Monday, September 13, 2010

Nurse Grace

My dad called this afternoon to find out if I needed help getting the girls home from school and then casually mentioned that Mom had hurt her hand but he had bandaged it and thought it would be ok. I told him as soon as the girls got home that we would come and check it out.

Since my Dad is the Master of Understatement (remember how he told me they had a small accident, which was actually hitting a concrete wall head first and the airbags were deployed?), it quickly began to nag me the way Dad so casually called about the girls ride home, which he rarely if ever does, and the even more casual way he presented Mom's injury, so I go over to check on them.

Now when I went to college, the first time, there were really only 2 choices for women, nursing or teaching. I figured out really quickly that blood was not something I liked and could never work around, so I went into teaching.

As a person who has had brain surgery and shots in her eye and 2 daughters, you would think I had finally gotten over my issue with blood and injuries, but still have not and when I got there and saw Mom propped up on the couch with her hand double the size that it should be with a really bloody, gross bandage around it, I knew I was going to be no use. I had to have my daughters, especially Grace, who, like Darcey, gets so involved in watching someone being bandaged that you can't see anything but their heads!

I called Lynne, who has been an answer to our prayers for car pooling, to find out where they were and explained the situation. She is so kind and I think if she had a siren and flashing light, would have put them on her car to speed the girls to rescue their mother and grandmother.

When they got there, Annabel comes in like a bomb exploding complaining about the heat, her homework, and dumping a pile of her belongings.

Grace walks in, without speaking, puts her things down, walks past us, and leaves me with my mouth gaping open, thinking she must have misunderstood how desperately I needed her help and fearful that I am still going to have to do something with this very bloody bandaged mangled hand.

Now to let you know how bad this was, Mom really thought she had cut off her hand when she saw the amount of blood. Taking so many things to keep the blood moving seamlessly through her also makes her skin extremely sensitive to any nicks or scrapes, and this time she was just putting clothes in the dryer and caught it in a way that for us, would maybe be a bruise or a scratch, but for her had caused her hand to double in size and bleed enough that she thought she would pass out.

Grace comes back in calmly and asks where is the first aid kit?

Then she goes back out and in with a wet cloth and slowly begins the process of removing the bandage, sending Annabel, her assistant, after extra supplies like tweezers. This is very painstaking and Mom had already admitted that she was fearful of facing the pain of removing the bandage, but Grace works slow and steady!

Grace applies pressure where it needs to be to stop the bleeding, cleans the rest of the blood off her hand, applies antibacterial ointment, and I'm not even sure what else, because I left to cook dinner for us and knew that she had handled it all so much better than I could!

While the girls did their homework, I cooked, and then had Annabel call to say it would be ready in 5 minutes. Mom asked if she should make some tea and Grace flew up yelling no, she was to remain on the couch with her hand immobile! So they run next door to make sure Mom is not moving and get the table set and drinks for everyone.

After we ate, Grace changed the bandage again because it had begun to bleed.

She never ceases to amaze me with her kindness and compassion, and remains so calm in every situation.

As of September 21, it will be 6 years since I adopted Grace. I cannot imagine my life without her!

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