Driving someone with bedbugs(44 posts)
Hello, I have posted on here before about my very poor young friend with bedbugs. Well her baby is overdue and her car is completely broken down right now, so she could call me (or someone else, who knows) at any time for a ride to the hospital. Obviously, she will need future rides to doctor's appointments, etc. The problem is, just the thought of giving her a ride with her car seat, suitcase, etc., in my car is enough to about give me a heart attack! She has a serious infestation of bedbugs throughout her apartment complex, and I'm sure the bedbugs will be in the baby stuff, too. However, who am I to deny a pregnant woman a ride to the hospital or a new mother a ride to the pediatrician's office? What should I do??? If I do give her a ride, what can I do to make sure bedbugs don't infest my car/home? Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Give her money to take a cab
And the sad thing is, she's about to infest a hospital room. What else can she do though, she has to be hospitalized to give birth.
It's a no win situation.
i agree with the taxi recommendation. And how about telling her that you'll do her a favor because you understand how busy she is and all...that you'll contact the hospital in advance of her admission so that they can protect the other patients and medical/nursing staff from the bbs...
surely she would not disagree with that.. if she is so selfish as to put so many other people in risk, then perhaps you must do something to help protect your community from such a self centered individual.
This isn't quite on topic: Do hospitals have procedures for dealing with patients with bedbugs? Like if she, or anyone else, knew they had to go to the hospital and freely disclosed that they are in the midst of a bedbug infestation, but still need treatment, what does a hospital do?
I don't think that she's particularly selfish, just poor and uneducated. But thank you for the advice. I do appreciate it.
I'm not sure what a hospital would do. I am sure these things are coming up quite frequently these days. However, i saw a video somewhere...maybe even on this forum...where a woman was refused her dialysis treatment bc she showed up with visible bb's on her body.
However, sound of the sea, to protect yourself, you need to give her taxi money and lots of support and love via the telephone.
And i think the hosp needs a heads up. How else will the spreading stop?
I would give her a ride if she is in labor! oh my gosh, now immediate medical attention pretty much trumps anything. however, I wouldn't be giving her a ride to normal appointments or procedures or last minute shopping (pick the items up for her). Just explain to her you don't want to be at risk of infestation and to find alternate transportation arrangements. And if she CAN find another ride to the hospital, that's great, but I'm poor, I know, poor folk often can't afford taxis. besides, she'll be in labor!!!!!!!!! way to begin a journey of bringing a baby into the world, with the taxi that may have been the source, who knows, paying some guy to drive at speeds risking accident, sheesh.
besides, if she's in labor she wouldn't be taking all that stuff would she? perhaps carry a contractor's bag with you.
good luck to your friend having a baby!
but if i know that i have something horrible (TB, whopping cough around babies, chicken pox around pregnant women, BBs around almost anyone except David :-D) and i go around those people without letting them do something to protect themselves because i want to be sure that i get what i want and protect something or somebody i love more (soon to born baby in this case) than the other people i'm putting at risk, i'm not selfish?
it's a problem. How will we ever stop spreading this awful bug infestation if we aren't open about it?
Whenever i have an ethical dilemma and i'm not sure what to do, i like to consult the best person i know on this Earth -- my mommy. I just called her and she was taking a little nap so i didn't get a full analysis of "what is good and fair and honorable" on this question...but mom did say that when she worked in the admitting office of a hospital yeaaaaaaaaaars ago they did not ask about bug infestations before admitting a patient and that in her opinion, off the top of her head, she would say that our pregnant lady does not have to tell the hospital about her infestation but that she should do everything in her power to isolate her things and prepare in a way that she won't pass the bugs to others. Mommy said maybe the friend will go to the friends house, without going in, and take whatever is needed in terms of plastic bags and get a set of clothes ready for wear when the baby is coming, another set to wear home in separate sealed plastic bags. The things for the baby should be inspected, washed, dried sufficiently and placed in a separate sealed plastic bag. Toiletries treated the same way...Take as few things as possible. All the soon to be mother's things should go in a larger sealed plastic bag and that can even go into another. The car should be cleaned out and organized. No pocket book..or if pocketbook, it must be sealed in plastic bag. Hair should be washed and dried thoroughly and maybe even covered. That's all mom had time for before dad asked her for something.
So...it looks like mom agrees with you that this lady is not necessarily selfish...
more like i'm judgmental...and that's not good.
So whaddaya gonna do?
