Wednesday, May 4, 2016


The fire alarm went off this morning just after I returned from breakfast . It happens every other week or so. Loud beeping with flashing lights. Doors slamming. Closed in. Until the fire department gives the all clear. I sat alone in my room. The B52's and Culture Club kept me company. Many times, when the fire alarm goes off,  it's because someone pulled it. I guess they think it's funny. It don't. It scares me. I wonder if this time there really is a fire. If there is, will I make it out alive? I am on the third floor.

The first experience I had with  the fie alarm going off was on a Friday night. I was in my room the door was was closed. I heard nothing. I was afraid. What was happening?  I texted a friend. My friend suggested that I call downstairs to find out what was happening. .I did. I was told everything was fine. I was reprimanded by a nurse for calling. I was use to fire drills lasting several minutes. I did not have to wait and wonder for over an hour. It was unnerving.

My bed has an air mattress. it sounds like it is alive and breathing as it fills with air. This took some getting used to. I wondered what the strange, creepy noise was each night. When my aide puts the bed rail up the mattress deflates with a shushing sound. Until it's reset and  filling up, it is like lying in a hole.

Med and treatment carts rumble as they pass my door, They sound like small earthquakes.

Many mornings. I am  awakened by the chopping sound of the pill crusher. Or, aides and nurses talking in the hall.The squeak of the stand up lift as aides come in to get me out of bed.

Machines whirring. Oxygen hissing. All of these sounds are positive because they help residents live.

 There are the negative sounds of residents yelling for no reason. One yells for their spouse because Alzheimer's Disease has taken their mind. Another yells because they don't want to wait their turn. Yelling is scary. It makes me feel like I am in a psych ward or zoo. There is a resident who taps the walls and makes strange noises. I am an adult. I try not to be afraid, but I am. 

The dining room can be loud in the mornings. The staff talking to one another. Dishes clattering/ Residents yelling. I eat and go back to my room as quickly as I can.

This facility can be a very noisy place. I try not to let it bother me. Some days I succeed. Some days I don't. I do the best I can..