Saturday, August 1, 2009


Have you ever seen the incision made for a cesarean section? If you have, I'm sorry, because on Friday, I did too. I'm not talking about the long vertical kind of incision - I'm talking about the horizontal cut they make underneath the belly. Low. So low, I won't even tell you. (Can I go ahead and say that examining cesarean incisions is Not My Job?)

But it was my schizophrenic client, and she came to me so pathetically, and told me she was supposed to check it every day, but couldn't see it over her stomach. And could I please come and look at it? I couldn't say no (really? really, Karen, you couldn't say no? If you had wanted to be a nurse, you could happily be paid a lot more. But you didn't, you aren't, and you should have said no). I went with my client to her room, and she carefully closed the door behind me. It occurred to me to ask what I would be checking for. "Leakage," she said, "or if it's open at all." It occurred to me that if I saw leakage or openings, I would probably pass out. I think I turned two shades whiter. She told me to come in to the bathroom, and closed that door as well. "I'm not going to hurt you, miss," she said, probably noticing that I appeared close to passing out. I reassured her that I'm not afraid of her (just her possible pus or internal organs falling out), and I know she's not dangerous. "I've had a rough life, that's all, miss." She peeled her layers of clothing up and down, and down and down and down, and that's all I'm going to tell you about exactly how low they cut a woman to take out her baby.

And how does it cut to lose your child? Earlier that day CPS took custody of her child (a beautiful girl, just a week old). She sounded angry when she told me she doesn't like the foster mother. She sounded ready to cry when she said "I'm hurting and I'm feeling let down." Then she changed the subject. She told me she had been hit in the head, and if I touched it, I could feel the bump. I asked how it happened, and she told me it was when she was a baby. She said "I haven't been right since. That's trauma." The tears came when she said "That's trauma, miss. It stays with you for the rest of your life."

1 comment:

  1. Can I just say that I don't have a place to put this right now so it's not processing... but it's important, and I'm glad you shared, and maybe I will have coherent thoughts again someday.

    PS - when I went to verify that I am myself in order to post, the "word" was WHOOT!