Friday, April 09, 2010

The Small Frustrations

A couple weeks ago I wrote "The Time has Finally Arrived". In that post I wrote about how the time has arrived when I need someone here when P is at work. I now have a nurse here for 3 days a week when P is working on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday an Aid from a different organization is here for 4 out of the 6 hours that P works.

The nurse is a man about my age, he was a medic based in South Korea during the Vietnam war. After serving in the military he completed his nursing schooling and has worked as an Emergency Room nurse until recently. I get along well with C, we both have the same type of humor and find that we have enjoyed many of the same interests. The Aid who is here on Fridays is a young lady who is a Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA) and works as an Aid from 7 PM to 7 AM at one of the local hospitals.

While it is nice to have the help while I am home alone, it does have its small indignities. On those days that nurse C is here, he has to be seated where he can see me at all times. So this means that he sits in the same room with me. Have you ever had someone sit in the same room with you for 8 hours a day? It can become a bit exhausting to say the least. Also it is his organization policy that he takes my vitals twice a day, once at the beginning and once at the end of his shift. You must remember that I am in basic good health, I just have a Foley, can't walk, or breathe by myself and so have to be in a wheelchair and connected to a ventilator. However, I do not have pneumonia, nor do I have a lung, urinary tract infection or on any antibiotics. So having someone take my temperature, blood pressure, listen to my lungs, take my pulse, feel my ankles to see if they are swelling seems to me to me rather intrusive. Also any time I attempt to put a blanket over my feet, C jumps up and will start to fuss over me, or after I've taken a drink C rushes over to check if I need more water. Today he asked the physical therapist if I should be doing the weight exercises I do with my left arm, because of a torn rotator cuff, with my right arm. There is nothing wrong with my right arm. I am the type of person who when sick doesn't want anyone to tuck blankets around me. I just want to be left alone. I have been dealing with handicap almost my entire life so when I need help, I will ask for help. However, for the most part C is an excellent nurse. He knows his job and is good at it. I do appreciate the fact that he helps me shower and get dressed, cleans my tracheotomy and makes my lunches. I just thought that after he has being here for a month, I would be getting use to all the other unasked for and unwanted attention. However, I think it is beginning to bother me more, not less.

I find similar frustrations with the aid on Fridays. While she doesn't spend time sitting in the same room with me, she seems to bother me more. Don't get me wrong, she is extremely helpful, doing laundry, folding and putting the clothes away, washing up things in the kitchen and running the vacuum. However, she doesn’t seem willing to ask questions. So while she may fold clothes it is often a challenge to figure out where she puts them when putting them away. I have decided that on Friday when she is here, either P or I will have to dish up supper before P leaves for work. Last week she didn’t understand the note P left her and so brought me dry reheated noodles and part of a leftover chicken breast. Then when I told her what P had wanted her to use as a sauce with chicken to pour on the noodles, she said the container P mentioned in the note had some thing else written on its top. I asked her to reheat the correct food which she did, only when she brought it to me she told me that she had salted it. The problem was that the dish already had enough salt. It was so salty to the point of being almost too salty.

Now before everyone jumps on me and tells me I should be thankful for the help, I want to reassure everyone that I am thankful. However, one of the purposes of this Blog is for me to write about how this disease is affecting me as I progress through it. These are just a few examples of the small frustrations I deal with each and every day.


Blogger dot said...

I can see both sides of the story. I don't like people fussing over me either. However, I can also see the male nurse's side of the story at least about the vital signs. So many people want to sue now days that a nurse should do all she (or he) can to protect themselves. I don't know about the CNA. Maybe you should let them read your blog. I guess that wouldn't work either but I can certainly understand how you feel. Maybe you could tell the nurse you need a little more privacy. Gosh, this is a sticky situation! lol

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 12:57:00 PM PDT  

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