Last night my Mom was taken from her long term care facility into emergency because she had a UTI that was not responding to treatment and they couldn't get her fever down. At one point my sister and I were helping her move in bed and I looked at her feet. (Oh yeah, she is 82 and a type 2 diabetic). Her feet were a mess. The skin on her feet and ankles was so hard and dry it looked like elephant hide. Her toenails were so long that they were starting to grow up instead of out. One nail was so long that it had obviously gotten caught on a sock or something and was basically ripped off, just hanging there by a couple pieces of skin. Her heels, sole and toes were cracked. (I have never had reason to believe that her feet were in this kind of shape or I would have been checking them. She alwyas has socks and shoes on when I visit so didn't kow the state of them.) When my sister and I left for the night, I asked the nurses if they could please put a piece of tape over the hanging loose nail so that it wouldn't rip right off (causing pain and thus making Mom miserable to deal with). They said they would see how the night went.
When I went in this evening and looked to see if the nail was taped I thought I was looking at someone else's feet! Some kind soul had taken the time, in a busy urban emergency room, to scrub Mom's feet until almost all the dead and dry skin was gone. Her nails had been trimmed, and the hanging nail had been removed and the wound cleaned up. They finished off by putting some cream on her very dry feet. They looked so much better and Mom said her ankles weren't itching anymore and it was such a relief (she can't reach down to scratch so she had been just putting up with the dry skin itch).
I do not know who took the time to take care of her feet, but I am so grateful to whoever it was. I know emergency is so busy that it is easy to miss an elderly lady who just needs her meds at the right time and help to turn when there is so much other stuff going on. But it meant the world to my sister and I that someone took the time to do that little bit extra that made such a difference. I will never know who it was to tell them thanks, but colleagues like that make me proud of my profession.
I just had to share!!