Monday, February 18, 2008

White Out Conditions

There has to be some sort of medication out there for those of us that have chosen to stake our roots in Ohio. I cannot tell you how many weather changes we had today - at one point for awhile the sun was out, and then while we were wandering through Dodd Hall, I looked out the window and it was a white out. I prayed that it would stop before I had to drive home. It did, but it took us 40 min to get home from OSU. Thankfully, the car is safely tucked away in the garage and my precious and beautiful baby angel is snuggling on the couch next to me.

We managed to keep the heater door closed and stay warm this week. Always a bonus.

We have not been going to Dodd as consistently as we have in the past, so hopefully we are back on track. The trial wore me out and I did not sleep well last night - it was windy and sounded like a train was rolling through the back yard. I never sleep well in the wind, and it is windy again tonight. But we off we went.

The house was relatively full. The first lady we saw had obviously had some sort of head trauma. She was unable to speak or move her right side, so I put Chel in a chair on her left. We sat for a few minutes, but it is hard to communicate. Her roomie was using the facility, so I waited to see if she wanted to pet the pup and she did. They had a black lab named Logan and 5 chihuahuas. Talk about house gone to the dogs!

Out next visit was to an older woman who was talking to her son - she was very concerned we would leave before she was off the phone, so we went in. Her son wanted to know the dog's name, breed, age, weight - all the vitals that other lab owners want to know. He had a yellow lab named Zoe. She spent the next 10 minutes telling me all about her dogs over the course of her life. Chel liked her - I was sitting on the floor and Chel stood next to the bed the whole time. Her bed was at an angle, and it looked like her right side was her best so there was really no room for a chair. Floor it was.

Just when I thought I have seen something that I think is one of the hardest things I have ever seen, I am proven wrong. Tonight, the very last patient we saw was in pretty bad shape. His head was off to one side, and there was some sort of padding supporting his head. I thought I heard oxygen, I think he had a trach - but his head was turned so it was kind of hard to tell. At first I thought his face was bandaged - but I realized then that he had some sort of disfiguring surgery. He had no nose and one side of his face was very swollen. I was trying to figure out what to do when the nurse in there THANKFULLY stepped in and helped. I guess this guy was trying to do something to his tube and the nurse went over and began talking to him. She asked him if he saw the visitor on the other side, the pretty puppy. I went over there - he was not really looking at me, but when the nurse pulled the side rail of the bed down, he reached over and patted her. She stood still and let him pet her, and I was very greatful. He quickly went back into his own world, so we left.

I will think about this man as I go to sleep tonight. My heart breaks for this guy, as the road ahead of him is long and hard - I am sure the physical scars will pale in comparison to the emotional scars that are bound to plague him for the rest of his life. Many, many times I have been out with Sharon when kids scream "look at the doggie" - its not so much the kids that scream it, but how the parents react to it. Many parents get down to their kids level and tell them they cannot pet the doggie, it is a helper doggie that is working. This generally satisfies the kids and they ask questions sometimes, and Sharon is perfectly OK. The world is a cruel enough place when you look normal, and I just hope the rest of the world can find the decency and compassion to treat this guy with some dignity.

I hear the wind whipping around outside...however, I am so exhausted I am thinking I might not care so much tonight about the freight train rolling through. Chels is still exhausted from the weekend, and is faithfully laying next to her mom on the couch. We hope this finds everyone well and staying warm!


Nicole and the Chelsie Belle


The Monroes said...

They are very lucky to have you Nic!

Alexis said...

I know how special dogs can be to a persons psyche. I know how happy just seeing a dog can make people. You are truly doing a great thing.

The Scotts said...

Sorry the weather is so bad out there, but you and Chelsie are doing wonderful things for these people.

the youngbergs said...

You totally get it understand these patients on an entirely different level. I enjoy reading your insight and am moved by your experiences. Thanks for sharing.