Marc was taking care of his client. He was helping Lucy, an eighty year old woman, eat her lunch.
Lucy suffers from Parkinson’s disease with a touch of Lou Gehrig’s disease. the most painful part of taking care of Lucy is trying to understand what she’s saying.
Like I said, Marc was feeding her a sandwich, a grilled sandwich. All it had on it was cheese and mustard. Lucy asked for some pickle but Marc knew it may have choked her for her difficult time of swallowing.
The door swung open and in walked Lucy’s son, Herman. A 350 pound, chip and Coke guzzling of a man who was pretty much Lucy’s target of aggression during his childhood. Herman lumbers into the bedroom with Marc and Lucy.
“What are you doing?” Lucy looks up at her boy with a loving smile only a mother could muster.
“Oh, we’re having a wonderful grilled cheese sandwich.” Marc’s voice almost rang with pride.
“What! No, no, no. Mommy, you know you can’t have anything with crumbs. You could choke.” He snapped his head to Marc. “And just what do you plan on giving her to drink?”
“Water. She looks a bit dehydrated.”
“How would you know what dehydrated looks like?”
Marc’s eyes narrowed, his nostrils flared. He hates his talents and training questioned. Especially by some over stuffed buffoon who’s never been trained much less experienced in the field of care taking.
Marc pointed to her mouth. “Do you see how her lips are wrinkled?” Herman arrogantly looked at his mother’s face. “The wrinkles are an indication that she needs water.”
Herman puckered his mouth. “I hope you thicken the water.”
Marc ignored him. He fed Lucy another bite of her sandwich.
“What if she chokes,” Herman snapped.
“Do you see her?” Marc looked for a response from Herman. “She is fine. As a matter of fact, why don’t you get her a glass of water.”
Herman smugly walked off with his forty-eight inch waist snapping to and fro.
Marc called after him; “Don’t forget the thickener.” He heard Herman growl in frustration.
When he got back with the water, he said, “That kitchen is a mess. I can’t have a dirty kitchen with my mother living here. Why isn’t the kitchen more sanitary than that?”
“Your mother had me hopping all morning with her needs. I haven’t had time to do anything else.”
“No, no, no. I can’t have this for my mother. What kind of germs are laying around here with all that filth smeared in the kitchen.”
Marc gave Lucy another bite of her sandwich. “You are not feeding her right. Those bites are too big. Make them smaller bites.”
Marc looked at Herman with the most confused look on his face. “I get it. I breathe, therefore, I’m wrong. Is that what you are trying to say?”
“Oh, no. I appreciate what you are doing for my mother.”
“Then why are you constantly condemning everything I do around here.”
“I don’t go against anything you do around here.”
“You just did–again.”
“Well … it’s my mother. I should have everything to say about her care.”
“Yes, it’s your mother and no, you don’t have anything to say about it. You don’t have the wherewithal to say anything about it. That’s why I have a case manager and your mother has a doctor. They … have everything to say about it. And if you think I can do my job based on your drama, you have one major other guess to take.”
Herman’s face soured with indignation. He turned to leave when her heard’ “Herman, wait.” He stopped but didn’t turn to look at Marc.
“I’m sorry, but really, I can’t do my job with you micro-managing every move I make around here. You have to let me to my job on my terms. Otherwise, should anything go wrong, I have to report that you wanted it that way and I didn’t have a choice. That way everything falls on your shoulders and I could get fired because I’m the one with the training and experience.”
It made sense to Herman. He looked at Marc. “Try to understand, I’ve been through hell with my mother. I have a lot of mental problems from the way she treated me and the last thing I don’t want is to be a bad son.”
Marc wasn’t so hard on Herman after that day. He took five seconds before being harsh and saying anything mean. However, he never bought the idea that his past is an excuse for his actions today.