Saturday, May 1, 2010

Night Shift

Her white uniform and white stockings made it easy for others to recognize that she was the charge nurse. Her white cap with several pins on one side told of the awards she’d won and how long she’d been at this facility. Yet, all of those things said nothing about the nurse who worked 11-7 five days a week. It didn’t tell of what she did, or who she interacted with or how she had the strength to face so many years working a shift most considered the graveyard shift.

She drove the fifteen miles to work in the darkness thinking of what the night would bring. Would Margaret ring her call bell every twenty minutes so that she would reposition her arm five inches from where it was? Would Gary begin scooting down the hall on his backside yelling, “gimme a cigarette”, repeatedly. How many aides would she have to help with the rounds? Would there be hot water for bathing in the morning? Before she knew it she had pulled into a parking lot. Her name was Louise and she was an LPN charge nurse at a local nursing home.

She saw a few of the night shift girls depart their cars as well. She punched her time card and headed for the elevator that would take her to the second floor. She walked by the supervisor’s office on her way to B wing.

Looking down the hall with the overhead lights on she noticed half the wing was up and calling for aid via their call bells. The 3-11 aides looked tired as they stood at the desk waiting to go home. Louise had two aides working with her on this night. One girl was a 40 year old recent divorcee who had four children at home. Another was a fifty five year old woman who was planning to retire soon. Both seasoned nurse’s aides and Louise breathed a sigh of relief. For, this was a full staff on this floor for this shift.

Louise walked to the end of the hall to an enclosed room to receive the previous shift’s report and then count narcotics. Narcotics were kept in the locked med room and were counted at the end of each shift to assure none were stolen or lost. On this particular night the 3-11 nurse was tired and more than ready to go home. “It’s been a regular zoo. We’ve got two new residents. One isn’t completely admitted.” Pat shoved a bunch of papers toward Louise. “I did the best I could, but here’s the rest”. Louise nodded and took notes from Pat’s report.

“Robert choked on his dinner again. He’s having a swallowing consult Friday. Until then, it’s just liquids, Red went outside and we had to find him twice. I’d give him a valium if I were you. Let’s see, Trudy’s daughter died and she’s on the call bell constantly for just about any reason. I hope she settles down for you. Three are really sick. Marguerite’s chest is sounding juicy, Temps 100.4. We’ve got new orders for her. The antibiotics are in. She hates needles but she can’t hold anything down. I scheduled the shots for 12 noon and 12 midnight. Peg’s head cold has gone to her throat and so we’re watching her chest too in case it spreads. So far, no rhonci is heard. Finally, Albert is having diarrhea and refusing to let the aide’s assist him with a change of clothes. Other than that, it’s just been a peachy night!”

The two nurses walked to the med room to count the narcotics. Pat was getting very upset when the count on someone’s Darvon was off by one. Louise took a breath and prayed a quick prayer of help. Pat looked like she was ready to explode. Louise looked at the plastic container with the green see through top. All of the pills were in their own slots except for one that had popped into the next slot. “I see the problem Pat; there are two in one slot. Nothing’s missing, it just was jostled.”

“Oh, thanks! Louise you have no idea how tired I am. One more thing would have set me off forever!” Louise smiled as Pat and her crew walked off the floor.

“OK boss, which way do we go first? We don’t have the 11-7 linen cart yet.” Louise looked for the worst trouble spots on the floor. “First, I suggest asking Trudy if she would like to help us out. Make it sound like she’s helping anyway. Use your imagination; help us keep track of call lights or let us know when the linen cart comes up. Obviously she won’t be doing anything, but it will get her out of her room and off the bell so we can organize. Treat her like part of us, not some patient we have to deal with. OK? Fix her up some tea and bring her out near the desk. She can watch TV, listen to the radio whatever. In fact, I’m going to give her a sedative. Be sure and talk to her about her daughter. If she needs a shoulder I guess we’re it tonight. Her family won’t be here until tomorrow afternoon.” Linda, the younger ns aide went to handle Trudy.

Ruth stood by waiting for Louise to think. “If you could get vital signs on these three I’d appreciate it. Don’t worry about the cigarette man. We have orders not to restrain him so he scoots up and down the halls on his fanny on 3-11. He’s the nightshift inch worm so to speak. I have sleep meds for him which I will attend to.”

