​​​​Because humor is funnier when you know it's true.


I was a visiting nurse in NYC, and there was a patient, Charlotte, whom everyone on our upper eastside team knew just by her first name. She was a 'revolving door' patient, meaning she was in and out of the hospital frequently and we were always getting referrals to see her when she came home. Since she lived on East 72nd St., she sometimes fell into my jurisdiction of patients to visit.  My territory bordered with a couple of other nurses and these borders could become "iffy" depending on the patient. 

I had the unwelcomed opportunity to visit with Charlotte, not knowing what was to happen. Charlotte was a sweet, frail elderly woman who lived in a very nice high rise building. Her apartment was on the main level which was very good for me. As I found out, I could leave my winter coat, scarf and gloves in the unattended lobby on freezing cold winter days, which was a totally necessary routine when making this particular visit, as I learned after our initial meeting. Charlotte's apartment was something out of a really bad nightmare for me. She had big holes in the walls where flies and spiders would enter and exit.  There were also the occasional wingless bugs running across the floor.

But Charlotte was very happy and content just the way things were. Though she had years and layers of blankets, boxes, and bags all over her studio apartment, she would not accept or permit any changes as she did not want her treasures to be disturbed. There was not anything we could do except let her live like that. She was of "sound mind" as some social worker had determined. Yet, I am quite positive that this so called social worker never returned to her home again to re-evaluate. Gee, I wonder why?