Musical balm

“You don’t know it, but your face looks so relaxed right now. Before you were all [makes tight face].” – Nurse who called me into resident’s room to resident 3/3/2010

“See? She’s making you feel better” – Resident to her baby doll 3/3/2010

“Can you just follow me around for the rest of my shift?” “Be sure to find me next time.” – Nurse 3/3/2010

“That’s so soothing. I felt it go straight to my heart. See? It’s good for your heart!” – Visitor to resident 3/4/2010

Today a woman was crying. She was very lonely. I sat with her a while and played some hymns since she had a charm bracelet with crosses. She talked the entire time about how she was lonely, and by the end, the tears had stopped, but she still sounded pretty angry. She finally stopped talking about the people who left her, but then she started talking about one of the residents whom she doesn’t like. She did acknowledge that the music was beautiful at one point.

I also finally realized the power of playing non-specific music very simply today. I started to play a song, slowly, but the patient got agitated. I changed to a different song, and she was still agitated. Then I switched to non-specific noodling, and she calmed down.

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