Invasion of the Nursing Home Staff Snatchers / Alarming Results

Isolation - Day 6 (Wednesday)

Sleep. It's something I've been doing of late. More specifically, lots of napping. The other thing I've also been doing with some frequency is wake up whenever the blaring door alarm goes off.

Because we are under quarantine, all staff members must exit our unit through an exterior door at the end of the hallway. Then they proceed to walk halfway around the building and re-enter through the front (or leave the property altogether). They do this as it means to prevent spreading the virus to other units.

Anyway, whenever a staff member, visiting physician, or guest leaves the unit, an emergency alarm sounds. A rather loud piercing penetrating emergency alarm, at that. And it sounds off until a staff member goes all the way to the end of the hallway, reaches up, and manually disengages it.

Overnight, this alarm typically does not go off (besides when employees go on breaks) until the morning crew departs at 6:00 a.m., and then at 6:03 a.m., and 6:12 a.m., and then 6:25 a.m. So really, everybody is finished sleeping by 6:00 a.m., as it's impossible to sleep through the succession of alarms going off.

And then also, the alarm sounds off intermittently from 10:00 p.m. until nearly 10:30 p.m. By then, most of the staff clears out.

Of course, the alarm is going off all day long. Literally. Yes, it's intermittent, but the alarm sounds between 5 and 15 times per hour, lasting mere seconds, up to several minutes at a time.

Exhausted Options

I am now symptom free, besides a very occasional cough. The problem is that I am physically exhausted. I felt solidly energized two days ago, but yesterday I was wiped out, unable to sit up or move much. And today is much the same. I am extremely weak.

Care Pairs

I shouldn't be mentioning things like this, but it's something that's happening. Some staff members are pulling out their hair. Some staff members are pulling out each other's hair. Yes, there are clumps and clumps of hair up and down the corridor. But why would that be?

Of course, having an entire section of Covid infected patients is taxing for all. But there's this whole other thing going on - a thing involving my former roommate and his brand new wife.

I cannot go into details here (you'll have to read my exclusive in-the-works nursing home novel someday), but due to a history of accusations and assumptions, the Care in Pairs rule was put in place. That means no single staff member is allowed in their room without a partner. Without a witness. And this turn of events isn't surprising.


Several naps later and my afternoon has been a vast improvement. Well, except for a couple of things. Which I won't get into right here. Family matters. Wronged cookies. A P.O.A. plight. Etc.

Day 8 (Friday)

I pushed my call light button at 9:27 p.m. Yes, I knew it was a pointless exercise of the thumb as soon as I pushed it. Or at least, I knew that I shouldn't have any expectations at this late hour. Pushing the call light assist button after 9:15 p.m. usually means you have to wait until the next shift gets settled in (unless Betsy is working). So by 10:15 someone will respond to my call for assistance. I hope.

If it was an emergency situation, I would be dead by now. Or, if I didn't have a cell phone. Which I do.

The nurse is likely out and about distributing medications, so no one would answer the phone at the nurses station anyway.

You may be wondering what's so darn blasted urgent that I didn't feel like waiting up to an hour for immediate help. Well, someone turned the heat on around 8:50p.m. And you know how this goes, when someone turns the heat on, the indoor temperature increases by 10° every hour. Hint: I live indoors!

The problem being, my window is not open. So I am baking. From the inside out. My neck is sticky and sweaty. My bed sheet is getting wet to the extent that my skin is adhering to it. Also, I haven't had a shower the past nine days (because of my covid-19 illness), so I do not smell all that wonderful in the first place.

Yes. I can wait. I have patience. It's 44° outside right now. Soon enough, the cool air will flow unto me.

My Social

I spoke with Rainbow Girl for about 10 minutes in the mid-morning time frame. It's the longest conversation we've ever had. Not that she's been here for very long (a couple of months).

Typically, she only works weekends. 16-hour shifts. But today, she was working a single morning shift. And she wasn't happy about things. And she was particularly unhappy about the all-new (extremely difficult to navigate) love couple. Either way, we talked, I encouraged, she understood, and it turns out she's a wise young soul.

My other social interaction involved my nurse coming in my room an hour and a half late to rinse out my formula bag in the evening. That's the problem with being hidden in my room all day long, staff members lose track of me.

Oh yes, someone did take my vital signs at 3:15 this afternoon. So that was a good two or three minutes worth of social interaction right there.

I miss people.

Waiting at 10:22p.m.

I am really getting hot now! I did overhear human voices out in the hallway, but none have worked their way into my room thus far. They mustn't be the least bit curious as to why my call light has been on forever and ever, amen!

Tick tock go to the dueling clocks on the wall…

58 Minutes!

That's how long I've been waiting.

Every so often someone does exit through the exterior door. Which causes the alarm to sound off. So I know there's somebody leaving this area. People were indeed here. That's right, two people have left the building in the past 15 minutes. They walked right past my room.

I wonder if there's any particular reason why they are ignoring me. I pushed my call light button twice today. Twice! That's it. No more, and no less. But perhaps that was too much.

*So you know, some residents push their buttons hourly.

With the heat blowing in my face, it's already up to 78° in here. In another hour there'll be nothing left of me.

I know, I know, I know… 78° does not seem all that oppressive to anybody, I'm sure. But for whatever reason, I have been highly temperature sensitive ever since I acquired this illness.

I thought about turning my fan on, cranking it up on high. But I don't want to start coughing again. After all, I do have covid-19.

I have an idea. Why don't I write a letter to the powers who are empowered to do powerful things? Yes, that's what I'm going to do right now.

To whom it may concern, -—

It's probably unnecessary that you read my dispatch, so I've removed it from the blog entry.

1040pm (or, 73 minutes later!)


Also, I can (ideally) get my formula bag changed out, clean my stoma with warm soapy water, and change out my bandage, so that I may get to sleep by midnight.


In any case, it's been much more pleasant in my room for the past week. The thermostat has only been stuck on "heat" twice within that time frame. I shouldn't complain, and I especially shouldn't complain about this. But sometimes it feels good to get things out. Who else could possibly understand my aversion towards a stuck thermostat?

Additionally, I have a plenty of time to be focus on not focusing. Staring out the window. Letting things be. And it seems my mental fatigue is a little less fatiguing at this point.

Thank you for hearing me out,

P.S. Day 10.5 (Sunday)

I am feeling a million times better. I tested negative for covid-19. And I even made my way outside into the courtyard, spending four hours in the direct sunlight.

Hooray for recovery!



I never know whether to laugh:rofl: or cry :cry: on your behalf…

I can’t believe all the things your experiencing…
im soo looking forward to your book :woot:

happy to learn your out again :thumbsup:
It's true that you do kvetch, Howard, but I'd say your reasons are sound. I'm a little your roomie back with us or still in the hospital. I gather the loving couple is back again, maybe the temp. was a clue.

I'm glad that you test negative AND were back out in the courtyard. One lucky guy, I' say. I'm bid laid up with a cold that will not end. I have no idea what the dickens it is, but I am mighty fed-up or #***####*** it! One thing after the other, none live threatening, just a nuisance....that's all.

I'm taking a break from my eternal Xmas card list, letter and pics. This was the first year I wasn't going to send any, but you know intentions. Even the worst of them at times. Next year for more cards/letters or pictures. Really, who cares anyway?

Look at the ladylike demeanor between Hufsamor and me. I think it's a bit late to send me to finishing school, isn't it?

I hope they'll move you soon.....I really do. Yours, Lenora

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