Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Gracias por mi elote primero!

Okay, so my day began at 8:15am as I spent 2 hours searching for Country songs for later today. It's now 6:30pm, and I still have a lot of documenting to do. I'm a bit sleepy, but not tired... does that make sense? Anyway, I saw a still fairly new patient this morning around 10am. The MT had visited with her a few times before, but today was the first we met. Freshly bathed, the patient was sitting in her wheelchair at the foot of her bed, slouched over in a sort of granny pose, one that suggested mid-scold. Already nervous to approach the patient and upset her even further, I slowly crept into the room, avoiding any sudden movements. I greeted the patient with a warm smile. "What do you want?" she asked in an irritated tone. I asked if she wanted music, to which she replied, "I don't care" as she threw a disregarding hand my way. I sat down in front of her, guitar in hand, and began to play. I tried Let Me Call You Sweetheart and Home on the Range, but she was not at all interested nor engaged. She persistently spoke over the music, grumbling about her hair still being wet. Well, she's obviously upset about her hair being wet, so maybe if I sing about it, she'll pay more attention to the music. Her wet hair was my bright idea to lure her in. I made up whatever C major melody came to mind as I sang "****'s hair is wet... if only it would dry..." etc. etc. you get the picture... She looked at me like, "You gotta be kidding me, who sent this whack job in here with a guitar?" I found a cheap plastic comb in her drawer and combed her hair for her. "It'll dry soon," I said. "WHEN??" she asked. "NEXT YEAR???" Yeah, she was mad, but hey, it made me laugh! I asked if she knew who George Gershwin was. "WHO???" "George Gershwin," I repeated. "Yes, I know him," she replied, still disgruntled. I sang and played a popular Gershwin tune, and would you believe it, she sang along! Yes, she mumbled all the words, but heck, I would've been happy with some eye contact at this point, let alone her singing along! I was so excited! Every song thereafter, she either hummed or jargoned along with me. It was going so well when she interrupted me to say she had to use the restroom. I tried to find a nurse to help her, but I was repeatedly being ignored and overlooked. One of our RNs came soon after, and eventually, she was forced to take it upon herself to help the patient to the restroom. Well, the music portion of the visit was over, but I was more than satisfied with what we had accomplished already. I stayed until the patient was safely back in bed. I said my good-bye to the patient and asked if she'd like for me to come back and play music for her. She, very politely, said 'yes'. :)

After some more intense chord searching, I traveled to the city of softball field after softball field to see our little Russian. It wasn't long before I discovered that she doesn't give a hoot about the music, and she really just wants to talk. "Beautiful dreamer, wake unt-- 'Do you have any brothers or sisters?'...." "Starlight and dewdrops are wai--'My brother lives in the Ukraine'..." She kept interrupting me! It's one thing to talk in the middle of a song, but she was asking me direct questions, so what was I to do? I eventually accepted the fact that it's okay that she isn't getting anything from the songs I was singing. The caregiver, patient, and I sat and talked outside on the patio for the remainder of my visit, which wasn't exactly music-related, but still, it was nice. She loves to talk about how her father and brother used to play violin, so I think for our next visit, I'm going to bring my keyboard and play some violin concertos and famous orchestral pieces for her. That woman loves to gab! Which is great, because I love to listen to her accent!

The last patient of my day was our other young Mexican patient. He and his wife (she may not be his wife... she barely speaks English so I'm not sure what their relationship is...) are just the nicest people. I sang for him the country songs I found earlier today, and not only did he sing along and play egg shaker, he even made up counter-melodies to accompany me. Both the patient and wife also dared to stray away from the typical steady 8th note egg shaking vamp that I myself tend to over kill. They were getting quite fancy with their musical participation. In the middle of one of the songs, I heard a bell outside. "Ring, ring, ring!" I said, just as a sort of acknowledgment that I heard the sound. The next thing you know, the wife jumps up, runs out the door, and returns with a giant ear of corn smothered in melted butter and cheese. "Elote!" she said. "Grandchildren love elote! You break now! Eat elote! Si?" I politely told her no thank you, but she was very insistent. "No guitara! You eat! Take break!" I conceded, put my guitar down, and ate some elote. What I learned today: elote es muy delicioso!

In the middle of the next song, two of the grandchildren burst through the door (one of whom I met during our previous visit.) The wife said the little girl knew how to play guitar, so I offered it to her and asked her to play. She began strumming the chords for a Taylor Swift song, and soon gave the guitar back to me. I wasn't sure what song she was playing at first, so the grandson told me it was Taylor Swift. I began singing and playing Taylor Swift's "Love Story", and the grandchildren sang along as they gathered their things from the house. By the time the song was over, they were already back at the door and ready to leave again. The grandson was so polite, and apologized for having to leave. I told him, "Next time!" and he smiled and said, "Yes! Yes, next time!" How flippin' cute were those kids?!! Gosh darn it. I hate meeting cute adorable kids who want to play music or nice wives who feed you elote when the only reason you're at their house is because their family member is dying. Life really stinks sometimes....

We ended with some Spanish songs, to which the wife sang along loudly, proudly, and off-beat. It was fabulous. Such nice, nice, nice people. She even let me borrow a cassette for learning Spanish. I told her that "Tu dueles your ears from mi ingles?" That's spanglish for 'your ears hurt from my English?' My Spanish is despicable. But her English isn't that hot either, so I guess we're even :)

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