My mother had both medical issues and acute cognitive issues. She required the utmost patience in her care, and Chelsea gave her just that.
My mother had a four-day EEG. During this time, it was necessary for her to use the bedside commode. This was very confusing to her. My mom was convinced the commode was a walker. She would stand next to the commode, pick it up and say, “Let’s go.” Chelsea showed an incredible amount of patience in the situation. She was kind and understanding. She very gently talked to my mother to encourage her to turn around and sit down. This was not an easy process. This happened on many occasions and took 15 minutes each time. Chelsea gave my mom time to process what she was being told. She encouraged her, never raising her voice, never sounding frustrated with the situation.
On many occasions, Chelsea would walk in the room to check on my mom, but she would not check on her from the computer. She would walk up to the bed and kneel down to my mom’s level, looking into her eyes and then ask her how she was feeling and if she needed anything, giving my mom time to process and answer. She was willing to listen to whatever my mom had to tell her at the time.
At one point in my mom’s confused state she became obsessed with the phone in the room. She became upset because she couldn’t get it to work. She was continually asking for help with the phone. After my family had left for the day, she wanted to call us. She became concerned because we were not there with her. Long distance calls, however, are not allowed from the room phone. Chelsea looked up family member numbers listed on my mom’s information. She used her own personal phone to allow my mom to call my brother. My brother was then able to calm my mother and reassure her that we would be back the next day. This extra step that Chelsea took touched our hearts. She helped my mother through the night.
My mother was very restless during her stay. If she wanted out of bed, she was going to get out of bed immediately. Sitting across the room from her was too far away to catch her before her feet touched the floor. She had no concept of waiting or being patient for help. Even though she had a family member with her each day from breakfast to dinner, the help of nurses was essential. Whenever we pushed that call button, Chelsea was there promptly with a smile on her face and ready to assist.
Chelsea was not only kind and sensitive to my mother, but to my dad, brother, and me as well. One morning I walked in to my mom’s room and Chelsea was walking with my mom to the restroom, smiles on both of their faces. My mother said to me, “There’s my sister! I thought maybe you could take me home today.” Those were the first words my mom said to me. Not only did she think I was her sister, but I was afraid this was going to be a day when she would be asking to go home throughout the day.
Chelsea got my mom back into her bed and came out into the hall where I was standing. I looked at Chelsea and said, “just tell me I’m ok, I need to hear that I am ok.” She very quietly and gently told me I was ok. She then pointed out to me how happy my mom was today. She stood there with me for a minute while I pulled myself together. She was comforting and sensitive to my needs. Thanks to Chelsea, I was ok. Thanks to Chelsea I had the strength to walk in to my mom’s hospital room and take care of her with a smile on my face.
All the nurses on the St. Vincent Oncology floor were excellent. They were all very caring, patient, and kind. Chelsea stood out among them. She has a gentle soul that makes her noticed. Her gentle soul was just what my mother needed during a time that was terribly difficult. I will be forever grateful for the compassion she showed my mother during her stay at St. Vincent.