The word bedlam (a place of uproar and confusion) derives from Bethlem Royal Hospital in London -- originally an insane asylum where outsiders could visit and gape at the poor unfortunates incarcerated there. (There's a much fuller description HERE.)
Why do I bring this up? Because for the past several days a patient on my hall has been bellowing at the top of her lungs, OHOHOHOHOHOHOH, over and over. It's the sound I think I make when I'm having a terrifying nightmare, though in actuality, mine is more of a strangled croak, John tells me.
Sometimes it turns into a long drawn-out growl and I find myself hoping she isn't ambulatory. And sometimes it turns into nonsense OHOHOHWOGOHOTO, as if she's trying to communicate something.
I've asked the CNAs what's up here and all they can (or will) tell me is that she was in the hospital and now she's here. I'm wondering if this is post-operative dementia or what. Or maybe she's a HRC supporter, having trouble adjusting.
But, annoying as it is, it's also heartbreaking.
UPDATE: I was just told that the poor woman recently suffered a stroke. And that the only thing that will quiet her is when her family comes to visit. The thought that she's howling because she's alone and afraid is even worse.
Counting my blessings . . .