Who’s taking care of who?

Independent Living through Quaility CareI can’t help it. I get emotionally involved. This has to explain it.

I seriously don’t have a weak stomach. When I was fifteen years old, I stayed awake to watch my own tonsillectomy. I have watched skin surgery on myself which ended with fifteen stitches taken. So when I took a sweet, sweet client to the doctor for wound care, my only concern was for her comfort. I knew the drive over would be difficult as would getting in and out of the car and walking into the building. I watched and asked how she was doing. I hovered and shadowed. She wasn’t comfortable but what a trooper she was.

Then the wound care started. She was brave but trembling. “This really hurts but I can do this. Hold my hand, Amy. Don’t leave me!”

“I won’t leave you. I’m right here. I’ve got you. Just hold my hand and squeeze it just as hard as you want to. “

And then I felt it. My head started swimming. The lighting in the room changed. I felt the blood drain from my face. I was really cold but also kind of clammy. The nurse noticed and she wasn’t the only one.

Her words were nearly the same but now with a whole different meaning. “Hold my hand, Amy. Don’t leave me. Don’t you faint on me, Amy!”

That’s what happened on our first trip as well as our second and our third. As these trips have continued over the months my client and my stomach are getting stronger – yay us!

Then I developed pneumonia and down I went. Not like I have time for all that and I am certainly not going to be around our clients. So I laid on the couch under quilts. Then the word got out that I was sick. I just left the kitchen door unlocked so my neighborhood and church friends could just come and go as they dropped off orange juice, chicken noodle soup, crackers and did I mention whiskey with honey and lemon?  Much of our team communication is technology based so thankfully I was doing a lot of texting and scheduling from my tablet while still laying on the couch. Our team of awesome caregivers stepped up and covered my schedule, they checked in to see if I needed anything – they were suddenly caring for me. And then it happened – my clients started calling to check on me too!

I was so touched by the phone calls, texts, cards, prayers and visits. So astounded by the care and concern sent my way. And still so sick all I could do was lay on the couch and wait to recover and get my strength back. And most of all – count my blessings and feel very loved.

So my sweet client was scheduled for wound care again last week. When I arrived at her door, she was ready to go – dressed with a touch of make-up. “Let’s get this over with” she said, with a laugh. The staff at the wound care clinic was delighted with her progress and her good spirits. We all laughed and bantered, I held her hand and we only had to close our eyes and hold on tight once.

As we left the office, she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said “That wasn’t so bad this time. You did real good, Amy.  Let’s go get us a biscuit to celebrate!”

Seriously – who’s taking care of who?!