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.