Thursday, August 11, 2016

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

My first day back to the world of caregiving was going very slowly! Everyone from the client's daughter to the CNA I relieved that morning had told me that the client is very alert; she would tell me herself who, what, why and when. That made me feel less stressed out. At mid-morning, I remembered to give her medication. I had written down which ones to give her when, they also had all the details on the rules behind the door. As I was taking the medication to give her, she told me to also give her something else that was not on the list. The client had told me that morning that sometimes, depending on how she feels, she switches things up a bit. I assumed that's what we were doing that morning and went with what she told me. Just before noon, the agent came by. We were meeting for the first time. He asked me how things were going. He went into the patient's room and had a few words with her, then came back and left me some paperwork to go through and sign. It was the contract. The agent also had somewhat of a meeting in the dining room, which was gorgeous by the way, with the man who appeared out of nowhere earlier on. It was nice to see that that man wasn't a figment of my imagination!

After the agent left, I had to think about whether I wanted to sign the lease or not. Especially having discovered something about the client, medically, that I wasn't ready to deal with. I hadn't been warned about it and it was something that I think they should have told me about. It traumatised me beyond belief and unfortunately, I couldn't scream at the top of my voice when I experienced it, I held my breath and beat my tongue. Who was I going to talk about this too? All I could do was hope that I wasn't going to be exposed to that again that day. But 12 hours is a long time! 

I had taken some snacks with me for lunch just in case I didn't get a chance to go to the store. Some client's provide food, but you never know. Turns out, this particular one didn't. She knew exactly how many of what she had where in the house. She would tell you exactly from her bed what to make her, how much of which ingredient to add and where it was in the kitchen. And it would be exactly where she said it was going to be! Freaking impressive! 

I asked the client what she would like for lunch; hoping she would tell me to make her a fruit salad or sandwich. Something light, you know? That was my job description; light meals. Well...! She told me that she loved meat and always had to have it. She told me to make her crab cakes and kale. She wanted her kale made in a very specific manner. Crab cakes too! She told me that she used to be a great cook and a foodie, so "I hope you know what you're doing in the kitchen!" Sh*t! I am not a big kitchen person, AND, the nerve! That's not why I'm here! I smiled and went to the kitchen to find the stuff she wanted and start prepping. I had never made crab cakes in my life before. In fact, I didn't even know what she looked like. Thankfully, they had a label on them. She told me she bought them from HSN for #150 for four. Girl! I'd rather but shoes and handbags! For each his own! 

I chopped up garlic and onion while I preheated the oven. Oh, I didn't tell you the crab cakes had to be baked? Child! That was definitely not light meal preparation! I did go along with it though. I didn't want to have a weird first day, even though that's exactly what I was having. I dished up for her and reheated the rice that was in the fridge. One less thing for me to make from scratch. Whew! She loved the food, so that was good!

After lunch, mind you by this point, I had only had an orange to eat. I couldn't tell you if I were hungry or not, I was so busy, and tired. My feet were killing me. 

I changed the bed and subsequently had to wash all the dirty linen. After lunch, patient talked to me more about her life. She told me that she lived with her husband. The man I had seen earlier. They live separate lives. She moved in with him and fixed the house up to be what it was that day. I didn't know what the house looked like before but I got her point. She told me that when she fell ill, he wanted nothing to do with her. He told her he wanted a divorce. He didn't want her kids in the house that's why she kept such a watchful eye on the granddaughter that morning before school. The guy uses a separate part of the house and client with all her staff use the rest of the house. All I could do was stand there with my sore feet and listen. I had nothing to add to the conversation because I didn't know the whole story. And I didn't want to get involved. 

She told me that she suspected that he may have tried to kill her. One afternoon, she was found on the floor of her bedroom, passed out. She spent days in the hospital. Inasmuch as she remembers everything in her life, she couldn't tell you what happened those two days. The days when the fall took place. She suspects that the husband may have tried to kill her. Those are serious accusations. I wasn't going to involve myself in something so sticky. I was dealing with enough stickiness already as it was. She told me the husband never leaves the house, he is watching this and that and the other. He hates that the house is always full of people, caregivers et al. 

