"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Funny What the Memory Has In Storage...

Yesterday we got notice of an admission coming, "84 year old female, stage 4 Alzheimer's Disease", so I got the room ready. She comes up, we get her all set up. She looks like the "typical" Stage 4 Alzheimer patient...confused, picking at her covers and clothes, trying to take out her IV, rambling jibber jobberish words that don't make sense, ragged hair, no family with her...We took care of her, got her all set up, got her nice and dry and in comfortable clothes (hospital gowns YAY! So comfy....At least they're dry), and she started crying, so I stood with her holding her hand and talked to her for a couple minutes, explaining to her she was in the hospital because she fell at home and we would take good care of her and she was safe, etc etc. I looked at her name and tried to pronounce it and asked her if that was the correct way to say it, and surprisingly, the first real word out of her mouth, she corrected me with the right way to say her name. She wasn't able to answer any other questions about her self, where she came from, if she had family, what happened to her, etc. Her memory was not there with us.

So, that all over and done with, we tuck her in for the night and tell her to get some rest. We turn off the lights and say "Goodnight" as we leave the room, and she shouts something I didn't understand. My co-worker starts cracking up, and I ask her why?  She turns to me and says, "Well, She remembers the Italian word for "Fu** off!"

We learned later from a family member over the phone that she speaks only Italian.


Oh, what funny things the brain so conveniently remembers....


She Speaks Greek. Not Italian. Not that it matters. I guess. But apparantly she knows curse words in Italian. I really don't know. Or maybe she's an ex-international-translator? Interesting thought.

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