When I first began volunteering for Lori’s Hands I did not foresee the wonderful impact it would have on my life. I didn’t realize that helping my clients with simple household chores would be appreciated so much. Every week I go to a 90-year old couple’s home to help with anything they need; from mopping, vacuuming and dusting, to weeding and raking leaves or even miscellaneous tasks like changing light bulbs. Tasks that seem simple to many, but to them they are very difficult. Both the husband and wife suffer from chronic illness and have limited capabilities. Almost every time I visit them, they had a doctor’s visit earlier that day and they always give me updates on their health status. Whenever they tell me that they don’t feel well and their pain is worse that day it’s heartbreaking to me because I hate seeing anyone in any type of pain. My main motivation for becoming a physician is that I want to alleviate people’s pain, not just physically but mentally as well. I wish I could cure all of my clients' health problems, but since I can’t, the least I can do is help them with whatever they need in their household. I hope that by taking away some of the chores they have, it reduces a considerable portion of their stress so they can focus on other things.
My favorite memory with this couple was this past December when I helped set up and decorate their Christmas tree. It was truly saddening to hear that they hadn’t been able to put their tree up the past few years because they didn’t have any help. I gladly helped decorate as much as they wanted even though it went past the usual hour time frame. The couple is very religious and I knew that Christmas was an important holiday for them. I’m so grateful that I was able to help decorate their home and make it feel more merry.
Helping my clients has showed me just how difficult people’s lives can be when dealing with chronic illness. Before this, I had never spent as much time with people who had so many daily limitations. I have shadowed many doctors in many settings including the I.C.U, but I had never gotten to know the patients as well as I know my clients. Now I can better understand just how difficult life outside of a hospital setting can be for patients. Going forward and pursuing a career in medicine, I will use my experiences and new perspective to acknowledge all the difficulties that patients face. I am so grateful to have had these experiences with my clients and I look forward caring for their yard and simply cleaning their home on a weekly basis. I care for them and their health very much and I only wish that I could help them every day. My experience with this wonderful couple has been only positive and gratifying as I am always greeted with a smile and sent off with a hug.
Written by: Victoria Longo