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Thought for the Day #50

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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I read this the other day and I’ll tell you this made me think of so many of our patients. I enjoy all of our patients even the grumpy ones but I also know that on days when things are already hard or things have already gone wrong it is easy to see the grumpy patient as just that…. A grumpy patient. If you are already struggling in your day, your vision often becomes skewed in some fashion and it’s hard to see all that patient really is. This also happens when we have been at this for a while, in this clinic we pride ourselves on making sure patients feel like people and not just a number or a disease. So with that in mind, here is a poem that, as the story goes, was written by a gentleman while he was in a long term care facility. He was a poor man with not real property or belongings, no inheritance for his children and was believed to have nothing to leave for anyone. This was found by the nurses after he had passed away and when they found it they were so moved by it they made copies and passed it around the facility. Because of the impact it had on the folks there, people started posting wherever they could and it has now become something of a classic written by anonymous. While this was written with nurses in mind the idea applies to EVERY person involved with health care and care in general of people NOT just elderly.

Cranky old man…
What do you see nurses?… What do you see?
What are your thinking when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit with far away eyes?
Who dribbles his food and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice ”I do wish you’d try!”
Who seems not to notice the things that you do.
And forever is losing a sock or a shoe?
Who, resisting or not lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding the long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking? It that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,
As I do your bidding.. as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten with a father and mother
Brothers and sisters who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty my heart give a leap.
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep
At Twenty-Five now I have a young of my own
Who needs me to guide and a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty, my young now grown fast
Bound to each other with ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons have grown and gone
But my woman is beside me to see I don’t mourn
At Fifty, once more babies play ‘round my knee
Again, we know children.. my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my wife is now dead
I look at the future… I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own
I’m now an old man and nature is cruel
It’s jest to make old age look like a fool
The body, it crumbles… grace and vigor depart
There is now a stone where I once had a heart
But inside this old carcass a young man still dwells
And now and again my battered heart still swells
I remember the joys, I remember the pain
And I’m loving and living life over again
I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast
I accept the start fact that nothing can last
So open yur eyes people, open and see
Not a cranky old man
Look closer…see… ME!

We are of a certain heart to do what we do where we do it, make sure that you honor that fact when speaking with our patients. When you work here they are our family.
Have a Wonderful Wednesday

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