A letter to K. - page 3
by Elvish 6,641 Views | 21 Comments Guide
Recently I took care of a new mom postpartum after her second baby who took methadone for heroin addiction. She and her family taught me so much. I wrote her this letter; I'll never send it to her, but I did want to share in... Read More
- 3Mar 14, '08 by kadiddleWow! That was a beautiful letter. Let me tell you about my own experience. I have been an LPN for over 28 years and have seen so much of the bad side of people. Not only that, I have been a foster mom to many and even now have guardianship of 2 former foster daughters. There are days that I am so frustrated with these girls' mom for not pulling her head out of her **** because of the damage she is doing to her girls. And I become callused and hardened.
I am very conservative by the world's standards and I won't apologize for that. But..... part of being Christ-like, which I have always tried to be, is seeing the "human side" of everyone. And I will admit, that hasn't always been easy.
But I had my own "awakening" just a few weeks ago. I am a student again getting my RN. (I graduate the day I turn 50.) I went to the hospital to choose patients and get info for my client data sheet. I chose this woman who had a new colostomy because she had a 3rd degree tear from delivering her last baby 8 months ago. Her doctor repaired her rectum a week prior and did a horrible job. The site was full of pus and necrotic. So a different doctor took over her care and ended up putting in the colostomy.
While reading her history I felt the usual, "oh great, another welfare case with 4 kids, and a druggy." Her history included a herion addiction 10 years ago and an addiction to another drug when she found out she was pregnant. I was prepared to do the physical side of nursing, but not the nurturing side of nursing. I figured I would do what I had to and stay out of the room.
I have seen enough of these parents that are so incredibly selfish and think of nothing but their own need to satisfy themselves all too often at the expense of their kids. I felt that way............until I met her.
When I looked more into her history as I took care of her and got to visit with her, my heart softened and I began to ache inside for her. I even ended up doing my comprehensive care plan on her. This poor gal was alone. She stayed at home to care for her children and her wheelchair bound mother. Her oldest, a 15 year old boy, was in jail almost killing a kid when he beat him up for calling him a "******."
Her poor excuse for a doctor has since left town and it's a good thing. I hope she sues her for all she's worth. She screwed up and let her deliver this huge baby, and then she let her do her repair work. She totally messed this up so bad, that 2 other doctors told her they were taking over the care of the lady. She has been through hell and back!
As I visited with her and she explained her life story, so to speak, one of the questions I had to ask her as part of the care plan was "Tell me what your self-perception is." She looked away and barely whispered "Not good." I started to cry. This gal was entitled to feel valued just by virtue of being human, to feel good about herself. She had made some very poor choices in her life and because of these choices, she had come to believe she had no value. I wanted so much to tell her more than I felt I could at the time. I did tell her that she was important to her mother and her children. ( I also took a huge risk and told her I hope she filed a lawsuit and struck it rich for what the jerk doctor did to her.)
I took care of her for 2 days and ended up giving her a book by Eckardt Tolle I hoped would help her understand how valuable she was. I gave her a big hug when I left that last shift and thanked her for helping this old, crusty conservative woman to not just say she valued every human life, but to actually live that way. She taught me a life lesson I will NEVER forget. I am so much a better person and nurse for having spent those two days caring for her.