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‘Twas the night before Christmas…at the SNF

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the home
Not a call light was ringing, not even Ms. Jones’;
The TED hose were hung on the bed rails with care,
In hopes that the head nurse soon would be there;
The patients were nestled all snug in their beds;
Visions from ambien and seroquel danced in their heads;
Ms. Smith in her hospital gown, and I in my hair cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long night’s nap,
When out in the courtyard there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my air mattress to see what was the matter.
My bed alarm annoyingly rang through the night,
I tore open the privacy curtain and threw back the call light.
The moon shone brightly on the new-fallen snow,
Looked like Mr. James’ white hair with a tad of glitter though,
When what to my failing eyes did appear,
But a shiny red electric scooter and a blow up rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be crazy old Mr. Vick.
More rapid than eagles the CNAs came,
The maintenance man whistled, shouted, and called him by name:
“Now, Mr. Vick! now, Mr. Vick! Come back inside!
The weather is frigid and you know it’s bedtime!
They chased him to the porch, to the coke machine, back to the hall!
He drove fierce, and fast, and yelled *%&$# to you all!
As soon as he passed his hallway, another lady started to cry,
“There he goes, there he goes! Catch that crazy guy!”;
So up to the nurses’ station the entire staff flew
With the cook and the housekeeper chasing Mr. Vick too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the loudspeaker,
The head nurse saying we have an “all clear”.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Ms. Smith was standing there without her hospital gown!
She was dressed in her birthday suit from head to toe,
And I couldn’t find my call light…where did that thing go?!?;
A bundle of clothes she had flung on her back,
In her makeshift pillow-case-turned-backpack.
She turned to head herself out into the hall!
Her cheeks were were shining brightly; I just knew she would fall!
I found the oxygen, call light, my water pitcher and left slipper sock,
And climbed into bed with a glance at the clock;
I think I might need a pain pill, It’s been a long night,
Maybe tomorrow I can skip therapy, it’s a holiday all right?!?;
Now back comes Ms Smith, her girls hanging to her belly–
That shook when she laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
She has a partner in crime now and they are eyeing my window,
And I laughed when I saw them, and said in no uncertain terms “NO!”;
With a wink of her eye and a twist of her head she squealed,
“I guess we aren’t getting out of here until we are dead!”;
I spoke not a word, but went straight back to sleep,
And filled my mind with what used to be,
My precious family, my friends, my memories of love,
now all spending this holiday with God above;
I’m content, I’m taken care of, I even now have “friends”,
And there’s never a dull moment in this place that I now spend.
As Ms Jones crawled into bed I heard a scooter rush by—

and Mr. Vick shouted “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

                                    —-Ms. Gardenia

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