It's not a matter of who is selfish, it's a matter of priority. There are certain things that are more important than risking infesting someone. I can't think of much other than life and death matters, but those seem solid. I mean, weee go places, and yes we make sure to be as pest free as possible, but the reality is with the way its spreading, we could get new bugs and spread them just by hitching a ride on a bus or going to a library, etc.or a tiny egg could be in our wallet. Being someone who has to use systems, I can say the reality that people who don't have to use them go through is a very different one and so the ethics is different. Not in terms of things obviously wrong like murder, but in terms of risk. Being poor is a risk in itself, not always chosen. If I didn't have my friend to stay with who I accientally infested due to Dell not treating the computer properly the first time, I would be sleeping outside. Now there's another ethical dilemma for folks. A few of my very liberal friends who do have money have offered me their places knowing the risk. Because the reality is, if caught early, bed bugs don't have to be as bad as they have been to us. And because my relationship with them (relationship) matters more than bugs and they know I wouldn't ask anything I didn't need. When I risk infesting someone just by my mere presence, having taken all precations I can, I think of the bigger picture. Should I just not go to therapy? Not go to my doctor? Inform the hospital of being "infested" when I'm in the ambulance vomiting or something? Do you know how many infested people walk through those doors, people who don't even know they are infested or can't speak they are so ill? We can't stop bed bugs with panic.
If we revolutionize poverty, we can wage real war on the bedbugs, sourcing in poor neighborhoods. Just like with white flight, the farther we try to isolate ourselves from a problem, the harder it will come back to bite us (literally) in the rear. Because people in the suburbs are now fighting high telephone and electric bills because of the cost in routing all those lines, increased traffic congestion, higher state taxes for the highways and many an ethical dilemma in the shopping malls filled with things made by small children because they let the city mills fester. Not only that, but the African Americans who can get it together are leaving and fleeing to the suburbs also because of the ruin we have left our cities in for people of color (and working class and progressive whites). How scary for the middle class white folk all the section 8 housing springing up in their area! If we run from the bed bugs without helping the poor, the poor will run to upscale hotels and suburban subsidied housing to escape them (you see?) And they will yes, more likely not be educated on how to spread them. So staying away from public transport will turn into staying away from Italian restuarant down the street. Neglect is not a good long term or short term solution. Prudence and protection, not segregation and isolation, is the best any of us can do.
yes, sealed bags for the things.
I like the bagging idea, but unfortunately I don't know how feasible it is for her right now. She doesn't have a washer/dryer in her complex and doesn't have a reliable way of driving to the laundry mat. (We live in the midwest, where things are spread out and public transportation isn't great.) Also, when I say she's poor, I mean she's living off of food bank food and has no phone poor. (She borrows the phone of a roommate when the roommate is home.) It's not like she has money to spare on XL ziplock bags and whatnot. Maybe I could talk to our church about getting her some supplies like that, but it's doubtful she would get any before her baby came. She has talked to me about wanting to get rid of the bedbugs, but at this point I think the only way she will get rid of them is to leave all of her stuff at her old place and get a new apartment that is hopefully bedbug-free. Unfortunately, in her financial situation, I don't think that's going to happen for a while either.
I'm going to see her tonight and will give her money for a cab, but it's likely I will be giving her rides in the future. I can't just not help someone who needs it because they have bedbugs. Any advice on keeping my car pest-free? Should I just vacuum it really well after she rides in it and hope for the best?
you want to save your car? buy her the ziploc or contractor bags for the stuff she brings in your car. $6 at Target. Explain to her the precautions she needs to take for your sake. I wouldn't count on vacuuming, though it couldn't hurt. If you have a steamer, that's more reliable. I'd count on the bags (even for her purse) and asking her to be clean and wear clean clothing in your vehicle.
food bank poor, I remember that. I am now just SSD poor, and yes, it has given me the edge to move and flee them, but next month may be tight with food again. You know who has offered to help? My friend on food stamps.
hmm...you're a good friend, soundofthesea. beng poor is hard, but being poor in a rural community is, well, impossible. people may not understand she could be in serious danger of her health (not being able to get to the grocery store or doctors) without help. But she's got to at least limit the infestation before bringing that baby in. Has she considered going to DSS to ask for a pco treatment? They sometimes cover them.
I will encourage her to talk to someone about getting her apartment treated. I've already told her to talk to her landlord, but it's technically not her apartment, and I don't know how much the actual renter cares about the bed bug problem. I know she's frightened of the bugs biting her baby. I'll also think about getting her some ziplock bags, but if the baby ever comes along in the car I'm not sure what to do about her infant car seat. I know it's been sitting in her house unprotected for quite some time.
Thanks for all the tips!
Would this soon to be mom happen to be near Sioux City? Or in Iowa at all? It'a stab in the dark...but...