Ruth went off to take temperatures and check pulses. Louise put her med cart together. A large pitcher of ice water on top of her med cart with orange juice as well. Then, she restocked supplies. Straws, paper cups, tongue depressors, and the narcotics were locked in a compartment inside the med cart. Quickly, Louise scanned the med sheets from the loose leaf binder on top of the cart. She pulled the tabs on those getting 12 midnight meds, 2 a.m. meds, 4 a.m. meds and 6 a.m. meds.

Soon, she was going down the hall with her wheeling med cart to administer Gary’s sleeping pill in his favorite strawberry jam. Gary liked three things, smoking, alcohol and anything sweet. He never got beer or wine of course, but Louise tried to make sure his meds were in something sweet. The other nurses tried to put his crushed meds in applesauce but he spit it out. “Oh, well I told them how I did it.” Louise thought. Soon, Gary was sleeping.

Louise walked back to the desk in time to see Linda give Trudy a hug. “I’m so sorry Trudy!” Trudy wiped her eyes and sipped her tea. As Linda walked down the hall, Louise pulled her cart to a stop and sat down next to Trudy. Trudy was a Christian woman of eighty nine. Her mind was in tact but she got confused after hours. A lot of it was her medicine and also anxiety. Tonight, Trudy was confused and glad to be near the noise of the nurse’s desk. Louise took her hand.

“Can you pray for me tonight Trudy?” Trudy’s red rimmed eyes looked at Louise. “I pray for you constantly child. Yes, I will pray. If you start to get anxious, bitter, or confused just think of the A B C’s. Tillie taught all of us on Sunday. A is for the Almighty, B is for Beloved, C is for Christ, D is for Discovering truth, E is Everlasting God and G is ….Great, …” Louise nodded her head.

“If you can Trudy, I want you to take this medicine. Shall I crush it or can you take it whole tonight?” Louise wanted Trudy to know she respected her. Trudy smiled. “Crush it in some of that strawberry jam you’re always giving to Gary! You’re an imp Louise. You always find some little thing to make us old goats feel special!”

Soon, Trudy was going over her A, B, C’s and Louise moved on. The linen cart had been delivered and the nurse’s aides were sorting out the linen. “Got time for report?” Louise asked.

Linda laughed at Louise. “You’re the boss silly; you just tell us when it’s time.” Louise shook her head.

“Listen, I may know a lot about pills and things, but without you two I’m dead in the water. You know I don’t order people around like that. Besides, the coffee is almost ready and it’s almost 12 thirty. Come on down when you get a chance. I have two more pills to push and I’m going to meet you for report down the hall. OK?”

“You got it!” Soon, Louise handed some horrible black coffee to the girls and gave them a run down of what she’d been told. “It’s gotten quieter now. I guess it’s time for rounds again. Do you know where Albert is?”

Linda said, “Sure, I had him sit down next to Trudy. He thinks he’s back in church and quiet as a mouse. He used to be a Methodist minister before dementia set in. He’s such a sweet heart. I think his wandering has a lot to do with the fact he walked to see everyone from the church all the time. He was always checking in on my father years ago. What a nice man. Trudy needs to talk, and he needs to have someone to talk to as well.”

Louise smiled at this. If folks only knew what difference the atmosphere became after the lights went out. Louise left the girls to do their rounds. They went together room to room and turned, changed and positioned the patients every two hours. She went to see the three who were ill. Peg patted her hand. “I’m glad you’re here. My head feels like I’m in a cotton ball.” Louise gave Peg her medicine and talked a little with her. She was alert and oriented and her chest sounded clear. She took a look down her throat as well. It was pink and not red. She had an order for antihistamine so Louise handed her one. “This might help you sleep get that head to clear for a while. I think tomorrow the dr. is going to want to see you. Your throat looks ok, and your chest sounds good though Peg.” Peg was relieved to hear that.

Next, Louise walked over to see Marguerite. Marguerite had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was easily agitated and got frightened when she couldn’t breathe well. Louise made sure the head of her bed was up a little and her O2 was on. She checked the tank to see how much was left. “I’m sorry to have to do this Marguerite, but I have to give you a shot.”

