Monday, December 1, 2008

Hanoi Jane

There is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) who works the graveyard shift (10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) here at the nursing home. Her name is Janis and, I thought, she was Vietnamese, but she is from Philippines. Anyways, to myself, I call her Hanoi Jane. She is a terror. Despite the fact that most of the residents are trying to sleep, she will knock loudly on the door before bursting in. Her main duty is to keep water pitchers filled and to empty catheter bags and urinals. It's a shitty job at an ungodly hour, but she picked it.

Several times I have asked if she could please keep it down. It's bad enough that she wakes me up, usually around 4:00 a.m., but I don't want her to wake up my roommate, Danny. He is suffering from cancer (it turns out the stroke I thought he was recovering from happened 40 years ago). If anyone needs rest, Danny does. I thought I was in constant pain, but not compared to Danny, who constantly whimpers, but tells the nurses that he is doing O.K., with the hope that lying will get him out of this place sooner.

Anyways, I've asked Hanoi Janis several times to please keep it down and have asked her to close the door behind her to keep the noise and light out in the hall. The first couple times she just harrumphed and, if anything, grew even louder. Once, again after I asked her to keep it down, when she went to empty my urinal, she slammed the toilet seat up against the toilet tank, dumped out the urine, then slammed down the lid. Then she returned, after slamming the bathroom door, she slammed the empty urinal bottle down on the bedside table, inches from my head. She didn't even rinse it out. (I am reminded that, on her first day, she dumped the urinal into the sink. The same sink I wash my face or brush my teeth at.) When she left the room, she slammed the door. At least the door was closed.

This has gone off and on for a couple months, but it came to a head on Saturday. Once again she came charging into the room. The nursing home has the heat cranked up to 80ยบ, so I was laying in bed naked. I was able to get the covers over "Little Buddy" before she came around the corner and I told her, once again, keep it down. She started off on me saying that she is just doing her "blah, blah," I stopped listening. I said something, she said something, it went on until i told her to "Go to Hell." Not a good thing to say to a devout Christian. A devout Christian like Carrie's mom. Before she left the room she said something to the effect that she was going to tell on me. Is this the third grade?

Since then she has done nothing for me. She has basically abandoned the part of her job description where she empties my urinal. My urinal doesn't get emptied? I can't pee. Turning on the call light does nothing because she would be the one to answer it.

On top of this, right after she comes into my room, she charges into the room next to mine, the room shared by Alice and Crazy Alice, and berates Crazy Alice loudly. She yells at Crazy Alice to get out of bed so Janis can dress her. I guess one of Janis' duties is to dress Crazy Alice for breakfast, but breakfast isn't until 8:00 a.m. Does she expect Crazy Alice to sit alone in the dark for four hours. No wonder she yells "Help!" all the time.

I recounted these events to a couple of the nurse's (there are a couple, really great nurse's here who are easy to talk to) and they both said I needed to report Janis to the head of nursing. I didn't want to. I have never been a tattle tale. But this can't go on for much longer. I can't lay in bed for hours needing to pee, waiting until Janis goes off duty.

So I complained. Notes were taken and I was assured that action would be taken. We'll see. Janis will have the opportunity to defend herself, and only God knows what she'll say. But rumor is that she is constantly complaining about residents, other CNAs, and even the nurses, so her side may only be taken with a grain of salt.

As far as what else happened today, Obama officially named Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and said that he wants troops out of Iraq in sixteen months. Washington Mutual, my bank, has laid off 3400 out of 4700 employees in Seattle. And for the first time in two months, I stood up (with assistance). I was able to get my left foot flat on the ground, but I am still on my tippy-toe on the right. If it wasn't for the hematoma on my left leg, I could have stood for longer, but I only managed a couple minutes. Tomorrow I will try for five. I will also be working with O.T. (Occupational Therapy) to be able to get in and out of bed (to my chair).

Tonight I have a new episode of "Heroes" to look forward to, and hopefully "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" will have returned from vacation. Heroes ends about the time Janis starts her shift. We will see what happens.

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