While I was toiling away in high school, my mother was supporting our family as a visiting nurse. She would visit low income families, helping patients with long standing issues or who recently had surgery. While driving me through Providence on my way to school, she would leave me with casual observations; such as the inverse correlation between low income and the size of your television.
One particularly unmemorable morning, my mother decided to tell me a story about her previous day at work. Mom was visiting a patient complaining about abdominal pain. The patient, a large, large, large overweight woman, had surgery on her stomach a few days prior. When my mom entered the apartment, she knew something was a little “off.” The air was heavy and smelled faintly of almonds.
Mom inspected the hefty patient, lifting folds and searching through crevices on her torso. My mother had soon located the problem. Under the patient’s fat folds was the cut from her recent surgery. The stitches had burst days ago and the large woman’s large insides were peaking out. The patient was so fat that she did not even notice her gangrene wound.
My mother is not a visiting nurse any more.