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Poem by an Anonymous Dementia Patient (very sad) ++Cosmic Freak++

  Author:  62146  Category:(Poetry) Created:(6/15/2010 2:20:00 AM)
This post has been Viewed (9443 times)

THIS IS NOT MY POEM. But I found it moving so I thought I would share. Right now I am doing a course in aged care nursing at a local University (TAFE) and today in class the teacher brought in a poem written by a dementia Patient, This author remains anonymous, all we know is they were a Scottish woman, who died in the geriatric ward off Ashludie hospital near Dundee Scotland, this poem was found amongst her possessions, And it was so impressive, that copies off the poem were made and handed out to the nurses in the hospital. Though it was addressed to the nurses who surrounded her in her last days, it cries for recognition of common humanity.
My Teacher thought this would be a good poem to share considering we just got back from work experience in nursing homes in our areas. And we all shared stories off dementia clients, and bad tempered nurses it just made us all emotional I must say. This woman could not communicate except through this poem, and this poem will surprise you...

THE POEM

What do you see Nurses, What do you see?
What are you thinking when you look at me?
A crabby old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit with far away eyes.

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply,
Who when you say in a loud voice, I do wish you’d try,
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And is forever losing a stocking or shoe.

Who is unresisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding the day long to fill
Is that what you were thinking, is 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 girl of sixteen with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon a lover she’ll meet.
A bride now twenty, my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows I promised to keep,
At twenty-five now, I have young of my own,
Who need me to build a secure happy home.
A woman off thirty, my young grow fast

Bound to each other with ties that should last.
At forty my young ones have grown and have gone,
But my man’s beside me to see I don’t moan

At fifty once more babies play around my knee
Again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all rearing young of their own
I think of the years and the love that I’ve known
I’m an old woman now, and nature is cruel
‘Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body it crumples, grace and vigour depart;
There is now a stone where once I had a heart.
But inside this carcass, a young girl still dwells
And now and again my battered heart swells
I remember the joys, I remember the pains
I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years all too few-gone too fast
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes nurse, open and see,
Not a crabby old woman. Look closer, see ME.

Author - Anonymous Dementia Patient



++COSMIC FREAK++

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Replies:      
Date: 6/15/2010 5:38:00 AM  From Authorid: 16916    My grandma suffers with dementia so this poem hit home. Thanks for sharing, Cosmic Freak.   
Date: 6/15/2010 10:20:00 AM  From Authorid: 998    This poem is amazing really. If you think of what she is saying, it really could be said about any older person, who is being ignored by their community, family or friends. It's not that older citizens are people to be ignored for any particular reason .. it just seems that the youth around them get too busy with their lives and sort of forget that older people have so much time. I think they start to feel invisible and yet they are the best source of advice and entertainment with stories of what they have seen over a long lifetime of experiences.

Thank you Cosmic Freak for sharing this with us, it is awesome!!!
  
Date: 6/15/2010 4:08:00 PM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 62146    I am sorry for your grandma Jellie bean, And ginger you raise a good point!  
Date: 6/15/2010 10:20:00 PM  From Authorid: 58975    My husband's grandfather passed away a few months after we were married. For most of Gramdpa's life he was able to do as he please when ever he wanted. At the age of 97, only a few months before his death he walked into the church with out a walker, OR a chair. He walked tall and on his own two feet. I don't think I have ever seen my husband cry before that moment. Grandpa was one of the 2 men that gave me away at my wedding. It felt right. About a month after our wedding Grandpa's memory began to get sketchy, soon followed by having to put him on a feeding tube because he was no longer able to lift a spoon to his mouth.

That right there should show people, even though in his last months he wasn't physicaly able to do for himself, but it was like this poem....he could still THINK and SAY for him self...as he did often.

It's a beautiful poem Cosmic, thank you so much for posting it.
  
Date: 6/16/2010 4:15:00 AM  ( From Author ) From Authorid: 62146    I think what some nurses forget is their patients, clients whatever you call them are people, and what you do is not just a job to pay to bills your acctually caring for someone, so you really got to do your best as a nurse.  
Date: 6/18/2010 3:08:00 AM  From Authorid: 64414    Aww...that one just kicks ya in the gut doesnt it?? Great post Cosmic Freak...thanks for sharing!  
Date: 6/24/2010 8:46:00 PM  From Authorid: 42703    great poem, this ones a real stinger! thanks for sharing, i enjoyed the read.  
Date: 6/24/2010 9:19:00 PM  From Authorid: 15394    One of the best things I saw in the nursing home I used to work at were pictures of the people when they were younger. It made them more real somehow and I saw those with pictures get better care. It shouldn't be so, but it is... so to all of you that have loved ones in a home, I would suggest that you find an old 8x10 photo of them back "when" and post it on their door or over their beds or somewhere that nursing staff and nursing home staff can see it! It does help!! By the way I LOVED working in long term care, and dementia and Alzheimers patients were my favorite!!   

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