Friday, May 13, 2011

Goodbye, Midge...

I received the following email a couple of days ago from my Hospice coordinator:

Dear Heathen,

I have a new patient who I think you might enjoy. She is in her late 60s and has cardiac disease. She is alert and very talkative, and lives near you. Let me know what you think!

Well, I was pretty psyched, and even more so when I looked up her address and discovered that her house is just steps away from my yoga studio. But what did that mean about Midge, my current Hospice patient, who is 103 years old and crazy in a verbally abusive kind of way? Was my coordinator suggesting I switch patients, or that I take on both? I crafted a reply to try to feel her out and possibly edge her in the direction of switching me to the new lady:

She sounds lovely, and you're right, the location is very convenient for me. However, I'm worried about having time to visit two patients 2-3 times a month. Do you think it might make sense for someone else to take over Midge? I don't think she recognizes me so I'm not sure it would make a difference to her. She is very nice and personable sometimes, but at other times she can be quite belligerent, which can be difficult to take. (Usually I don't stay long when this is the case.) Let me know what you think.


Well, she wrote back and said I should make the switch, effective immediately. I'll go check out my new lady this weekend. Goodbye, Midge. I'm sorry I didn't get to know you when you were younger and not crazy. I hope your remaining days are happy and filled with all the things you love -- nuns, the military, red shirts, purple pants, and imaginary friends.

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