I have surprised myself. I really enjoy my inpatient part of my rotation. The geriatric patients are so sweet and I love seeing them getting better! Most of the time, these patients get admitted because they are having "behaviors." These behaviors include things like: trying to choke a family member, grabbing a loaded gun and going through the window chasing a UPS man who is coming to kill your wife (who died a year ago), punching staff members at nursing homes, becoming extremely argumentative, hoarding things at home, accusing family and neighbors of stealing, and inappropriate sexual comments. Why do they act like this? Well, they usually have dementia, however most of them are being medicated and while they get worse, their family doctors just keep increasing the dose of their medications. Adverse effects of over medicating are irritation, agitation, and violent behavior. Simply tapering their medicine makes them so much kinder and sweet. I really really like seeing them get better. It is rewarding.
What's the hardest part of the geriatric patients? Since most of them have dementia, their short term memory is just shot. They tell you the same three things ten times in fifteen minutes. That's really sad, and frustrating when you're trying to get specific information from them. It's really hard to look at them and think that could me or Jake in 60 years. Scary.
Ok, this rotation has definitely left me with some laughs. This is more just for my own sake so that I don't forget them.
"Well, Christ, he had four testicles. And it was the Holy Grail."
"Vampires, dead people's ashes, the spirits in the cemetery, they all talk to me."
"The sky lab has created a pill that makes you fifty years younger."
"Hey, you got whiskey in there?"- to me as I walk in with my coffee cup.
"Jesus tells me to behave."
"You better keep your pants on."- to Dr. S as we walk out of the room
"Are you going to go put some clothes on?"- to me as I left the unit
"You're such a beautiful girl." - a few of the ladies told me this everyday. It made me feel really good.
"What are you, his sister? You look identical."
"I kept taking my cane and poking him in the foot. He was sleeping and not listening to me and well I get paid to talk."
Dr. S- "what year is it?" patient- "1970."
"Leave me alone. I'm sick of this crap. I exercise every day and I DON'T WANT TO DO IT."- this was after speaking to the sweet patient that she was in the morning. 1 hour later...totally different attitude.