Friday, August 26, 2011

Sweet Friday

This week, I experienced my very first home health nurse horror story.  I was admitting
a new patient to our services and visiting her for the first time.  Her home was in
terrible condition: holes in the floor, the roof collapsing in some places, and NO
air conditioning.  Did I mention that it's 100 degrees in Louisiana right now?  I sat at
the kitchen table with my computer, examining her and entering her information into
our system.  Roaches crawled across the table, flies hovering around the room, and I
fought with every ounce of myself to maintain my composure.  Until, something moved in
the corner of my eye, something SMALL AND FURRY.
I looked down to see a mouse crawling over my foot, as if my sneaker were an
obstacle in its path, and then scamper across the kitchen floor.
Yes, friends, a mouse CRAWLED ON MY SHOE!!!!!!
Surprisingly, I didn't scream or jump out of my chair.  I think that I was in shock.  I did
say, "What the..was that a mouse?!"  to which my patient calmly replied, "That's alright
baby, that's just a little ole' mouse, ain't gon hurt nobody.  Didn't scare ya, did he?".
Umm, YES!!!  He did scare me, very much so!!  And these roaches are scaring me, and the
fact that you are smoking a cigar while simultaneously wearing oxygen is really
scaring me!!
But of course I didn't tell her that.  I just smiled my Southern Belle smile and assured her
that it was fine, no problem here, where were we?  I finished the assessment, my feet
crossed and lifted off the floor, and gave her a big hug goodbye.  When I got into my car I
took a hand sanitizer shower, rolled the windows down to air the cigar/fried chicken smell
out of my hair, and promptly called my case manager to report the patient's living situation
to social services.  I then called my mom and proceeded to freak the freak out,
all professionalism out the door, did this really just happen?!!
Yes,things like this really do happen.  People really do live in such poor conditions, no
means of living any other way.  I've sent 3 different patients to the emergency room
this week for heat exhaustion and dehydration due to a lack of air conditioning.  People
with no medicine because they can't afford their refills, no family to support them in
their hour of need.  And so as much as I want to scream every time I think of that
mouse crawling over my foot, I also have to be grateful for the life that I have, the home I
am blessed with.  Take pride in my job and my role as a patient advocate and try to get
these people to higher ground.  And hope, pray, and wish with every fiber in my being
to NEVER come that close to a mouse again!
This weekend, we plan to enjoy a movie night with girlfriends, catch up on a few
projects around the house, and watch some pre-season football.  It has been so hot here,
with no end in sight, and we are spending most of our time indoors for now.
Naked babies and cold lemonade is where it's at these days...
I hope that you all have a lovely weekend, no rodents involved!!


Vic said...

these situations do make us more grateful for what we do have and how blessed we truly are! that is no way to live! i, unlike you...would have screamed! you have a nice weekend with those naked hiney's :) xo

Kate@Momma Kate said...

Oh the joys of nursing! My mom is a home hospice nurse and I hear stories like this from her too. You are a strong woman to do things like this :)

deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

this makes me really sad. it's horrible the conditions that some people live in. :-/

peppy and i met this guy a year or so after we were married, and we talked music a lot. peppy had mentioned a new band to him, and we stopped by his house to drop off a cd. we quickly learned that he was a hoarder. his house was unlike anything i had ever experienced. i couldn't believe anyone actually lived in those conditions.

kaley said...

makes me appreciate my mess of a house reading this. it could always be worse!
new follower from FTLOB!

Lydia @ See Beautiful said...

In the saddest, yet most beautiful of ways, I sort of love that she loved the mouse. She's seeing beautiful in every way she can and it transferred to you too. That's inspiring. Not idea, but inspiring. Popping over from ftlob. Happy seeing beautiful.

Lucy The Valiant said...

Ew, ew, ew!! That's so sad!

b. lee said...

enjoyed ur story * ur job sounds so gratifying ~ love ... "Naked babies and cold lemonade is where it's at these days ... " :)

Hilary@BabyMooHoo said...

ohmygoodness i wouldn't have been able to keep my composure... mice are my absolute WORST irrational fear. eeek!

but, you're right, those situations are a much needed bit of perspective. a reminder to be grateful for what we have. thanks for this post--i needed that perspective this week :)

Kelley, Brendan and Baby Brix said...

Hiiiii!! You read my blog and now I'm following yours too. And my comment has to do with your's huge!!! And really cute..I can't wait to have a big kitchen someday!

KimBerly said...

Reading your blog truly inspires me. I am so blessed to have found a blogger buddy like you. You are an absolutely amazing person.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Caitlin said...

At the risk of getting political, this is why I think we need to put more money into social services and health care. I'm so glad you were able to help this woman, I'm sure it means everything to her.