Stories from the Basement

Stories from the Basement: April 2015

By Donna Clark RN, Director

Over the past months, I have briefly mentioned a client who was injured by a falling tree limb and I would like to give you a clearer picture of this man. He has been a client of our agency since 2005 and began to utilize our services in 2010. A quiet man whose deafness often limits his ability to interact with others also has an inability to deal with people. His mental health issues remain untreated and when he is in a group that gets loud or excited he begins to backtrack and get as far away as possible.

Living in the woods for about 10 years doing exactly as he pleases, he is happy to live with nature and be left alone. He does not panhandle or receive any financial benefits from the government and I have often wondered how he manages to find money to purchase the alcohol and food that he consumes. He is not a thief and would never consider doing anything to hurt another person. He is a very gentle kind man with mental pain that he self-medicates with alcohol. In recent years he has begun to consume much less alcohol; and when he was injured in March he was very sober. I believe that is why he was not injured worse than what he was.

Since the injury, he remained completely sober until another old friend moved into his tent (invited) and began to provide him with unlimited alcohol. When he did not keep an appointment at the Wound Center a few weeks ago, we were notified and we visited his camp. We found him completely inebriated and barely able to talk. The guest who was also in his tent pulled his blanket over his head when he heard our voices and pretended he was not there. Our client was apologetic for his failure but did not want any help with dressing change or rescheduling his appointment. As we left, reassuring him of our love, we required that he sober up and take care of himself before we would return. Two weeks went by and he finally contacted us. His tent guest had been evicted and our client was sober and ready for care. He wants to continue to live in the woods and wants to remain sober.

We are all God’s children and if you want to judge this man please take a look at yourself first. He is a kind and loving person, in pain, trying to solve his own problems. We continue to share God’s love with him and encourage him to give his problems to God. Please keep him in your prayers as he is in ours.

Luke 15: 11-24