nurse please

In the past couple of weeks I’ve trained three new nurses having just finished training two others in the few months prior to that. The two recently trained nurses quit after their first day, and another—a very good nurse—is due to move to Colorado in a fortnight, leaving us with a single nurse who works just one day a week.

Nurse please.

I can’t quite figure out exactly why it is so unbelievably difficult lately to find someone to help take care of Calvin. Since Calvin began receiving in-home nursing services when he was two, it has been challenging at times, but we’ve always managed to land incredible nurses (with only a smattering of scary ones.) Perhaps the agency isn’t doing the best job at screening, isn’t telling the candidates what the job really entails. Perhaps when the nurses work with me and Calvin for a six to eight-hour shift they realize they aren’t up for it. They tell me that they want to do it but then they call to say they can’t. Maybe they aren’t strong enough. Perhaps they don’t have the patience. Maybe it isn’t challenging enough. Maybe it’s too challenging. Maybe I’m too much of a perfectionist and a control freak when it comes to caring for my child and that doesn't appeal to them. Maybe it's a combination of all of the above. Whatever it is, though, it sucks. It sucks to be left high and dry for weeks on end not being able to even scratch my nose with Calvin teetering on the opposite end of a short leash. It's particularly difficult when school is out and there are no activities for kids like Calvin—no soccer camp, no day camp, no play dates, no way to send him to a relative or a friend for vacation.

Nurse please.

And so these past few weeks since school let out I’ve been tested. I’ve strained my back, inadvertently had my eyeballs punched, my face scratched, my head bonked, my hair pulled, my sleep interrupted, my patience tried, my anxiety tested and my heart broken by several eight-minute long seizures. He’s a hard case, to be true. But you’d think at twenty-five bucks an hour to spend with an impossibly sweet, albeit sometimes hyper kid, there’d be more than a few decent nurses wanting to sign up.

Nurse please.

photo by Ann Anderson


  1. We need to start some sort of living community -- somewhere, somewhere, so that we can deal with these problems as a community.

    I'm saying a prayer that Mary Poppins is free and floating around out there, looking for a place to land and then sees you and Calving.

    1. what a wonderful image, eee. mary poppins. i'll go with that. xo

  2. I think Elizabeth has a good idea worth thinking about. In plural. There could be lots of permutations of the idea, all coming from the central notion of a group of individuals committed to being part of the effort to care for persons like Calvin....

    Meanwhile, come now, good nurse! Christy and Michael need you!