Monday, August 05, 2013

True Story: Do the Dew

A friend and I were chatting recently, and I shared this story. At her prompting, I'm sharing it here for a wider aurdience...just so you all get some small glimpse into the life of nurses who visit people in their homes.

Lots of people think caring for people in their own homes looks like this:
...and sometimes it does. But not always.

True story: The year was 2000. I was a home care nurse and had a new patient to admit to our services in East Palo Alto, CA. For those of you who don't know, that was (still is?) a bad part of town – definitely the wrong side of the tracks.

(This picture is not EPA, but you get the idea)

As I pulled up in front of the house, there was nowhere to park…but right in front of the patient’s house, a dude was leaning into the driver’s side window of a parked car and clearly some sort of “deal” was being done, with cash being exchanged quickly, etc. Also of note, in one hand, the dude held the leash of a large rottweiler.

The car drove away and I parked in his spot.

The guy who'd been leaning in the driver's side window took the rottweiller (named "Felony", I later found out!) and tied it up to the garage door handle.

...then he began walking toward mydriver's side wondow. The look on his face said both "Are you sure you want to be here man?" and "If you aren't supposed to be here, you're going to be sorry!"

I took a deep breath and rolled down my window, introduced myself as a nurse who was here to see someone in the neighborhood and...was it OK to park here?

He said “Oh, you must be Keith! My dad said you would be here soon. Sorry about that man – I’ll make sure you always have a parking place, don’t worry about it!” …and he always did!

He turned out to be a very devoted son, and was really helpful all the time; clearly cared a lot for his dad…in the middle of various “deals” he was doing outside.

…and one day as I was getting ready to leave, he said “Hey, do you like Mt. Dew?” I said, “Umm, yeah, but I’m headed out to see another patient so I can’t stay, sorry.” He said, “No problem – here take some with you!” and he opened a closet door.

On the floor of the closet were approximately 30 two-liter bottles of Mt. Dew!

My mind flashed through a few scenarios as I wondered where in the heck he got THIRTY 2-liter bottles of Mt. Dew…but I didn’t ask him.

I just said thanks, grabbed a bottle, and walked out to my car… =)

~ Keith