Lucy’s monologue occurs three months after Julia’s death. Lucy is in the emergency room. She is grieving and wants to talk about Julia and their life together. She feels very lonely, but has had some contact with her neighbor Adele and her niece, Nora. There have been other instances where she became anxious and dizzy and slightly confused, stating that her heart was pounding and she feels like she “can’t walk or do anything.” Lucy thinks she has called 911 “about once a month since Julia died” and was transported by ambulance to the emergency department.
Well, here I am again, waiting to be seen by the emergency room doctor. This must be the third time this has happened since Julia died. I miss her so much. I never knew it would be so lonely in that house by myself. Nora comes to visit every once and awhile. In fact she’s on her way here now, with my neighbor Adele. I don’t want to scare them though I know Adele saw the ambulance and must be worried. This has happened about once a month I think. I feel okay, then for no reason at all I just get anxious and dizzy. My heart kind of pounds and I just feel like I can’t walk or do anything. One time I fell, but I didn’t get hurt too bad. This time I almost fell, landed on my couch and scraped my arm. I think I tripped over my shoe that I was going to put on. I was able to reach for the phone and call 911. I felt a little better by the time the paramedics got there, but they thought I should come in and be checked out anyway. I need someone to look at this scrape on my arm. They should probably check my knees too. They’re a little weak. I had surgery on one of them. Most days I’m fine, it’s just once in a while……. I don’t think we ever had to call 911 when Julia was alive. I don’t remember ever having these dizzy spells then. My knees were weak, but I took it easy and never fell that I can recall. I was feeling pretty bad these past few years that I couldn’t walk as far or as fast as we used to. We loved to travel, and hike around new places. We traveled all over. I think my favorite place was Ireland. Julia wanted to go there, she picked that trip. It was wonderful. We rented a car and just drove all everywhere.
We went out to pubs for music every night, and we went to the Waterford crystal factory. It was lovely. It’s so sad to know we’ll never have those experiences again. Oh, we loved our adventures! They are all over now. It’s just me in that old house. Nora visits when she can, every few weeks or so. Neil came once for my birthday. That was nice. My neighbor Adele stops by, but not very often because she has her grandkids to take care of. Sometimes days go by and I never talk to another soul. That never happened when Julia was alive. She always had something to say! I felt safer then. I never had these dizzy spells. Maybe the doctors will figure it out this time.
1. What are Lucy’s strengths?
2. What are your concerns for this patient?
3. What is the cause of your concern?
4. What information do you need?
5. What are you going to do about it?
6. What is Lucy experiencing?