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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Come Go With Me

I don’t know why no one has made a movie or sitcom based in a nursing home. Sure there are moments where humor is the last thing on anyone’s mind there, but mostly, we are having a good time. Even when we aren’t having fun, we can look back and laugh our heads off at some of the goings-on. This week, was no exception.

Celebrating Houdini's 80th birthday didn't go exactly as planned. He needed to be weighed. One of the CNAs took him to the scale, and he fought her tooth and nail. She called for backup. Since she used the intercom, everyone in the building could hear the call, which was vague but her tone said she needed help quickly.

Several of us headed over there. I walked in just in time to see three balloons tired to his wheelchair, but the birthday boy was not celebrating. He was hollering as his legs and arms were swinging, two CNAs were trying to get him on the chair scale. I looked around for a hidden camera, because, honestly, does this shit really happen?

In the end, there were five of us struggling to get him on the scale, but we weren't successful until... we all sang Happy Birthday. Right there, in the bathroom.

Picture, if you will, six people crammed into a bathroom, with a man who is shouting, "I'll break your arm off!" while he has a hold of my arm, is kicking my boss, who by the way had the idea to sing to him, while balloons are blowing in the breeze of our exhausted singing breath.

Maybe it was a rough week for Houdini. Maybe he just hates that bathroom. Whatever the case, a day or two later, I heard screaming coming from the bathroom. It is in everyone’s job description to investigate any type of noise resembling that of a resident in distress. So I go running down the hall. I knock hard on the door, holler out, “Do you need help?” (I’m not allowed to just go busting into a room where there is a closed door.)

I hear a soft voice, a struggling voice, perhaps it was more of a grunting sound she was making. At any rate, a CNA needed an extra set of hands. Seems that while she was helping Houdini onto the toilet, he shimmied his arms out of the lift, which is used to help get him from his wheelchair and onto the toilet.

She is no bigger than a minute, maybe 5 feet tall at the most. I walked in after she gasped, "Hurry."

I saw her trying to hold Houdini up, while his drawers were around his ankles, and he was screaming like a banshee, "Where's the damn pot? I have to go! Let go of me, damn it!" Houdini is 6 feet tall at least. He weighs somewhere near the 200s. Guess I should have paid more attention at his birthday weigh in.

Her face was flaming red, she had sweat dripping off of the tip of her nose. It literally took everything in her power to not drop that man on the floor.

I grabbed hold of him, and tried to set him on the toilet. He screamed, "I am going to go right here if you don't get me to the toilet." Since I was holding him up with my forearms under his arms, from behind, I wondered if he was going to pee or poo. Yes, it was a very important question for me at that moment in time. Fearing the latter, I moved along side of him... just in time for him to start crapping. Somewhere in mid-plop, we got him onto the toilet.

I apologized profusely to him and the CNA. I helped her get him back into his wheelchair, and the three of us came out of that bathroom sweaty, smelly and plum tuckered out.

As we headed down the hallway, Houdini grabbed for the telephone on the wall. I asked who he was calling. He looked at me very seriously and said, "A dump truck."

Now that is comedy!