Friday, May 15, 2009

Trust and Toenail's


I decided instead of dwelling on the negative stuff happening in my life currently to think of happier times when I felt fulfilled and appreciated.
As I have mentioned previously my life prior to MS included being an R.N. I have many fond memories of my experiences and patients. I worked in the area of home health nursing the last five years of my nursing career. I found this to be most fulfilling.

Trust is a major component when developing any type of relationship and very important when developing a nurse/patient/family relationship. This was of utmost importance to me when beginning a new case.

As I was thinking about writing this blog one case in particular came to mind. To many it may seem so trivial and even disgusting. For me it was a major triumph.

A middle aged gentleman who I shall call Mr. R. was referred to home health after a hospitalization in which he was treated for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and uncontrolled diabetes. I did my typical R.N. assessment and teaching at each visit. As nurses and diabetics know foot care is very important. On my first visit I noticed he wore cowboy boots. He always wore cowboy boots I soon found out. Mr. R. was cooperative and it took a little time to gain his trust.

The first time I mentioned the possibility of my assessing his feet I was met with a definite no. He was embarrassed to allow me to see his feet. Our rapport grew until one day at the end of my visit I mentioned foot care again. I informed him I could call prior to making my visit and give him time to soak his feet and I would do nail care for him. He was agreeable. I was amazed, thrilled and could barely contain myself until I left his home.

Yes, foot care and clipping toenails had me feeling on top of the world. I felt as if I had reached the top of Mount Everest. I had truly gained his trust. What a wonderful feeling.

The next visit I was welcomed by Mr. R. with his feet soaking in a basin of water. Mr. R. was unable to trim his own toenail's related to his breathing problems which prevented him from bending over to do his own foot care. I was faced with toenail's that were so long that they curled under. I sat in the floor, trimmed his nails and had the most wonderful conversation while doing so.

That was a wonderful day for me. Mr. R. was extremely appreciative.
Gaining someones trust is a wonderful feeling.

Moral of this story: Don't under estimate the power of toenail's.


  1. Hi Kelli,

    Gaining someones trust is brilliant and the moment you describe while cutting the old fellows toenails is precious.


  2. Hi Kelli,

    Hope you are doing well and having a great weekend.



  3. Heya, Kelli...

    Just found you via your comment on another blog. Wow...beautifully written post and one that is both touching with a bit of humor at the end! As a nurse myself, I can so relate to the absolute sacredness of such common things...things that may seem so simple on the surface, yet utterly complex to those on the other side.

  4. Herrad & BrainCheese,
    Your comments are greatly appreciated.


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