Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'm gunna be fiiiiiiiinnnneeee!!!!!

Sometimes work is rough.  Why?  Because I haven't learned everyone's specific needs yet, so I feel like I'm scrambling to make sure no one dies.  Odd.  One of my coworker's favorite anecdotes about me during my second week of work is this: "And Kacey stepped in from the lunch room, grabbed her hair and said, 'THERE'S JUST SO MUCH!'"  Yes.  That about sums it up.  There's just so much.

The thing is, everyone has all this specific health things, but most of them don't happen very often.  So, like, I forget them.  Luckily one of the more serious ones didn't happen when I was on duty.  I came back from lunch one day and another staff pulled me aside and said, "Okay, so everything is fine, but I feel like a horrible person."  Ah yes, that's exactly how I love to start my afternoons.  What had happened is she was helping one of my guys to the bathroom.  We'll call him Joe.  Joe is older, super cheery-- except when his Alzheimer's kicks in.  He is a little shaky and once in a while, not often at all, will just fall.  Because of that, we have to hold his hand while he walks.  Oh everyone loves "Joe"!  He's a lover not a fighter!  Well, my coworker was walking him to the bathroom.  She let go of his hand for a second to grab something, and in that second he dropped to the ground.  A complete and honest accident.  She wrote the report (Our policy is CYA- Cover Your Butt) and told me what happened.  "I checked everywhere and the only thing I could find was his knee got scuffed.  So I did First Aide and he's fine.  In fact, he will tell you he's fine."

"I trust you, Cami.  He doesn't need to tell me he's fine," I reply.

"Oh no, Kacey.  I know.  But he'll tell you anyway.  And his bad mood is completely gone."

See, he'd been in such a bad mood all morning.  So much so that when his home staff came to pick him up for a Dr's appointment he would NOT get into the car.  They had to reschedule his appointment.  So to know that him falling put him in a good mood... that was odd.  I didn't buy it.

She was right, by the way.  The first thing he said when I went over to him was "I'm fine!  I'm gunna be fine!"

"I know, Joe!  I heard!"

"Kacey!  I need your help!" another one of my individuals said.  I turned to her and said I'd be there in a second, while my coworker came over to watch the others while I helped this one.  As my coworker approached, "Joe" stood up and started singing.  He has this amazing warble of a vibrato and it always sounds straight off a vinyl record from the 50's.  What did he sing, you might ask?  "I'mmmmmmmm  Gunnnnaaaaaa be fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnneeeeeee!"

Yes.  He sang that for ten minutes.

I understood then what Cami meant.

Oh I love him.  He's one of my favorites to be around.  He'll sit and sing allll day long.  It's a wonderful thing!

There's another woman there with Alzheimer's.  It's not as bad as Joe's, but it can get pretty bad.  I love her compliments though.  One time I was helping her over to Cooking Class, and she looked right at me and said, "Boy you are cute, Doll!"  She calls all the female staff "Doll" at least once.  Though she can get catty with the other girls.  I just tell her, "you're an adult.  Act like one."  "I don't want to talk to her!" she'll say.  "Well then-- don't!" I say back. That gets her quiet real fast.  Oh she's sooo funny.

Hmmm what else...  One lady that I work with always asks me "What're you doin' tonight?"  I tell her, then she forgets and asks me again about an hour later.  A bunch of our guys do that.  Sometimes it's just for attention, so if I've already answered the question, I'll just turn the question back on them.  There's one man, we'll call him Bob, who is the best at it.

"Kacey.  What does High Sierra mean?" (Though he can't say his r's so it's more like "High siewwa")
"What does it mean, Bob?"
"The mountains."
"That's right."

"Kacey, Kacey.  What's Wal Mart?"
"What's Wal Mart, Bob?"
"Supah centah."
"That's right, Bob."

Bob has what we call "Shiny Moments," as in, he'll change topics midstream as if he got distracted by something shiny.  The other morning he went up to Crystal and said, "Cwystal Cwystal, I know how to spell your name."
"Okay, Bob, how do you spell it?"
"C- Aw- I"
"Okay, that works." (because it's CRY)
"S- Linda.  Wheah's Linda?  Why isn't Linda hewah?"

And we all lost it.  He's so funny.

I look forward to my every day question from Bob "Kacey, Kacey, what does High Siewwah mean?"

And "Joe" and I sing every day while waiting for the bus (he's obsessed with Elvis) "Wise men say only fools rush in..."

My internal song though, from now on, whenever I have anxiety is:
"Iiiiiiiiiii'mmmmmmm gunnnnnaaaaa be FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN NNNNNEEEEEE!"

I love my job :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blast from the past...

I found my first journal.  I loved finding this old journal.  My parents were BRILLIANT to do this.  I'm totally doing this for my kids.  And here is why:

This is the very first entry I dictated to Dad on April 5, 1992. 

"Kacey is my name.  I like to jump on the trampoline and on Michayl's bed when Tori is laying down on it.  Today I went to Cheryl Anderson's house and played as my mom and dad watched General Conference. 

