Since March of 2011 I have been doing 6 hours a week on a case that has proved to be more than I care to involve myself in. Even though it means a loss, temporarily, of over $200 a month in income, I gave the case up this week.
The client is a woman in her early 50's who has MS. She has allowed herself to deteriorate to a stage that comes near to being nursing home qualified. She refuses to regularly take her meds, won't do any of her exercises. Claims she can't eat because she has no teeth, yet she has no problem chewing chocolate caramels with nuts in them. She lies about everything and anything to manipulate the people around her. She's just plain willful and unfortunately it's in all the wrong areas.
She lives with a daughter, the daughter's boyfriend and their child. I don't understand the family dynamics there, but it appears that they're ashamed of her and simply don't wish to handle the supervisory details that are so necessary given this woman's state of mind. On the one hand, the daughter doesn't want her Mom placed in a nursing home, on the other, she's 22 years old with a baby of her own and she refuses to accept the responsibility of caring for both. This girl is downright selfish and lazy. Even the needs of the baby take a back seat to what she wants to do at any given time.
When I enter a home where family lives with client, I am not responsible for cleaning up any messes the family makes. In this home, this family cleans nothing up. I walk in to baby toys strewn all over the floor, days of unwashed dishes in the sink. Nobody seems to know how to operate a broom and dustpan nor can they clean the litter box that is used by 2 cats out until the stench is overpowering. Essentially I have spent a year trying to keep my client clean and healthy while living in a pigsty. Frankly, an actual pigsty might be cleaner.
Last week there was a party for the baby held on a Tuesday. The party was in the town park, however, it apparently continued in the home until the wee hours of the morning. I arrived to find bowls of food left out to rot. The kitchen countertops, the stove, the table were completely covered. There were crumbs, kitty litter and cat feces all over the floor in the kitchen. Client's bathtub was used to bathe the baby, wet towels were left on the floor, which create a hazard for my client to fall on should she have needed to use the bathroom. Baby toys were left in the tub and client's shower chair and shower head were missing. The chair was outside and the shower head was in the kitchen among the bowls of rotting food. My supervisor chose that day to make a visit, which got the boyfriend up from sitting on his ass in front of the TV watching cartoons while the baby played on the floor in this filth. He made an attempt to clean up a little. Damn little.
This week when I went back in, conditions were unchanged. In fact they were worse. The trash hadn't been taken out for disposal on Friday of last week and things were overflowing. The stench of cat feces and rotting trash was overwhelming. I did a walk through, called my office to ask permission to leave. When she found out it hadn't been taken care of she granted it and I left. I am not going back there. I can't stand it.
As soon as the decision to stop doing that case was made, I felt such a sense of relief. It's like a massive weight was lifted and I'm wondering if that weight may have played a large part in some of the health issues I've been suffering. I feel suddenly stronger physically, have more energy, and wonder of wonders, I've been pain free for two days. I'm hoping for a continuation of that.
This proved to be a client and family that I can't help. Had it not been for the conditions that they finally presented me with, I would still be banging my head on a wall and suffering the frustration of being manipulated. I wish them well in whatever they decide to do about the problems they have, but am downright gleeful that I'm not a part of those solutions. I'm also grateful that I finally was forced to accept the truth. There comes a point where I must learn to accept that I can't help and it does no good for me to keep on trying.