Saturday, August 16, 2008

Count Your Blessings

I am catching up today on bloggy friends and resting my weary feet. I worked two 12 hour shifts at a new facility. It's an LTAC, long term acute care where the people who are too chronically and seriously ill have to go for long term care. I had a great group of patients. God gives me real love for people. Somehow he gives me the ability to see into peoples hearts, and reach out for a touch. I had a precious little demented lady, she reminded me of a caring for a little baby. She had a fuzzy little head with little hairs sticking up. When hungry she'd suck her thumb, but she talked some and she was responding to me. It is important to speak to all people as if they are there, and normal. One can be nice and still be respectful that there is a human soul present in this body, whatever condition it may be in. We are losing that as a culture. In a sense the platitudes of Adolf Hitler survived him and infiltrated the masses. Those who are not perfect, thin and fit, with intelligence and a power in their presence; are to be shunned into a class of the less thans. Less than what? Less than who? Each one is like a flower in God's garden, created as He the great designer wished. So it was with loving hands and words that I cared for the little fuzzy headed one.

What upsets me is how many people are in health care for a pay check. So many can just turn their heel and walk out of the room leaving the helpless in conditions that require some physical effort on the part of the caregiver. Not only that but these "caregivers" are harshly judgemental of each other. What happened to mercy? Where are the merciful?

My poor little patient had such a bad yeast infection she was going to scratch herself to death. I finally got someone to look at it, and got orders for everything she needed, something for her mouth, her rash, and IV meds. I asked the aide to put the cream on her and do you think she would do it? To her it was a chore. How can one person look at another person's suffering and not want to ease it? God help us if we can turn our heads and walk away. Don't worry, I did it myself. I always do. Which leads me to the counting my blessings.

I had a precious man, "a minister of the gospel, the good news" who had an infected stump from diabetes. He has one leg with half of a foot and the other was amputated below the knee. it was a joy to go into his room, he was so full of kind words and joy. I told him that I thought he was taking more care of me, than I of him. My afternoon was pretty out of hand yesterday. I entered his room in a rush, about 6 tasks behind; he looked up and asked,"are you alright"? I answered, "I'm fine just very busy and my feet are on fire".
His reply, "I remember that, when I had feet".

When I had feet. OH GOD, I cried out. Oh dear sweet Jesus, I am sorry. I HAVE feet that can burn. I have feet, I have hands, I have a heart. How he pierced me.

My sweet friend said "I'm not trying to make you feel bad".

"Your not, it's just so true! We forget in the rush to be grateful that we can rush". I replied.

This same man had the day before been so touched because a friend of his walked 10 miles to see him and say a prayer. It meant so much to him that he just sat on his bed, "boo-hooing." When one human goes an extra mile for another it has so much impact!

I have been befriending a single mother. Out of the masses of poor God singled her and her little boy out, to enter my life. She is NEEDY. She needs all the love and time I can give her, and then she asks for more. Her car is broken, her bills need to be paid. There is no money, no family, no help.

It makes me think of all the photos we see every day, poor mothers barely able to feed their children. We turn on our heel and go to the store to supply ourselves with something wonderful. Where is the mercy? I do understand why we stay separate from it. When you actually know someone who has needs, you have to respond. We don't want to, we don't want to take the time. We are investing in other areas of life.
I am not trying to guilt trip anyone, I am thinking and asking, for myself too.

I'm going back to Colombia September 19th. The funds have yet to be provided, but God will make a way. Those beloved people stole my heart. I need a dose of reality to keep my spirit alive and focused. Praise God, for my feet that burn.


Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

How rewarding, yet exhausting, that must be for you. I am drawn to nursing homes for precisely the same reasons you state. These folks need someone to talk to, they need someone to care, and they have so much to offer to anyone willing to sit and listen.

KNowing you are helping someone in the last days/weeks of their life it truly an amazing experience. Bravo.

Kathy said...

Karen , I am proud to call you friend. I love your heart!

Anonymous said...

I love this post! What a blessing to be able to be able to communicate with them and to be able to touch their hearts as they touch yours.

Grandma Tillie's Bakery said...

Oh how I wish we as a society felt this way--me included! I don't know why we turn away but I have recently prayed that God would humble me and change my heart.

My sister and niece are like you. They are both CNAs and do everything from change adult diapers to sitting with someone while they cry because nobody has visited them in forever. I don't know how you can take on another's burdens like that on a daily basis unless you really do care from your heart. Thank God for you all!

Anonymous said...

The people you care for must have done something to deserve the level of special care you give them. I can't even imagine how lucky they are to have you.

This was a beautiful post into your heart.

Flea said...

KD, you amaze me. Praise God for burning feet, indeed. :)

Laura ~Peach~ said...

yep yep yep... Had a woman years ago that everyone thought could not speak... I had a raging fit at the entire staff and administration as they treated her so badly... in a full staff meeting I blasted them all for their lack of caring... that night I took a nurse who had been there 20 years and had her stand in the door as I took care of the woman ... she was dumbstruck when the woman spoke with me and told me how she was feeling and what her needs were... It makes me so darn mad when people are so cruel to others and I preach to all of my aids and co workers ... you best learn to treat these folks as you woudl want to be treated if you were them as ONE DAY you will need someone to care for you and they will treat you as you have treated these people! GOd help them... ok sliding my soap box under the bed cause this is one of my biggest peeves on the planet... that an being late LOL
Love n hugs Laura

imbeingheldhostage said...

THis was such a beautiful post. It really touched me and says alot about the kind of person you are. I always thought this would be the career choice I would gravitate towards-- and still may when I shove the last of my little ones out-- because I 'm hungry for the stories elderly have to share. They have such fascinating histories and it's the "pay check" people's loss if they don't take the time to listen.

MaBunny said...

Wow you have been busy. Its always eye opening to realize no matter how bad your day is going, someones is worse, and when you realize it it very humbling. Hope you catch up with all your bloggy friends, as well as some 'you'time!

Susiewearsthepants said...

How sweet and humbling and sad all at the same time. You have such a generous heart. Thank God for you! I agree with you, people who are ill or elderly are NOT invisible. When I am old I can only hope someone as kind as you will be around.