The first of my many, many Christmas gifts was given to me last week in the form of a new client. If you saw her on the street you wouldn't think there was a thing wrong with her. First impressions can sometimes be deceiving.
She's 67, stands close to 5'8" and weighs around 200 pounds. She obviously suffers from arthritis, and she actually does have a valve in her heart that doesn't quite close, but to hear her tell it, she's about to die any minute. On the whole she's actually fairly healthy and we couldn't figure out why she was given 6 hours a week coverage when others can only get 2 or 4. After spending 8 hours with her, doing my thing, I can tell that I'm there to observe her state of mind.
She has a son, I think. At least his name is on her paperwork as emergency contact, however, there appears to be zero contact between them. Some of the things she tells me about his wife might be the reason why. At least she blames his wife, when she's not telling me he's on the verge of divorce due to the many flaws he's discovered his wife has. I've no idea how she knows that since she hasn't heard from him since shortly after he got married. I'm checking the box on that one titled "wishful thinking".
She has no friends because they become somewhat irritated with her prevarications. To cover the loss, she claims they're cousins and no family ever gets along 100% of the time. Unfortunately I happen to know some of her "cousins" and they aren't any relationship to her at all. Nor are they willing to have anything to do with her ever again.
She's done everything in the world there is to do, been everywhere. She's a retired nurse, medical transcriptionist, bank manager and district manager for the convenience stores she actually was a cashier in. She used to have a band, she rode motorcycles, worked construction, and was a mafia hit woman. She's a miracle woman since she's had knee, hip and open heart surgery and no surgery left a scar on her.
In the past week I've heard so many ludicrous stories from her that are so obviously lies that I've found myself wondering if she's delusional. The stories are so constant that if she tells me it's snowing outside, I look because I don't trust a single word she says.
All I know is I'm keeping my head down and spending time biting my tongue because the extra money every week will come in handy. I'm just hoping that I'll be able to continue to act as if I believe everything she says. It's a tough job, but I'm a tough woman. If anyone can do it, I can.