“I don’t have choice do I?” Marguerite knew she could refuse the shot but she’d only vomit on any pills. Louise helped her turn slightly and gave her the shot. “My house burned down today. Did you hear?” Louise was alarmed that she hadn’t gotten that on report. “No Marguerite I didn’t know. I’m so sorry!” Marguerite told Louise that her husband was a smoker and had dropped a cigarette when he fell asleep in his chair. He got out of the house but the house was a total loss. This news alerted Louise that there was more to Margaret’s problem than just physical. She was anxious and that could trigger the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Louise pulled out Marguerite’s puffer. After Marguerite had used her ‘puffers’ Marguerite took Louise’s hand. “Please don’t leave, pray for me first.” Unbeknownst to many, patients who are Christians and even those who aren’t sometimes ask for prayer. Louise was more than willing and prayed for the woman before she left the room.

Louise sat at the desk and watched for the call bells. She took out the unfinished admission papers and checked them all in. Soon, all of the new admissions were done and now it was time for tube feeds and then checking on the sick patients again. When the girls had finished their rounds and were doing their own charting, Louise approached Albert.

“Albert, I found a new pair of pants in your closet. I need to make sure they fit for Sunday. Would you mind going into the bathroom so I can help you change and check them out?” Albert looked at Louise blankly.

He got up and followed Louise to the hall bathroom where Louise had all ready put the clean pants, and clean washcloths to help wash him. Soon, Albert was back at the desk sitting near a sleeping Trudy. Ruth had put Trudy in a geri lounger so it was easy to put Trudy’s feet up and cover her with a blanket.

Linda approached Albert after a while. “Hey buddy, don’t you think you should lie down?” Albert walked with Linda to his room and went to bed. He slept the rest of the night.

The night proceeded rather quietly until six a.m. when the emergency bells went off. Albert had gotten up without notice and by the time Ruth caught him he was almost to the end of the driveway. When they returned, Louise smiled at Ruth. “Want to work a double?”

“Ha-ha! I think I all ready did!” Ruth had Albert all washed and dressed for the day when the 7-3 girls came on the floor. The lights were turned back on and the
7-3 shift began to pour in.

Louise began to gather her notes and headed for the lounge area designated for giving her report to the next shift. Meanwhile, the 11-7 nurse aides finished their tasks and headed for the time clock.

The report was given and the two LPN’s went into the med room to count narcotics. “Hey, Louise I forgot to ask about Tillie. Is she still talking about her alphabet? Sure would like to have Dr. Allen put her on something. She babbles on and off all day about A standing for the Almighty and B standing for Beloved and so on.”

Louise smiled. “There is no pill that would stop her from doing that. She is as sane as you and I. That’s her way of telling everyone about Jesus. If you try to stop her, she’ll call her lawyer in and you will see how sane she is. Freedom of speech in a nursing home is the same as on the street corner. The lady is an evangelist.”

The day nurse snapped the medicine cabinet shut and stared at Louise. “How can you say she’s sane? She talks about that alphabet all day!”

Louise was tired and knew she’d get no where with this part time nurse. “Look, all I am saying is that I don’t think she needs psychotropic drugs. Is she eating ok? Is she bothering the others? Perhaps you need to take it up with the doctor.” Louise did not mention that the doctor knew Tillie wasn’t insane or in need of any psychotropic drugs.

The day nurse wrote down a note to herself to call the doctor. A brief ‘good bye’ and Louise was on her way home.

It had been a hectic night of organizing and planning ahead for the residents on her floor. Louise wondered if she could have done things better. As she drove up into her driveway though, she only thought of how good a hot shower would feel and then off to bed.

Soon, Louise was fast asleep. The following night she was given the news that the day nurse had complained about Tillie. “The nerve of her thinking I’m a whacko! I’m calling my lawyer tomorrow!” Tillie remained at the nurse’s desk while Louise was doing her paperwork.

“I agree that it was premature, but you know the Lord Tillie. Perhaps he has a reason for this.” Louise knew that Tillie needed to calm down or she’d be up all night. If a psych consult were given in the morning it wouldn’t do well for Tillie.

“Would you pray with me?” Tillie asked. The staff wasn’t allowed to approach the residents with any sort of faith. However, when a resident asked a staff member; well that was different. It was up to the staff member. Louise pulled her wheeled office chair around the desk and held on to Tillie’s hands.

“Dear God, we know that you are aware of this situation. I pray you help us to walk in peace while this is being looked into. No matter what, we pray that you be magnified.” Louise was silent as Tillie prayed. “I told you a long time ago Lord that I would magnify your name until you took me home. Show my lawyers the right way to go. I pray I can have freedom to speak your name in my home. Even though it’s a nursing home.”

