Friday, November 6, 2015


My name. Throughout my life people have called me Jo, Joan and Joanna. One of my aunts even called me Joanie.  People are constantly misspelling my name too. The most common spelling error is that people leave the E off of my name, spelling it, Joann. Mispronouncing  or misspelling my name never really bothered me because it never happened that often. It never happened that often until I came to this facility.

I have come to the realization that my parents should have named me Joanna because that's what the majority of nurses and aides called me. Aides have mixed me up with another resident whose name is similar to mine. This resident had a health issue that required checking their vital signs regularly. I was awakened at midnight several months ago. I was told my vital signs needed to be checked because I had a health issue. I told the aide I would know if I had the health issue that they were referring to. I asked to see the nurse. The nurse came after several minutes. Turns out, they'd mistaken me for the resident whose name is similar to mine. The aide was new and wasn't familiar with all the residents yet. This time it was an error in taking vital signs. What if there had been an error in medication because someone got our names mixed up?

If aides don't know my name they will call me Baby, Honey or Sweetie. An aide admitted to me once that they called me Baby because they didn't know my name. I make it a point to introduce myself to new aides and ask there names. Things are getting better because now I tell people when they mispronounce my name.

I was named for my maternal grandmother, Anna Josephine. and for all those named Joseph in my father's family. That means a lot to me.

Our names are part of our family history. I am sure there is a story behind your name too. A story that is unique and special. That's what's in a name.