Friday, March 20, 2015

tugging at heart strings

I could just cry.

In my field of nursing I see many who have the philosophy that the next prescription will cure their ills. Sadly, so many of them need much more than a prescription pad will ever be able to give them. They are in need of counseling/therapy to make it through the traumas that life has dealt them in order to move on. And, often, that is too overwhelming to even contemplate.

Then there are the others. 

The younger middle-aged man who so desperately wants to go back to work. He lives with his family because he can no longer live on his own. His deterioration, in every visit to us, is so blatantly visible. 

And, meanwhile, his neurologist says "see me in two months" and cuts his Parkinson's medications down to nearly nothing.

Today I tried to give him tools. I encouraged him to be forceful in seeking treatment. I gave him somewhere else to go. But I don't think it's enough. I don't know that his family has the tools or the ability to get him the help he needs. 

Today I wonder if he'll even be able to walk the next time I see him. 

He comes in to see us with a laugh and a smile. With an attitude that would serve many well. 

And I don't know how I can help him get what he needs to survive. 

Just recently he told me about a family member who had passed away. The family dug the grave. More accurately, this patient of mine dug the grave. For hours he dug while his family tried to get him to stop. He wouldn't. Maybe because it was all he could do. Maybe because that day he could do it. At the same time he knew he would pay for it. And he did. For days afterward he was terribly ill.

I'm not going to debate anyone about whether healthcare is a right or a privilege. The World Health Organization has one opinion. Some of the privileged who have the luxury of affording the best healthcare in the world have another opinion. I am stuck in the middle somewhere.

Rather, this is about one man.

One man who lives in a country where options are available.

None of which seem to be within his reach.

It makes me want to cry.

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