Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Poor Guy

Sure, the smell was horrific. The combination of N95 mask, air freshener, peppermint neb treatment, and breathing through the mouth only when necessary didn't touch it.

I wouldn't call the situation pleasant: An older gentleman, his red, scaly legs had swollen to the size of tree trunks, and his feet were wrapped in what appeared to be petrified masking tape. His last reported bath was over a month ago. After an hour spent soaking and trying to cut through his makeshift bandages, we discovered the worst foot ulcers I have ever seen. His sugar was out of control, and as we changed him into a gown a fly escaped from his clothing.

In spite of all that, he was one of the nicest people I've ever encountered. Up until recently, he had family support in managing his multiple medical problems, but that resource no longer available, he had tried to do the best he could on his own. Obviously, it became too much for him to handle. Was he experiencing a life-threatening emergency? Not really, but after so many instances of feeling like I'm running in circles, here was a guy whose quality of life we could actually improve.

In spite of the odor, in spite of the puss and the drainage and fly buzzing overhead, it was a real pleasure taking care of him.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Not to sound like a smart ass, but did you bathe him?