Thursday, August 21, 2008

Change Happens When The Caring Starts

Written and Submitted by Christa B. Night Staff Satellite Location: 2507

It was just over a year ago that I met Buddy. I was a new transfer staff member and he was a long time resident. My first introduction to him was when there not enough towels for him at 02:45 am and he was grumpy at the office staff. Two hours later he threw back his lunch as he did not like it. This interaction with him went on for a few weeks. There were times when I got a smile out of him however those were rare times.

One morning, I was working at the office during wake ups and my supervisor asked me to take a look at Buddy’s leg. Having had education in health care, I assessed his leg and found it to be reddened, swollen, warm to touch and painful to weight gain on. I asked Buddy to seek medical attention during his day and if he chose not to do so, advised him that medical attention would be sought out for him that night. As it turned out, the redness had traveled up his leg during the day and he was finding it hard to walk, which caused concern for all staff members at the main building on Riverfront Avenue. Non Emergency E.M.S. was called out to assess his leg.

Later on, I found out that Buddy had not sought attention as he did not have the provincial medical coverage and was scared that he would be billed. E.M.S. transported him to the hospital that night, and I packed a bag of toiletries with some of his clothes for him to have at the hospital, which was sent up with a staff member. Buddy was in the hospital for a few rotations, calling every few days to let the staff know that he was all right.

The night that he returned to the warehouse from hospital will be one that I will never forget. He was the first one on the second bus and when he stepped onto the bus and saw me, he said, “How many thank you’s should I give you. You saved my leg.”

On the ride out to the warehouse he shared that he was in the hospital under isolation and was treated for cellulitis, which the doctor feared would have turned into the flesh eating infection if it had not been caught and treated when it was.

Since that night, Buddy and I have developed a helping relationship. He's come to me to help him with his pension application as well as other things that he needed advice or feedback on. He accepts a towel that I keep back for him at night, and he never complains of his lunch. He has opened up to the staff and allowed us into his life.

Buddy and other hard to love guys are the reason that I do what I do. Someone needs to care for those who society has not cared for.

Change happens when the caring starts.

Written by Christa B. Night staff, Satellite location

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