Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Cranky Reasons #1: Lack of Control

When I first started this blog, I documented a number of things that made me cranky in my Cranky Reasons posts. Lest folks think I'm getting happy and have lost the cranky edge, I've decided to start up a new list. I'm not checking the old list, so there may be some repeats, but everything old can be new again ... not just bellbottom jeans, but my cranky reasons.

Without further ado, then, let us start with the cranky reason that's top of mind for me today ...

New cranky reason #1: Lack of control. Primarily, over our personal space. I first thought of naming this reason "Space Invaders," because those are the people that are the primary cause of the loss of control. People are always coming to the house: mostly nurses and home health aides. They provide valuable services when they're here, but they are providing that service here, and that's the problem. You lose your privacy, especially for Skip who, during these visits, is receiving medical attention or a bath. This morning was over the top as we had 2 RN's and 1 LPN here for more than an hour while the nurse who's an IV specialist was working on Skip's PICC line (where her IV goes in). Another was being trained and the third is Skip's case manager. And, they arrived at 7:30!

If the people are new, you never know how they'll react to the dogs going a bit crazy with barking and such when they arrive. Will they close the gate correctly when they go or will it drift open so Addy can escape? And, will they leave the house as they found it (which, admittedly is cluttered and not spotlessly clean)? The answer to the last question is often no, particularly for the aides. They never wipe the counter in the kitchen after preparing Skip a meal, they get water all over the windowsill by the sink so it's now lost some of it's varnish, they leave cabinets and drawers ajar and so on. I've provided feedback to some of them, but it hasn't helped. I'll admit I'd rather just properly close Skip's sock drawer than have to do all the work they do when they're here, but, really, how hard is it just to close it all the way? Every time I do it after they've left, I ask myself, do they leave all the drawers and cabinets open at their own homes?


Have Myelin? said...


You say you get cranky and I say I get pissed.

Interesting word verification. They're taunting us. "mingl" Add one more letter we'd have "mingle".

No, we don't want to mingle with "them".

Cranky said...

Sherry - so glad you understand. No minging here! :-)

Muffie said...

You have every right to complain -- I can't believe they do that! When the end of their term arrives, I'd let the agency know.

kmilyun said...

Yes the crankiness - you say it well.
Shut the sock drawer oh my how hard is that?

It is an alien invasion all your drawer belong to us.


Gary said...

A word of advice, if I could: Many home health-care professionals get a little spiky when they are asked to do things they call "maid work." So you may wish to start off by saying something nice like "I know you're not my cleaning lady, but..." and then finish it by saying "...but I don't pay you to be a FUCKING SLOB, you ugly harpie. So when you make Skip a sandwich, clean up after yourself. I pay you; I shouldn't have to clean up after your worthless ass."

Then, take her arm and whap her with it, asking her why she's hitting herself. Then take her lunch money. At this point I can silently judge you for being a bully. No, it's not fair, but neither is picking up after your home health-care professional.

Cranky said...

Muff - my challenge is trying to give feedback to these folks while they're still coming so the behavior stops. Unfortunately, I can be a bit harsh, so I typically remain mum.

Jan - they can have the drawers as long as they close them first. :-)

Gary - well there's some harsh feedback! I must say though, envisioning this conversation made me laugh.

Patrick said...

Watch your feedback - you cannot win this argument! Back when Patti had helpers and/or visiting nurses the stories are identical except somehow you have all English speaking aides. In our story since most aides are entry level positions, English was a second language. Communication was challenging to say the least. ... However what I was saying about you cannot win. Much like you I tried feedback only to get a call from Patti's physician that in the report from home health services it was alleged I abused Patti by not giving her enough water every day. Totally unsubstantiated and incorrect as Patti's room was always stocked with an in room refrigerator full of wheelchair accessible water and juice bottles. As her doc pointed out you can never win a pissing contest with home health simply because they can allege anything in their report which goes into one's official medical record while the opinions, feelings etc of a caregiver sadly do not count.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

lightning36 said...

"I ask myself, do they leave all the drawers and cabinets open at their own homes?"

Answer: probably. The people who don't get it never have and never will.

lol @ Gary, who always provides some comic relief!

Cranky said...

Patrick - I hadn't thought about the power the aides wield. It is true, so best just to close the drawers and wipe the counters and be happy for the work they provide.

lightning - I had the same suspicion. And Gary is clearly a nut!

Anonymous said...

My health aides never turn lights off. If I return home 3 hours after they have given my husband his shower all the bathroom lights are still on along with the vent fan. We live in New England and can't afford to vent our warm air outside in the winter. If they make lunch or breakfast I always have to scrub my stove. I wonder what their houses look like.

Cranky said...

I wonder what their agency tells them they should be doing with respect to client homes. It can't be "leave your mess behind for the client to clean up."