Louise smiled and prayed as well. “Lord you said where two or more are gathered that you are in the midst. I thank you for being here at Shady Palms. I ask that you calm Tillie and help her to get the rest she needs to be her best for tomorrow’s interview. I pray that your peace envelope her tonight and during the day tomorrow. Open the eyes of the doctors and nurses. Magnify your name.”

Tillie squeezed Louise’s hand and leaned over to kiss her good night. “Tell that Ruthie that this old bird’s off to bed!” Ruthie laughed as she was standing behind her.

“OK you old bird, let’s get you off to dream land. You need your beauty sleep because you have a big day tomorrow.” Ruthie and Louise did not go to the same church but they shared the same faith with Tillie and several others in the nursing home.

Louise went into Paul’s room and checked his IV. His pump was flashing and his bag was nearly empty. Paul was awake and watching for Louise. He had AIDS. “I guess it won’t be much longer and I won’t be here nursie.” Hollow eyes focused on Louise.

“Paul, I’m sorry to wake you.” Louise pulled a stool up to his bed. Paul didn’t talk much but when he did Louise tried to be there.

“I know that you’re a Christian. Folks like to talk and those day nurses are split down the middle about you. Some like you and some wish you’d quit. Is it because of your faith?”

Louise knew that she was being talked about behind her back. Her name was Louise Cooper and they nicknamed her ‘Super duper Cooper”. She’d been one of a few who’d been questioned when a nurse was found to have stolen narcotics. She’d known who it was and informed the police herself. This had led to many being questioned. There had been a ring of thieves during the first year she’d gone to work at Shady Palms. Folks knew that Louise was a no nonsense person. They also knew she was a Christian.

“I am not ashamed of my faith. My faith in God directs how I live. I have had choices to make since working here. Some of those choices led me to testify about a few coworkers who have been let go. But, why do you ask?”

Paul nodded his head. “Yeah, Ruthie told me that you were honest and not afraid to speak when needed. I guess I won’t see you where I’m going huh?”

“That depends on where you think you are going. Are we speaking in this life or the next?” Louise was being careful. She was praying silently for Paul to ask the right questions.

“I’m gay and now I got this AIDS thing. I guess that means I’m going to hell.” Paul stared at Louise. She knew he was hoping she would say it wasn’t so.

“When Jesus hung on the cross, there were two criminals who were on crosses on either side of him. One of them asked the Lord to remember him when he came into his kingdom. Jesus replied “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise. Paul, if you pray and repent of anything that you feel you need to repent of, and then ask the Lord to be your Savior, you will be in heaven when I get there.” Louise felt she had been quick in her reply but thorough.

Paul looked at his hands. They were filled with scars from his drug years. “I know what the bible says about gays. We are damned.”

Louise replied again. “Is there a reason why that criminal was forgiven and not you?”

Paul went into a coughing fit. Fluid had entered his lungs some time ago and the antibiotics were only keeping him comfortable.

“You can ask him Paul. You believe don’t you?” Louise had turned his O2 up as she spoke.

“Yes, I believe it all. I’ll pray.” His voice was soft from being sore. The coughing took his strength away. He reached for Louise arm as she turned to leave. “You pray?”

“You want me to pray with you?” She asked.

Paul nodded his head. “I thank you for allowing me to meet your creation Lord. You know Paul’s heart before he speaks. As he prays, give him peace and let him feel your love and forgiveness.” Louise sat back a moment. She didn’t have a lot of time on her hands.

A few seconds went by and she heard Paul whisper. “Remember me like you did that criminal Lord. Forgive me, I didn’t think of you all of my life. But now I know you are real. You sent me a light in the dark. ” Paul was silent then. Louise looked down and he smiled up at her.

“I promise I won’t die on your shift nursie. You are special to me.” Louise blinked back tears.

“Paul, you are special too. On earth and in heaven!” She squeezed his hand and left the room.

One of the nurse’s aids met Louise in the hall. “Floyd is at it again. I think he needs something.”

Floyd had Alzheimer’s disease and was very combative. In fact, Louise had several combative patients on the floor. However, Floyd was a pussycat once he had his Haldol. The trick was in him taking it. “I’ll help getting him into a geri lounger.” The three staff members put the man into a geri lounger.