Hospitals have staffs, equipment and budgets for handling lots of situations. BB are, or should be, one of those. Do you have the staff, equipment, or budget & time to handle an infestation in your car and home? If you do get infested, will your church mobilize effectively on your behalf?Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
- Psalms 91:5-7
(Not an pro)
c'mon. me thinks you're not reading the whole posts again...i ended my post with:
"So...it looks like mom agrees with you that this lady is not necessarily selfish...
more like i'm judgmental...and that's not good."
(But...i hear ya')
I read you Deedle.
I was responding to the entire general feel on this thread. It was disconcerting.
Re: "can you afford an infestation?"
what about affording a friend? affording the wellbeing of an infant?
I have lost everything to bed bugs, and while it is true I wouldn't at this point let my one infested friend in my truck, if he were in need of emergency medical care, I would. Have you ever wondered where your food from your next meal is coming from or a ride back from a hospital that refuses to treat you when you are basically immobile and you have no cash for a taxi? Because I have. I think there is some ignorance here as to why poor make the choices they do, and why those who help them make their choices. This woman helping her friend has a conscience. That's all I'll say.
In many an "emergency" situation, you can choose between alternatives that help the person in need and protect you (at the cost of seeming "mean" or "odd") and ones that make you appear "normal" and "generous", but put you at greater risk of harm than is necessary. When you fly, the attendant admonishes; "if you are traveling with small children, be sure to place the mask on yourself first".
Well this is a bit off topic, but important enough, i think, to discuss...
Yep..oh yes, i certainly have wondered where my next meal was going to come from and somehow, mysteriously, a "way" was always provided...was just thinking today about all the people who helped me along when i was a starving artist and there are people who still provide direction and course correction to me-- sometimes pushing -- sometimes pulling -- sometimes softly - sometimes roughly...
We can't assume that just because somebody has a few bucks today, that they've always had it. Can't assume because someone doesn' t have bucks today that they never had any. Money and wealth ebb and flow. It's a funny thing money and material possessisons. i only know three things about wealth:
1. i know i prefer to have sufficient money to pay for basic things needed to live comfortably and without stress of getting thrown out of the place i'm living and i know enough about money that i know i don't want or need inordinate amounts of money.
2. i know that just because someone has money does not mean they are not "poor" in other ways like spiritually and emotionally. And that kind of poverty is really horrific.
3. I absolutely know and i've tested it many, many times..that when you give some of what you have away, you get many times more than what you gave away. But i realize that it's really hard to convince people who need money, to take a little bit of what they already have even in their worst moment of need and give it away to someone who needs it even more. It's counterintuitive to think "Gee.....i don't have enough money to pay my rent in a few days and only have enough food in the place for today and tomorrow. Lights could be turned off in 10 days and i need shoes repaired -- i have $63.18 cents cash (including my emergency coin collection), so let me take 15.00 of that and find three people who need to eat today and feed them!" If people only realized that doing just that would get their financial money pump primed..but when you don't have much, the natural inclination is to hold on to what you have with a death grip. I did that for a long time..until i learned how to get money to start to flow in by giving. (actually i've been down to like 7$ and change and have gotten the pump going with a gift of two dollars to someone. That was the worst of it and i remember that after doing so, a neighbor appeared at my door with a big fish that he caught that day. A friend of mine who was also starving and i fixed that fish and i had a bag of black beans that never seemed to get soft enough to eat and we ate from that fish for days and days. Then i got a response from president Carter tot he telegram i had sent him and was put in touch with some agency and little by little inched my way forward.)
..i agree with you, Amy, that this soon-to-be-mother's friend really does have a conscience and she's ready and willing to put herself at some risk to get her friend and baby to the hospital.
This makes me realize that i just am not as evolved spiritually as maybe i should be as it relates to people i don't already have a duty to protect and serve (i.e., husband, parents, clients). i feel my first responsibility is to all the people depending on me to have a clear mind and able to concentrate and find creative solutions to their problems, and also to my 90 year old parents who could need me at any second, to be functioning at top capacity and not worn down by insomnia, itching, stress, etc.
i make this decision often...if its flu season, i don't go to the big post office where i see many people spitting on the ground and coughing without covering their mouths. i just can risk being sick.
A song lyric comes to mind,"
Sacrifice, they always say, is a sign of nobility
but where does one draw the line in the face of injury"
Call me heartless, but transporting someone with a bad BB infestation is too much risk.
It may be too late for this since the baby is "overdue" but one solution would be to buy a packtite for her, help her move temporarily (and bug-free) into your home for a few days and let her stay until she goes into labor and you can help her to the hospital.
This would take a little time and a little money, but far less time and money than having to deal with an infestation in your car & home later on.
If this is too much effort, then maybe the money for the cab would be the best bet.
