Buzz! The alarm clock goes off and Keisha wakes up. She is still a little stressed out from her conversation with Patrick the night before.
She yawns, rubs her eyes and slowly gets out of bed.
Her eyes are bloodshot, as if she had been drinking the night before, and her countenance is expressionless. Her emotions are still overflowing – but she is determined to have a good day as she begins to get ready for work.
Keisha Prepares for Work
Keisha, who had just finished taking a shower, is in the master bathroom brushing her teeth. She can hear Patrick walking around in their bedroom.
Patrick must have woken up while Keisha was in the shower.
Patrick had pressed the snooze button a few times, but he was finally out of the bed and immediately started looking for Keisha. He was still feeling pretty low considering the way he had behaved the night before.
He heard Keisha in the bathroom and slowly walked up behind her – giving her a slow, strong hug from behind and said, “Good morning Keisha”.
Keisha breathes deeply and cracks a subtle smile.
Patrick kisses her on the cheek and simultaneously Keisha says, “Good morning Patrick”.
The previous night had been very stressful, but now that Keisha has Patrick’s full support – once again she felt as free as a bird. She was very excited to start her day.
The weather forecast was calm and sunny. Outside you could hear birds chirping and see squirrels playing in the trees.
Life was good.
Keisha Arrives at Work
It was already 8:13am as Keisha barreled into the parking lot at Riverchase Healthcare. She was scheduled to arrive at 8:00am. Traffic was generally light on Keisha’s morning route to the facility, however traffic was very heavy this this morning.
Keisha hated to be late for work. So, she quickly jumped out her car and rushed towards the entrance of the nursing home. As she passed through the French style doors at Riverchase Healthcare, she realized that she wasn’t the only one late this morning. Several of her co-workers were caught in traffic.
Riverchase Healthcare is a nursing home that provides senior care for residents who require constant nursing assistance. Being late was frowned upon heavily, as many patients awaited their morning care.
Soon after Keisha clocked-in, it was time for her to start making the morning rounds with her patients.
John Goes Ballistic
Keisha’s favorite patient was named John Cannon.
John was a 76 year old African American male who was a longtime resident of Riverchase Healthcare.
Keisha, who had worked at the nursing home for more than eight years, had been taking care of John for his entire stay at Riverchase Healthcare.
John’s youngest daughter Rebecca had placed him in the nursing home nearly five years ago.
Over the years, Keisha and John had gotten to know each other really well, but John had begun struggling with many health related issues recently.
His vision started to fade a few years back and he can’t get around as well anymore, but he still has very strong mental capacity.
Keisha always visited John’s room first, simply because he was her favorite patient.
John always had a big smile on his face when he saw Keisha each morning. He truly believed that Keisha cared about him and that her taking care of him was more than just a job for her. Keisha never told John how much she enjoyed taking care of him, but it was obvious.
When Keisha walked into John’s room this morning, something wasn’t right. CNN morning news was showing on the television and the white mini-blinds adjacent to John’s bed were slightly open as usual.
However, Keisha didn’t receive the normal warm welcome that she usually gets from John when she enters his room.
John appeared to be very upset. Keisha wondered what was wrong; she had never seen John in a bad mood.
Before she had a chance to ask, John loudly questioned, “Where is Keisha”?
Keisha, with a puzzled look on her face, responded quickly, “Good morning John. It’s me – Keisha!”
John, who is quickly becoming more irate by the minute, glared at Keisha – piercing her with his eyes.
The room was completely silent. You could’ve heard a pin drop.
Keisha, who was clearly confused at this point, innocently looked back at John as he continued to stare stonily.
Only ten seconds had passed, but it felt like ten minutes to Keisha.
She had never seen John act this way. He was always in a good mood.
Then, it happened! “Knock! Knock! Knock!”
There was a strong knock on the door to break the silence in the room.
“Knock! Knock! Knock!”
Keisha murmured, “Come in”.
The door slowly began to creak, as it opened. “Squeeeeak”!
It was another nurse coming to see if John needed more toilet paper in his bathroom.
John immediately attacks the other nurse verbally.
He was nearly screaming at this point. John loudly asked the other nurse – “Where is Keisha?”!
The other nurse, whose name was Shay, stood still for a few seconds looking towards the floor.
Shay slowly lifted her head and turned to look at Keisha.
Shay then lifted her left arm and pointed in Keisha’s direction saying, “John, Keisha is right there!”
John had raised himself up in his bed and was flinging his arms around spouting insults. Every word that came out of his mouth was intended to pierce the recipient like a sharp sword in an intense fight to the death.
There was no way to explain to John why Keisha wasn’t taking care of him today. Whenever Keisha planned to take off work, she always told John in advance. He simply wanted to know where she was.
John continued to fuss as the nurses tried to calm him down, “If you stupid nurses would only listen to me!”
Several other nurses and members of the nursing home staff had overheard the commotion and started gathering around to see what was going on.
Despite their efforts to calm him down, John didn’t stop screaming, “I hate when people lie to me. For the last time, where is Keisha? Is she off today?”
Shay said, “John, Keisha is right here.”
John, yelling at the top of his lungs, responded immediately, “You nurses must think I’m stupid! You can’t send a man into my room and pass him off as Keisha. I’m not having this crap! Where the hell is Keisha?”
The crew of nurses continued their attempts to calm John down as Keisha slowly walked out of the room with her head down.
Keisha had just recently big chopped the night before. Her emotions were still recovering from the conversations she had with Patrick the night before. While walking out of the room, Keisha wondered to herself – “Is this really what it’s like to go natural?”
Coming soon: Part 4 of “What Men Really Think about Natural Hair”.