August 23, 2007, 12:07 am

A Tale of Two Seniors


Ah motherhood!

Totally embarrass your children whenever and wherever you choose, often by just being yourself!

No worries, though.

This is my youngest daughter’s senior portrait.

I got her permission to use it.

I think it is stunning, she thinks it is gross.

I’m a pretty proud mom.

Gee, two kids married and now my youngest is a senior.

My babies are growing up…

Time for tears?

No freakin’ way!!!!!

Can you say freedom???? I knew that you could!

Woo Hoo!


I have five days off, so I’ve been indulging myself and catching up on all the blogs on my blogroll, leaving behind a trail of comments as I go.

I’ve also been messing around with some other internet activities and and I am happy to report that:

  • My world is orange
  • Emergiblog is rated “G” for General Audiences (gonna have to spice it up a notch)
  • Dead or Alive, Emergiblog is worth $1800 cash
  • My dead body is worth $4340
  • I have a 30% chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse
  • I’m 71% addicted to coffee (seems a tad low)
  • I’m 82% addicted to blogging

These internet tests are stupid. It should be obvious that most of my blogging is done at Starbucks so if I’m 82% addicted to blogs, my coffee addiction should match!


When I was little, I used to read the old Reader’s Digests in my great-grandmother’s room. My favorite feature was called “My Most Unforgettable Character”. Throughout my nursing career, I’ve met a few patients who would meet the criteria. Here is the story of one of them.


Ninety-seven years old and he was actually going to be discharged from the ER.

Nothing a few Tums wouldn’t cure.

I had just started my shift and the nurse who started at 1900 was going on her break. Would I be so kind as to discharge the patient in 4A?

Sure! Show me an ER nurse who isn’t all about discharging patients!

I took a quick glance at the chart to see what had gone on with the patient and what discharge instructions I would be giving.

I expected the discharge to take a bit longer than usual. As I printed up the instructions I realized that at the age of 97 he was probably frail, hard of hearing and I’d have to speak slowly and clearly to be understood. There might be a bit of dementia. He’d need help dressing and help out to the car.


He wasn’t in the bed. He was holding court in a reclining chair, attached to the cardiac monitor.

He was anything but frail; he was borderline stout! Far from hard of hearing, he picked up the slightest sound and responded to normal conversation.

Actually, he did not respond to normal conversation, he directed it! He reminded me of Sam the Snowman from “Rudolf,the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. He didn’t look like Burl Ives but he sounded like him. Animated, jolly and full of life.

I had gotten out one sentence after introducing myself, something to the effect of “You get to go home!”.

And Mr. Sam was off!


He was ecstatic that he did not have pneumonia and proceeded to explain to me that he was able to cure people, that he had the gift of healing from God and had treatments and cures for just about anything. Most of them had to do with poultices and iodine.

Pneumonia is cured by placing iodine on the chest. Within 24 hours, you cough up all the phlegm in your lungs and the pneumonia is cured.

I did not know that.

Oh, and by the way…no dementia!

This guy was fascinating. He took my hand as I passed by and had me sit down to tell me more about his gift. Luckily, the department was not busy so I had a chance to listen.


Mr. Sam knew he had “the gift” from birth. The midwife told his mother that he was born with a “double veil”. This meant he was given the “gift” of healing. He had healed many people in his lifetime. People with pancreas trouble and heart trouble and back trouble.

I laughed and told him that he would have a line of nurses out his front door if he had the cure for back pain! He had me turn around so he could show me how he could cure back pain. He showed me some neck exercises. His neck was supple and moved easily.

Mine cracked six times.

He assured me he did have the power to heal and that there were 150 angels working with him. He was quite specific about the number. His friend, female and somewhat younger nodded as he spoke.

He did not just heal. He would do “readings”. He didn’t say tarot cards or palms, he “read” people. Eventually he had to stop because he often became emotional from what he saw in the future of the people who asked him for insight. It was hard to tell someone things were not looking good.


Lest you think Mr. Sam was all spiritual and ethereal in demeanor , let me give you an example of one of his “readings”, as told to me.

A man, 75-years-old, came to Mr. Sam with a problem. Mr. Seventy-Five was in love with a twenty-something woman and was sure she felt the same towards him. He had spent much money on his sweetheart and was considering buying her a new Mercedes. Mr. Seventy-Five wanted validation that the woman young enough to be his grand-daughter really did love him.

Mr. Sam’s response? “YOU’RE STUPID!” he described himself as saying. “She wants you for your money! How much more stupid can you be? Don’t buy her the car and watch how fast she runs the other direction! YOU’RE STUPID! And you’ll be dead of a heart attack in six months.”

Now that’s a reading with a ton o’ common sense attached!

Guess what? Mr. Seventy-Five did not buy the car, the young woman dumped him and he died of a heart attack within six months.


It took forty-five minutes to discharge Mr. Sam, who dressed himself faster than I can take a blood pressure and walked out of the department under his own steam.

He said if I ever wanted a reading to come and see him and he made me write down his number.

I could have sat there and listened to him for hours.

Something tells me he would have obliged.


  • Candy

    August 23, 2007 at 7:47 am

    Looks a lot like her mom — lucky girl! (did you get the reading?)

  • may

    August 23, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    defintiely no empty nest scare tone here. i agree with candy. your youngest looks like you 🙂

  • Annemiek

    August 23, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Nice picture, a beautiful girl.
    I wonder if this man is still healing.

  • Leigh

    August 23, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    What a great story about Mr. Sam! Thanks for sharing.

  • AlisonH

    August 23, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    Your daughter’s gorgeous, and that old man’s a hoot.

  • Rita Schwab

    August 24, 2007 at 4:21 am

    Ah, lest you should unfairly malign those wonderful internet quizzes out there…

    The reason your coffee addiction is only 71% and your blogging addiction is 82%, is that typing tends to interfere with sipping. Therefore, when you are having a good blog day and your fingers are flying over the keyboard, your Starbucks beverage is pushed off to the side, lonely and forgotten 29% of the time.

    Thus proving that internet quizzes are indeed based on pure science…

  • Chyrsalis Angel

    August 24, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Beautiful girl Kim. Thank you for stopping by.

  • TC

    August 24, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Your daughter is beautiful. Hopefully she won’t be like most of us and will realize it BEFORE she’s old and saggy. Maybe it’s for a purpose, though. If I had my 19 year old looks and my 38 year old brains, I’d be a force of nature and between young, beautiful and stupid and old(er)and wiser, I guess I choose the later.

    Love the story about Mr. Sam, wish I coulda met him. And totally true about ER nurses and discharge. Last week I spent 4 hours in the peds ER to get my sticks in (yes, I have to recertify) and I wound up discharging someone. You can take the nurse out of the ER, but you can’t take the ER out of the nurse.

  • Christine

    August 25, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    I too have a senior this year-how on earth do they get so old when we never age?

    I would love to sit with Mr. Sam—I could talk to older folks like him for hours on end!

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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