve a woman that spent her whole life serving. It was kinda amazing to be needed.
I hope everyone could feel needed like that at least once.