When it came to leaving, the hospital had basically three main areas you had to show learning and understanding in for you to leave. A big one was understanding how to take care of your health clinically. Preventing infections and sicknesses that would lead you back to the hospital. I had to learn everything about my care and all of my equipment and then two family members had to know everything as well and they had to do everything at least 3 times before I could leave. Things like trachea changes and being able to cath me. I also had to get on a bowel program which meant pooping at the same time everyday so I could go all day without shitting on myself. Still to this day I have a regular 2am gut crunch. Dad, mom, Desirae and JR learned everything for me. Trachea changes are god awful still, I hate doing them. They hurt, make my throat sore, I cough up lube all day.
Taking care of my health coming home since I’m on a ventilator meant getting with a nursing agency and finding a staff of nurses for when I came home. Now THIS is where things got interesting. Because coming home after being in a hospital for 3 and a half months is very different. Something you learn quickly is that agencies will staff you with anyone with a degree and a pulse. Because my injury did not occur from a car accident the agencies made about half as much on my case as those in auto accidents and the nurses were getting paid anywhere from $17-$21 per hour which is far off from that of nurses in the hospital so the nurses I had early on were very different. We would always joke about putting me in the van and going for a tumble down M5 and see if they’d switch me over to an auto case.
Finding good nurses was pretty challenging at first. The first group of nurses I had when I came home didn’t last long with me at all, some of them were pretty comical. One nurse named Tanajia, that’s not her real name, would always tell me about how she had a sugar daddy that bought her all types of stuff including the non-prescription pink tented glasses she wore. My brother JR said he was in the kitchen one night and she grabbed his dick and asked if he was burning after seeing him itching himself. She ended up quitting in the middle of the night one night while I was sleeping and just walked out and left. Dad gets a call from the agency like, Tanajia has just quit. You mean the one that’s supposed to be with him right now?? I can tell stories on stories about the nurses we’ve had come through here. I’ve had good, bad, happy, sad, looney tunes crazy, incompetent, mentally psychotic, and possibly sociopathic. These are definitely some of the funniest stories I have over the years now looking back so I’ll try to pepper them in as I go along.
Having nurses with you all the time can be frustrating at times but it can be wonderful as well. I was talking to one of my nurses about this the other day and she says, I feel like wanting to help people should be a requirement for being a nurse. Well no shit! Wouldn’t that be nice if everyone becoming a nurse actually wanted to help people. Unfortunately on one side you have people who see it as easy money, it’s not that difficult to get a degree, you’ll always have a job and always be in demand. Then you’re bringing whoever into your home, you don’t know what they’ve seen or how their experience as a nurse has been. Especially in a health industry that is less about living life, more about prolonging death. “Nurses” who are stuck in this mindset, even if it’s by mistake, can be the cause of your death if you’re not careful about who’s taking care of you.
Although I will say having people with you on the other end of that spectrum you can have the deepest connection and strongest relationships imaginable. You can laugh together, cry together, grow together, and that’s something I’ve also experienced over the years and it’s amazing. I am happy to say that now I have people with me on the positive end, who I feel truly care about me, care about my family, want to see me do well and want to help me accomplish all my goals including the ultimate goal of getting out this damn chair!
Tomorrow I’ll talk about another aspect that they tried to instill in the hospital before letting you leave.