Hi AN, may this [long] post find you ALL in the best of nursing and personal spirits!! So there I was, applying at casinos, human resource assistants, etc...totally made up my mind to give up the beloved craft I worked so hard to learn, when my beautiful aunt had a massive CVA leaving her A/O X 3 however with severe expressive aphasia [broca's], right side flaccid, urine retention, etc, and all of this pretty much alone, save for her husband of 30yrs [they are 70 and 73]. Now here is the side story on this occurrence which essentially tugged harder at my heart-strings than the aforementioned here so far: my aunt is also my God-mother, also the mother of my long since deceased favorite cousin [38yo drug overdose in 1998, he was like a big brother to me, I love him so much and miss him more], so she and my uncle have no children, no grandchildren, and there are no other nurses in the immediate family. Very heart-wrenching to say the least. I am tearing up as I type these words of raw truth and yet divine intervention?? You tell me...
So I am going through the major consequences of not having found gainful employment, i.e. a very polite 'eviction', my landlord who knew I was a great tenant gave me three months to find a new job or a new place, lost my car, my son has taken over the payments however will not allow me to have it back until such time as I can afford to do so, fair enough I guess, he was the co-signor after all...I would not have done that to him, but whatevs' lol, different generation. In any case I had been following my aunt's progress as best as possible, thinking as ALL nurses do in the far recesses of their minds, "no matter how bad I have it, things can always get worse", am I right?! Well wouldn't you know, my aunt ends up admitted to the acute rehab area of the hospital less than 5 mins from my then residence?! So now I am visiting her every evening, getting positive feedback from the staff [did I mention that my son IS on that same staff as a very hard-working PCT?! Bizzare huh??!!] So he was allowing me my car to visit her.
Well my uncle and I spoke and I gave him a synopsis of my situation of which he empathized with, however, he was still in a bit of a daze over the acute onset of his loving wife's debilities. She was the only driver in their household, he never learned to drive. She was the book-keeper, homemaker, all that AND a bag of chips lol, an awesome woman is she!! I reassured my aunt that I would help her in any way possible through her journey to healing and gave my uncle my number and told him if he needed any help when my aunt went home to give me a call. She was discharged home on a Saturday afternoon after a 6wk stay, I was called to the house that night at approx. midnight. Unbeknownst to me, the doctor sent her home with orders for intermittent straight catheterization, and expected my elderly uncle to do that for her!! Nothing personal, but that is very personal!! I know, I know, he should have been able to do it however, who wants to do that type of procedure to their own spouse?? It just seemed like a cruel and undignified task for both parties involved. SO there I was after midnight performing a straight cath in my aunt's home and getting over 500ml out!! He was very grateful, and asked if I would be able to continue this particular task for him, I politely accepted the challenge, however re-iterated the fact that--1. I was on the verge of being homeless and car-less, and 2. that there would be a total team of HHC staff headed to her care. He didn't want 'strangers' doing that to his wife. So that left me.
I think most readers of this can see where this is going, yes I ended up moving in with them [her house], and yes, I am using their vehicle [her car]--I am in the guest room, I only use the car for small errands for them, I do not get paid at all, and I do not even have a key to the front door!! Never mind that I have been very instrumental in my aunt's healing process [from calling the HHC RN assigned to the case for an order for a foley, abx tx for an obvious and inevitable UTI, insurance assistance saving over two hundred dollars on Rx, the list goes on]. This is where the plot thickens: my uncle is a well-intentioned however stubborn, cheap, ungrateful and petty dude. I know he loves my aunt, but he does not care much for me and my 'night owl' ways--lol--forget the fact that my aunt has always been and still is a night owl, lays in bed until 3-4am watching "Rawhide" lol, I check on her and reposition, offer care, etc, all through the night while he sleeps. But then we both sleep late!! I don't want any animosity with my uncle, but remember I am in a pretty vulnerable state myself as of late, and this situation is getting stagnant--WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW??-- I remember the choice was mine to help my aunt in any way possible, however, I am still in need of a job, I was very clear about that upfront with my uncle--he gave me 50 bucks for the month of September........really??!! Help please someone here, anyone!! RN, LPN, Caregiver, NP, Student, anyone have any solid plan of care for unpaid private duty with a loving family member?? PS--My uncle 'discharged' 99% of the HHC staff--including the AWESOME SP who has a Master's from Howard--all PT/OT/ST can be done by ME???????? LMBO!! I think not!! Helllllppppppp!!! Thank you in advance for any advice!! I promise to log in more often, so as not to miss any feedback!! :-)