Sunday, December 13, 2009
The CP Chronicles: Chapter Four (Marie)
This chapter will venture to the first client that I've talked about on the mentally retarded side of CP. This was definitely not my favorite unit to work on as I found myself annoyed quite often. I don't mind working with mentally retarded folks when I know they need help and sympathy, but the ones who are only mildly retarded and just become whiny and complain all the time- those people drive me cuckoo for cocoa puffs.
Marie was my favorite hands down on the mentally retarded side. I'd say she easily weighed 300 pounds and was about five feet tall, maybe five-two. The first day I worked on this side... the FIRST... I was instructed to take toothpaste down to Marie's room so she could brush her teeth. Marie was not allowed to have shampoo in the shower because she'd dump it down the drain, so when I arrived, you had to go in and give her shampoo, which sometimes she yanked out of your hands, so I came up with the idea of putting shampoo in a little disposable cup and giving it to her, so no issues would arise.
This was the same with the toothpaste. Apparently if you gave Marie the toothpaste, she would eat the whole tube. So, here I was, half her size, taking her some toothpaste, which I assumed was no biggie. Well, as soon as I walk into Marie's room and she sees the toothpaste, she yanks it out of my hand and pins me against the wall with her massive frame. I had no idea what was going to happen, but I thought my best move was to do nothing... while she devoured the toothpaste. It was kinda like the idea of pretending to be a tree if a scary dog comes to get you. Well, it worked. She ate her toothpaste, let me go and I scurried back to the office, freaked out beyond belief!
After that incident, I came to find that Marie was just a giant teddy bear who was all bark and no bite. She had been given to the state as a toddler once her parents realized she was retarded. It was pretty sad, I thought, but she was pushing sixty and maybe that wasn't such a big deal when she was little. Her IQ was extremely low and all she cared about in life was food and "black pop." I think the thing she said most to me was, "Harold, will you buy me a big bottle of black pop?" (She thought my name was Harold because apparently in her mind Cara sounds like Harold.) She ended up using a walker to get around and you could hear her walking up and down the halls banging her walker. Then, when she was mad, she'd scream bloody murder and bang her walker on the floor. To this I would always say, "Marie, do you want me to throw your walker out the window?" And she would say "No, Harold." (Of course I wouldn't have thrown her walker out the window, but it got her to stop banging it.)
Just like all my other favorite residents, Marie was sent to another facility because she was not capable of living in a higher functioning setting. I often wonder about how she is doing, but I'm sure wherever she is, she's keeping people on their toes!
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