"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gypsy out the window...

Through the years I've seen all kinds of people, I've been scratched, bitten, yelled at, (learning new and colorful words) some from patients, some from doctors...but remember I used to have to kneel...yes! hit the floor when anyone with a dark coat entered the elevator....(I trained at a Catholic hospital in the 60's).  If a priest entered the elevator with the sacrament...we had to kneel...talk about how things have changed.  I bet now if that happens the clergy barely gets a nod...but I, at the tender age of 16, in my pink student uniform dress, white hose, duty shoes, and nurses' hat kneeled in the elevator most mornings.  I think I was the youngest one in the class due to the fact that when we moved from Sun Valley to Van Nuys my dad took me to register for school and didn't know how old I was and since I was tall and skinny, ended up almost two years ahead of where I was supposed to be....When they finally got my records, and discovered the error...they only put me back one half a year so I could stay in my same classroom with the same group of kids.

Several years after I graduated from nursing school (the first ever graduating class of a two year nursing program at L.A. Valley College), I was working a few nights a week at Riverside Hospital. (Years later that hospital closed and was sold to a film studio where they now film "Scrubs", and other hospital related scenes...it gives me the creeps and a flash-back from time to time to see my old work place on the screen). Back to my gypsies...It seems that they loved Riverside hospital, they must have had a piece of land somewhere nearby to camp on because I know they love the outside...how do I know?...Well late one night, (remember I worked the night shift), I got a big surprise!

All was quiet, about 3:30 am and I was sitting in front of the monitors when all the warning lights for one room went off.  The buzzing alarms were for the room around the corner...the only room we couldn't see from the desk....where we put the gomers, or the LOLROG...(little old ladies run out of gas) who were listed NO CODE...the ones we were, ummm...to not do much for, certainly not CPR if life forces stopped and they left for heaven.  Again we had a Gypsy in that room.  A nice old guy....but I remember he was very dirty and it took several baths to get him clean....He didn't speak much and when he did it was in a language I couldn't understand.  Most of the time there was another man in the room with him and when I ran around the corner to see what had happened...I found four men in the room pushing him out the window head first!  (They must have snuck in the back door as the rule was, "only one visitor at a time")

Strange he was out the window because there was not a real window in the room, you know the kind that slides and opens all the way up...this window was a transom affair, one that opened with a hook, tipped forward and was about 3 feet wide and only 18 inches high.  It was above the head of the bed, above all the monitors and the oxygen lines...not a window I had ever seen open.

As I yelled and screamed at the men in the room who I thought were pushing my patient to his death from a second story window...my staff came running...three very large young men, Vietnam vets who had been medics and were now Rn's.  I loved these guys for lots of reasons, but mostly because they could handle any very large patient with ease, and also crazy or intrusive visitors.

By the time my guys arrived...the four gypsy men were gently lowering the old gentleman back to the bed...he was dead!  Later I discovered they had determined he was going to die, as his EKG showed slowing, and his breathing was irregular, and just as his breathing stopped they ripped off all the monitors and IV lines so they could get him out the window and his soul would not be trapped in a building....one of the men told me they have a hole in the top of their tents, or caravan trailers to release a soul so it wasn't trapped if a person should die in the night and not be out in the air, with an unobstructed way up to the sky....

It's amazing what you learn about other people and what they believe...But! .is that any different or more weird than making a 16 year old hit the floor when a priest enters the elevator?

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