Floyd yelled at Louise, “I’m king of this ship and you’re going overboard! You’re a sorry excuse for a captain mister!” He pointed his boney finger at Louise. Ruthie had a scratch on her arm and Linda’s shirt was now sporting orange juice that Floyd had thrown at her. Floyd saved his best trick for Louise by spitting at her. She was used to him though and ducked. Ruthie took a cloth and wiped the spit off the wall.

“The restaurant is getting ready to close sir. Would you like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before I close it down?” The nurse aide’s looked over at Louise in shock. She went into an act for Floyd’s attention to refocus.

“Oh, sure I’d like a sandwich. I want some milk too.” Floyd’s attention had been redirected for a second. Louise went to her med cart and crushed a Haldol. Quickly, she inserted it into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Floyd ate and drank his milk. Forty minutes later he was telling the girls how pretty they looked. “It’s a lovely day. I’ve worked hard; I think I’ll take a nap.”

This was the aide’s cue to help him back to bed. No further problem with Floyd that night. This was good because another Alzheimer patient had awoken. Leda was unable to walk but she fought like two men. Everyone was thankful that she didn’t have any teeth. Soon the three of them had Leda in a lounger. She raked her fingers through her hair as she chanted “Come on down, come on down” she watched ‘The Price is Right” most of her adult life, they were told by her daughters. She liked coffee and so her medicine was put in some coffee and she drank sips as she combed her hair with her fingers. “Oh, yes come on down, come on down” This went on for an hour and soon Leda’s voice softened. She said the same words but in a gentler tone that alerted the staff she would no longer bite, kick and dig them if they put her to bed.

Finally, it was quiet and Louise had a chance to look at the papers on her desk again. She found the paper talking about Tillie. “Tillie repeats the alphabet all day. She is disruptive to the other residents. She needs help with most activities of daily living. It is my belief she should have a psych evaluation to determine if she is a candidate for psychotropic meds.”

Louise couldn’t believe all of the blanks left out. Even though she didn’t work days, she had been to work during the day and had seen Tillie. Tillie went to bingo twice a week and was able to follow the game. She needed help with ADL’s [activities of daily living] but that had nothing to do with her being in need of psychotropic meds. Plus, she had several friends here. She was in a bible study and led it many times. Louise wondered what to do. She prayed.

The following night Louise walked on the floor and noticed the anger in the countenance of the 2nd shift nurse. “Lenny passed away just now. I haven’t got time to do anything but chart on it.” Louise counted narcotics and took report. As the 2nd shift was walking off the floor she hurried to tell the nurses aides of Lenny. She was just walking into his room when she noticed he wasn’t in bed. The aides had gotten him up to toilet him per usual. There he sat, gray and cold with the aides holding him up.

Laughter bubbled out of Louise. “Put him back to bed.”

“I think there’s something wrong with him. He’s clammy and cold.” The aide said. Joyce was a sweet older nurse aide. She sometimes did the funniest things though.

“Yes, he’s dead!” Louise blurted out. She was laughing and helping Joyce and Patti put the body back on the bed. “Go get a kit to wash him down and bag him and tag him.”

Joyce couldn’t believe what a blunder she’d made. All three of them were in hysterics when the supervisor came on the floor.

“What’s so funny?” She asked. When Louise told her what Joyce and Patti had tried to do with the corpse she was laughing as well. “You guys sure are thorough around here!”

Soon everything was business as usual and Louise was pulling tabs on her med book to begin her med pass.

Tillie rang her call bell and Louse went to check on her. Tillie was sitting up in bed with her pink satin bed jacket on. Her cheeks were rosy and her hair had been permed. She looked like an ad for the healthy elderly woman. Her eyes sparkled as she spoke to Louise.

“I have my list of Bill of Rights and I have yellowed out the part I think is pertinent.”

Louise read what was yellowed out.

“Residents may participate in social, religious, and community activities to the extent that they do not interfere with the rights of other residents.”

Tillie was smiling as she relayed the story of the psyche evaluation. “I told the man that I had read the bill of rights. In fact I brought it with me. I explained that in some religions we gather our prayer beads and chant repetitious prayers. I on the other hand like to remind myself of how great my God is by using the alphabet. In fact, many of the other residents ask me to repeat the ABC’s for them. I got around with my lawyer friend and 15 other residents from all over the nursing home told the good doctor that I wasn’t lying. The only ones who complained was a few nurses. But they can’t stop me!” Tillie was beaming.

