A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A New Gun, an Old Memory

I gained a new gun today. It was quite unexpected. The Coroner contacted me and asked if I was interested. A swirl of memories enveloped me from the time I was a young nurse in home care.

She was a little black lady who sweltered in a one room apartment hellhole that summer. H&R 923It was an old cinder block motel that had been converted to quarters for the disadvantaged and elderly. Window unit air conditioners had been removed, sold, and the resulting holes covered with cardboard and chuffs. The doors were screen door frames with cardboard scotch taped and stapled on. When I first saw her, she was sitting on a stool eating a bowl of Cheerios and water. There were as many roaches in the bowl as cereal. With each spoonful more vermin scampered up her arm and into her hair to escape her toothless mouth. She did not care. She was quite blind and psychotic, babbling along about Lazarus and twelve thieves. Adult Protective Services had closed her case because she said she liked where she lived.

She had neither family nor friends. I contacted the Coroner to have her removed. As the toilet flushed in the adjacent room, raw sewage spewed across her floor through a broken clay pipe. A crazed crackhead cursed the cold while warming his hands over a 55 gallon drum of burning garbage outside as the Coroner arrived. The slum lord later arrived at the psych ward to try to gain her release. My administrator assisted the slum lord in having her placed right back in the same hellhole. I was called on the carpet and threatened with my job. I told them they could have it.

Today, years later, as I hold her effects from that day, I realize she was not as unprotected as I once thought she was. I wonder, too, if she was as blind.

Range Report

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Blogger rbshaw said...

you live and have lived an interesting life.I enjoy your stories.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a woman who lived and died on her terms. Having spent 11 years working in hospitals, the last six being in an extensive care center, it's hard to tell if living with cockroaches in your Cheerios is worse than being left to malinger in a bed, ignored. It's still sad...

1:38 PM  

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