What Gets Me Upset

“When I think about all the patients and their loved ones that I have worked with over the years, I know most of them don’t remember me nor I them.  But I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them and they to me and those threads make up the beautiful tapestry in my mind that is my career in nursing. ” ~Donna Wilk Cardillo, A Daybook for Beginning Nurses

As a home-care nurse, it upsets me…..

 to see an elderly woman living alone abandoned by her family with only the intermittent visits of a home health care professional to brighten her day and tend to her needs.

 to see a vibrant, energetic man felled by parkinson’s disease be no longer able to walk safely across the room or dress himself.

 to see a man whose only words are “yes”, “no”, and “there, there”. Who knows what he really wants to say?

 to see a ninety-five year old lady living on her own frustrated by a system that suddenly takes away seventeen dollars of her food stamp money due to state budget cuts.

 to hear that my elderly patient’s doctor didn’t listen to her when she told him about her pain. “That’s just old age” is her doctor’s usual reply.

 to hear my senior patients say that every day is the same for them now. Not like the old days when they played cards with friends, cooked for family, or went dancing.

 to hear that some children won’t spend a dime or lift a finger to help their elderly parents.

 to hear an arthritic old lady with congestive heart failure say that she wishes God would just take her because there is no good reason for her to be still here.

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