“Tillie, that’s wonderful! I’ve been praying for you to have wisdom: so, what about the doctor?”

Tillie nearly shook from excitement. “Well, that’s the best part. He said that anyone who could organize their thoughts to this extent was definitely not a candidate for senility! The nurse was called on the carpet too.”

Louise was glad that Tillie had made her case. “I’ll bet your lawyer friend is glad for you.”

Tillie laughed and said, “Oh, my grandson Chip is a pistol. He came in with his suit and tie and brief case. All loaded and looking for bear! He and the good doctor have known each other since they were kids. They went out to lunch afterwards. Chip went to the Director of Nursing and told them who he was and that he is my grandson. I have nothing to worry about.”

Louise giggled all the way back to the nurse’s desk. The residents were all excited that night. The call bells went off a lot but it was to tell everyone the news about Tillie.

The following night Louise was met at the door with very sad news. “Paul passed away about an hour ago.” True to his word he had not died on Louise’s shift. He had no idea that she would have to do post mortem care on him though.

Louise washed Paul and noticed the peaceful look on his face. He was no longer in the ravaged sore filled body but he was in heaven.

The nurse aides went from room to room doing bed checks. Louise let the mortician in and soon the body was off the floor. The empty bed bothered Louise. It was hard to lose someone who had been a friend. Yet, it was good to know that she would see him again.

All of a sudden the two aides were in hysterics again. Louise looked down the hall at Linda and Ruthie. “Shhh, you’ll wake everyone up.”

Linda motioned for Louise to come down the hall. Louise pushed her medicine cart down and peaked into the room.

There lying in bed with Sarah was old Floyd. He had wandered without being detected and just plunked down. Leda was busy covering him up. “Good night Harvey!” she said. Leda had somehow thought it was her dead husband.

“We can’t leave him there! But, if we touch him he’ll beat the daylights out of us and possibly hit Sarah too. They looked so cute though.”

Louise was trying to think fast on her feet. “I know! Just come in with me.”

“Sarah, can you get up quietly so Harvey won’t wake up?” Louise figured she’d play along to get Sarah out safely. It worked!

Leda slowly got out of bed and took Louise’s hand. “I wanted to give you something to eat. Can you come with me?” Leda loved cookies so she went. Sarah stood four feet six with fluffy thin white hair that stood on end at night. She got into a wheel chair and soon was happily eating cookies and watching the late show as the three staff members tackled Floyd.

With a quick transfer to a wheel chair Floyd was put back to bed without incident.

Louise breathed a sigh of relief but it was too soon. Joe’s family was still in his room visiting. Joe was on continuous oxygen with a mask. He had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His son and daughter were arguing thinking that old Joe couldn’t hear him. They had somehow gotten the idea that he was in a coma.

Louise knew that Joe faked things. He used to scare the nurses by crimping is oxygen tube and making the alarms go off just to get a rise out of them. His sense of humor was notorious. Somehow his children had no sense of humor. This was a hurtful situation though.

As Louise was wondering how to handle this, Joe took charge. He removed his own mask and though he was huffing and puffing he told his kids…”Your both wrong” He put the mask back on a second and then took it off. “I changed the will” he put the mask back on for another time and took it off “get out”. The son and daughter were in their fifties or sixties but looked like small forlorn children as they exited the building.

Louise made sure Joe was all right. The patient was her only concern. “People get a little crazy sometimes Joe. I’m sure they love you.”

Joe looked over at Louise and took her hand. His hand squeezed hers as his breathing returned to normal. He closed his eyes. Louise thought he was asleep and kissed his forehead as she had done each night she worked.

Joe opened his eyes. “I didn’t change the will; thought they needed to cool off.” His breathing seemed better. Joe was another retired pastor. “Guess I should repent for lying but they need to think. I’m an old man you know.” He put on his tired of man act. Louise wasn’t buying it though.

Louise smiled and laughed. “Oh, Joe! You are my favorite patient tonight.”

Joe smiled. “Don’t suppose there’s any cookies left. I mean you didn’t give them all to Sarah did you?”

Louise brought him a snack and said a prayer with Joe. Joe smiled as he watched the late show with his snack. “I always look forward to the nightshift. It’s a light in a dark place!” Louise grinned. “God is so good!”

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