Grandma Carlee took four of us to McDonalds.  I got a hamburger, some fries, and a drink of soda.  I like McDonalds and I go to the Pizza store.  I eat pizza with fries at the Pizza store.  I took my Barbie to the Pizsa store. It was hot.

I like to talk to Grandpa David.
Grandpa David gave us a talk and a puppy.  We call the puppy "RJ" (which stands for Rusty Junior).

I like to play with RJ at our home.  He bites me on the leg and makes me scream.  I then hit him on the head.  He cries just a little tiny bit.

We washed the Blazer yesterday.

We watched a movie about Ninja Turtles.

Mary Beth came over to my house this week.  When she was here we played horsey land.  While Mary Beth was here I changed into another girl.

I like to play with Tori and Mary Beth.

I like to play with RJ."

Some of my favorite quotes that only a child could get away with:

"Kelsy's mom, Sister Edgin, and she's got eyes and a whole head about her, was my teacher."

"The girls got the master bedroom downstairs.  It's VERY big!  The boys made the stairs.  We slide down the stairs.  Heavenly Father made the world."

"We moved already.  This is an old house."

"Mommy is silly."

"We went to the store.  Tor-pee (Tori) went with us."

"Tomorrow will be Brandon's 2nd day at school.  And blue track started and my friend Kathleen from the airport goes to my class.  She always late on the playground.  I always see the teacher and know she is there."

"My Dad told me on the phone she had a baby girl.  Kathryn, my baby sister, is so cute that everyone in my class will want to hold her.  She likes when everybody holds her.  She sleeps a lot.  She barely even eats, but mostly sleeps.  When she sleeps she acts like a statue and stays very still."

Sigh.  Life was good as a kid.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Then Sings my soul

Part of me really wants to write down everything I've been experiencing and feeling, but another part of me just doesn't see how that's possible.  I try to fit in everything that I can remember before FHE starts.

Reno is awesome.  my job, though intimidating at first, is WONDERFUL!!!  It reminds me SOOO much of being on a mission.  How you ask?  Well, first off, I'm in the Skills department.  We work with individuals who are the lowest functioning.  People in other departments often say "Gosh, I could never work in skills.  It's too tough."  Why does that remind me of being a missionary?  Well, it's what people said about me serving in France.  And within the mission, that's what people said about Valenciennes, one of my absolute favorite areas.  "Not enough success; too hard."  People, listen up: I LOVE THE SKILLS DEPARTMENT!!!  I can't imagine being ANYWHERE ELSE!  I have grown to love every individual I serve in my department, even the ones who scared the crap out of me at first.  I say scared because I really was quite uneasy; what are their disabilities?  How am I supposed to act?  What am I allowed to let them do, and what behavior am I supposed to hinder?  But as I got to learn about each individual even the most unpredictable and THEIVING (oh yes, we have drink thieves) have become precious to me.  What makes me love them the most is when I'm doing the down and dirty work: the toileting.  Mom and Michayla were nervous for me on this point.  But I decided, hey.  I've changed a bazillion baby diapers.  I'll just think of them like that.  But I didn't have to do that.  Why?  Because all I'm doing is helping them with something they can't do for themselves.  It's not an imposition.  It's an opportunity to serve.  It's what I believe the Savior would do.

Each person in my department, and there are about 40, has such a unique personality and set of talents.  Yes, talents.  There's one man, whoooooeeeeee!  He can keep rhythm better than any drummer I ever played with.  I remarked that today to his staff, and she said, "It's not just music that he keeps time to.  He'll do it for your rhythm too."  She started clapping a beat and MAN was he ON!!!  So I tried the same thing.  It took him like two seconds to get it right.  I made it a little more difficult: triplets.  Shiz, that man was ON IT!  Then he started smiling and laughing.  His staff turned to me and said "He loves doing this.  It makes him so happy."  How simple!  How fun!

There's another individual who tries to steal hugs.  He'll come to your side then slip his arm around your shoulders.  Today he tried that with me for the first time.  But I cut him off, like I'm supposed to, and said "no."  Then he asked politely, like he was supposed to, and I agreed.  That's generally the rule: they can hug you if they ask.  And I love my hugs. 

One man looks like a blond Robert Pattinson.  He's non verbal, but I love him.  He understands so much, we just don't understand him.  I wish I could.  He loves to interact with people and communicate the best that he can.

Then one of my favorites is a woman. She is just so cheery!  She is always saying, "Hello!  How are you?" and smiling, even when unpleasant things happen.  It's not that she's oblivious; au contraire.  You can visibly see that she knows what's happening.  But she chooses to be cheerful and upbeat about it.  How many of us can say that?

I could go on and on about this place.  I actually look forward to work.  I won't get to take over my own table for a few more weeks, but I found out which one it is, so I'm looking forward to it.

My ward seems pretty great.  I've made some new friends.  And... well, I'll talk about that later :)

Anyway.  Off to FHE!!!!