Sunday, August 18, 2013

Old man

I picked up some hospital coverage over the weekend. The client has been a long time favorite of mine.

As he slept, I wrote quietly next to him. A man in the hall was very agitated. He was certain that his leg was gone. He was being quite brave about it, but he would not believe that his leg was there. He was held tight in the clutches of dementia. He talked about luggage, and the girl in a glass box. He talked about needing new wheels for the chair he was in. He wanted tools to fix it himself. He was sure that he could, if only someone gave him tools. He had something clutched tight in his hands. The nurse was concerned that it was an insurance card, and that he might lose it, or something, so she asked to see it.

This man might have forgotten many things. He might be broken and old and not right in his mind. But he remembered that he was a soldier. He remembered that he fought in the war. The nurses admired the old military id card, remarked how handsome he was as a young man. He remembered that too...what it was like to be young, and strong and able to do anything. He remembered what it was like to turn women's heads.

Eventually, one by one, the nurses returned to their duties, and that old man was left clutching his ID with a far away look on his face.

It wasn't long, and once again, he was looking for tools so that he could fix his wheelchair.


jeanie said...

Oh how beautiful and so sad.

Bob said...

I am impressed by the kindness the nurses showed this gentleman. They could have found him tiresome and just routinely done their jobs but instead they validated and affirmed him.

Debby said...

When you stop to think that many of those nurses were at the tail end of a 12 hour day, you are impressed at their kindness. It was a busy day on the floor and many of them were tired and ready to go.

I am not sure, but I think the man was in the hall because they could not let him out of their sight. He was so very confused. He might not know who he is, but he has never forgotten who he was.

Anonymous said...

Off subject....wanted to share this story I read....could be you and Nash :)