That evening, I went to the backyard to the garbage bin. I saw the husband on my way out. I had to say a silent prayer that I made it back alive; just in case the accusations were true! 

After 5 pm, I finally took a break. My feet were so sore, it felt like I was walking on pins and needles! I was pooped. My t-shirt was soaking wet with sweat. I sat in the car for just under 30 minutes venting to my sister on Whatsapp. She was asleep. I just left her a ton of voice notes. My main thing was the 'situation' that nobody warned me about that I had to see for myself in the most awkward time.

From lunch time, I wanna say time just flew, but it didn't. 

More work, finished laundry, then just before 8pm, which was my going home time; patient asked me to make her dinner. I smiled and made my way to the kitchen. She wanted grilled cheese sandwich. Just as I was making it for her, her daughter and granddaughter came by. Granddaughter asked me to heat up her food for her. So now, I'm a nanny as well. She sat in the kitchen and chatted with me while eating and spilling her food all over the place. The conversation was nice, I won't lie. She's a very smart girl. When she was done, I had a bowl and spoon in the kitchen sink, I couldn't ignore. Just as I was taking care of that, I overheard the old lady telling her daughter that I gave her the wrong medication that morning. I thought to myself but you asked for it! But I'm not one to defend myself when it comes to stuff like that. Plus they weren't talking to me. Even when I was a child, I could never try to defend myself, still this day! I get overwhelmed when someone wants me to explain myself, but like in an attacking manner. You know when you can tell that someone has already made up their mind? I just let you do whatever you want about the situation. As long as I know the truth. I fell like fair and smart people will want to find out the truth first, in a non-judgemental way. If someone wants to jump to conclusions, who am I to stand in their way? 

I had alraedy grilled the sandwich when the client/patient told me she wanted two slices of cheese instead of one. I just opened it up and put in the second slice of cheese, then grilled it further. In the midst of the medication story awkwardness, I walked into the bedroom and handed the lady her sandwich. She opened it up! She literally, took the sandwich apart: one slice on one end, cheese, that way, the other slice that side! I was shocked! I was under the impression she wasn't as bad as they sad she was. But when she did that!  I thought to myself, I see what they were saying! Who puts apart a sandwich like that? For what good reason? She told me that that sandwich was sad. She had never seen such a sad sandwich! She wanted me to take it...... I thought she wanted me to take it and eat it after she pulled it apart with her dirty hands, so  I was like, uhm, no thanks. I will throw it away if you don't want it!  She told me that she wanted me to take it back to the kitchen, add more cheese and this and that and grill it all over again. Christ! Where are you? I need you right now! Her daughter was like, 'good! You must tell them what you want! blah blah blah' I thought to myself, maybe now that her daughter is here she feels like she needs to show off that she is the sh*t? I didn't understand where that attitude came from at all!

Just as I was standing in the kitchen watching the sandwich grill, the girl who was going to relieve me arrived. She was in such high spirits. I just wanted to GTFO (Get the f*** out). She asked how my day was, I told her it was ok. At that point, I wasn't trying to spend any more time in there than I should. MY SANDWICH! MY SAAANDDWICH! CAN I HAVE MY GODDAMN SANDWICH PLEASE! Came the voice from the bedroom. I was stunned! I didn't know her voice could be that loud. This is the person who was so soft spoken, I had to read her lips when she talked. Now she's yelling? My gosh! I went into the bedroom and told her that my relief was going to finish off her dinner, it was time for me to go, Bye! She looked at her clock, which was set five minutes behind and told me it wasn't time for me to leave yet. It was! All the other normal clocks were at 8pm, but I was willing to stay and make her sandwich and watch her lose the best caregiver she almost had.