Patient L.G. is a 92 year old black female, born and raised in Augusta GA. L.G. is the oldest of 6 children and has an 8th grade education. She had to leave school at an early age to help her parents who were “Field Hands” with her young siblings. L.G. spent most of her youth picking cotton alongside her parents and tending to her younger brothers and sisters and was unable to complete her education. L.G. was a very quick learner and very good with her hands. She always envisioned she would become a teacher but her interest in a career never materialized.
L.G.’s dream only progressed to the point of teaching her parents what she learned while in school for such a short time. L.G. followed in her mother’s footsteps and when not working the cotton fields she made extra money as a cook and maid for a prominent family in Valdosta, GA. This line of work consumed her days and she eventually had to give up working the cotton fields and became a full-time housekeeper. Pursuing this line of work led L.G. to interest and activities she otherwise would not have been exposed to. L.G. enjoyed sewing, knitting, cooking and learned how to master these activities while performing them for not only the family she worked for, but for herself as well.
At the age of 18, L.G. met a nice young man and they began dating. Eventually they decided to get married and start a family. L.G. got pregnant on 3 different occasions but unfortunately she had 3 miscarriages. This was very traumatic for her and she became very depressed. L.G’s husband was having a hard time finding employment and wanted to move to another town. The family that L.G. worked for decided to hire him as a “Grounds Keeper.” The work for L.G. and her husband was hard, the hours long, and the pay was extremely small but L.G. and her husband were grateful for the opportunity to make a living. After thirty-five years of enjoying a picture of perfect health, the hard work started to take its toll on L.G. She started feeling fatigued, thirsty, having frequent urination and severe headaches. These symptoms became life changing for L.G. She began finding it difficult to perform most of her daily duties. The family L.G. worked for started to notice a change in her physical appearance. She started to complain of pain all over her body, but with no access to medical services coupled with a lack of finances to pay for any medical assistance, L.G. and her husband decided to seek treatment for her symptoms in an adjoining town. L.G. found a doctor who offered to treat her and accept whatever she could pay. Feeling relieved to finally get some treatment for her symptoms, L.G. received medical news she was not prepared for. Monday August 10th, L.G.’s life changed forever. A full medical check-up revealed that she has Type II Diabetes and severe Hypertension. L.G. with her limited education was not familiar with these two diagnoses. The doctor began educating her on the changes she would need to make in her life in order to properly control her symptoms.
After being diagnosed with both diabetes and hypertension, L.G. found it very hard to follow doctor’s diet instructions to prepare foods without all the fat, salt and sweets that she had become accustomed to over the years. L.G. had to readjust to life after being diagnosed. She became very frail and experienced sores on her feet from wearing inadequate fitting shoes. These symptoms became progressively worse and L.G was forced to retire from her job as a housekeeper. The medical staff had a very difficult time trying to stabilize L.G.’s condition and after being unable to gain compliance from her and her husband, the next of kin, a niece living in the next town from L.G. was contacted. L.G.’s niece found herself in a really unique situation, trying to take care of her own family and now bringing in two adults with one needing constant medical and nutritional around the clock care. L.G’s...
References: Carl Jung, 1960
Carson & Arnold, 1996
Cumming & Henry, 1961
Meiner’s Gerontologic Nursing, 4th Ed. Sue Meiner, Theories of Aging
Havighurst, Neugarten, & Tobin, 1963
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