I think I would have to say my last visit to Danville was my favorite one. This visit was special to me because I got a deeper understanding of the normality of these patients’ lives.
This visit, I was in the main room with the females. Two other students and I were sitting with a consumer I had previously had interaction with. I remembered her and she remembered me. Although it is such a minor memory, it was a great feeling. This consumer was in a wheelchair and had very little mobility in her hands. We played spades, a game I have never played before. The consumer was very into the game and taught all three of us students how to play it. During the game, she would get frustrated when she could not handle her cards. Having said that, I would offer her my help but she would just tell me “I got it, just give me a moment.” As I watched her fiddle her cards, I noticed she had burns on her hands. This confused me and made me wonder what had happened. Eventually the consumer let me help her with her cards, but as a competitor, she was extremely quick in telling me not to look at her cards.
After the game, we started talking about Thanksgiving break. I asked her what her favorite holiday food was and she lit up when she started talking about the wing and wishbone. As she started talking about that, she hit a point where she remembered they wouldn’t give it to her at DSH. It broke my heart to see her so upset. In addition, she started talking about leaving the hospital to go get some wings the next day, but once again got very sad when explaining the doctors or the hospital was not getting the papers in on time. I told her I had hoped that get it figured out soon and that maybe they will surprise her with the wings for Thanksgiving dinner.
As this conversation came to a close, a student I was with asked her about her Chinese speaking, and the consumer explained that her medicine was taking away her drive. That was also something that made me and the consumer upset. It was nice however to hear this consumer talking to her friend about going to a nursing home near her family. She was excited to be closer to them and was enthusiastic about the location as well.
I am going to miss interacting with these consumers, as they have opened up my eyes to mental illness. In addition, I was grateful to have made such wonderful connections and wish only the best for them.