I want to add one more thought to all the above discussions about "What should I do??? "
Getting bedbugs is a very bad experience. Soundoftheseas has never had them, so part of their decision-making process isn't just about moral and ethical obligations, it's also about understanding the consequences of any risk they might chose to take. It's about being informed of the consequences and figuring out how much effort is reasonable to mitigate those potential consequences.
To me, getting bedbugs was weeks of exhausting work, sleepless nights, thousands of dollars and months of social isolation. And, knock-on-wood, I am one of the lucky ones.
Soundoftheseas - Do everything possible to avoid getting bedbugs. If you get them, all your other good works will be affected. There are other people besides your friend who depend on you and you will be severely hampered if you get bedbugs. I think you need to conside this and to know how really bad getting bedbugs can be.
Knowing this will help you decide if cab fare seems reasonable and cheap in comparison.
SOS: I'm putting on my amateur social worker hat and wondering why you are inclined to be the prime or sole person responsible for this friend?
Consider this scenario. You and a friend are walking on a frozen lake, when the ice breaks and she falls through. There are other people around and there's rescue equipment nearby. Do you alert the others and get the equipment, or do you try and be a hero and jump in after her? If you choose the former, she may be rescued. If you choose the latter, you will probably both die.
What else is she supposed to do??? Have the baby in the bathtub? Hospitals have proticols for dealing with these types of situations. Do you guys think that she is the only patient in that hospital with a bb problem. I would think not.
Hi Hunt For...
We were not discussing whether the infested mother to be should be allowed to be admitted to the hospital. I think we're all of the mind that she should be.
The issue is whether the friend, soundoftheseas, (who i now recognize thanks to BugsinTO, never had bbs infestation and therefore does not really realize fully what she's putting herself at risk for) should take the mother to be in her own car or try to get her friend to the hospital in a taxi or some other way.
by the way...people have had babies while working in fields.. while at home...while in the bathroom thinking they're reeeeeeeeally constipated...The idea that women must give birth in a hospital is something rather new and absolutely not necessary for the propogation of humankind. (And whoever decided to lay a woman on her back to give birth should be taken out and shot).
this woman lives in a very rural area. even a taxi could take awhile. the reality is, there is no other emergency equipment immediately available to her, besides which I have taken taxis many times; often they don't have seatbelts, drive too fast, etc. (I actually got in an accident once in one). I know two taxi drivers that snort coke on the job. It is too much of a risk for a woman in labor.
Deedle, while I agree that having a baby in a hospital is not the best idea, and would choose the city;s midwife myself, unfortunately, since most of us no longer have the age old wisdoms of how to give birth naturally, it is likely this woman's best option being poor in a rural area.
Sound of seas should definitely put on her gas mask first and protect her car with bags, etc. Then her next order of business is to put it on for someone else....did we miss part 2? It's not sacrifice, frankly I would find it sinful if she didn't help a woman in labor, and I'm not even Christian or that into the concept of "sin".
Just for the record, we don't live in Iowa and we don't live in a very rural area, but we do live in a city in the Midwest. That's about as specific as I'll get.
I gave her some money for a cab yesterday. I'm not trying to be "noble" or stupid about this, I'm just trying to follow the golden rule. I would feel incredibly hopeless if I had no way of getting around town and no one would give me a ride because of a bed bug problem. And I do want to protect myself and my family -- that's why I'm here looking for advice. It's a balance. Honestly, anytime she rides in my car I'm paranoid for weeks afterward that we have bedbugs in our house. I gave her a ride to church every week for two months, and so far I have had no problems. Even so, I have read enough on here to know how horrible it is to get bedbugs.
This person has no family in town other than her husband and his family (with whom she lives -- none of them have a car) and few friends, so she doesn't have many people to turn to. She comes from a very, very messed up family. I don't claim to be her social worker, but I have been prayerfully assigned to help her out through my church (before anyone knew she had bedbugs). Our church provides her with financial assistance and food as requested by me as I see that she and her husband have a need. My "assignment" may seem silly to a lot of people, but to me it's better for everyone if church groups and friends help handle problems like this over the government. Not that the government can't be a resource, it just shouldn't be expected to solve all of our problems. I'm one of the only people in my congregation who knows she has bedbugs, although that will likely soon change as I seek the advice of others to help with her problem.
I honestly think my friend just doesn't know much about bed bugs or how to contain them, nor does she have the means to buy a Packtite or wash and bag all of her clothes. I myself do not have an extra few hundred dollars to buy her a Packtite, and I would not feel comfortable having her live in my house. (While she is my friend, I'm afraid she and her husband would never leave!) I haven't gotten the chance to sit and talk to her about them because she's had more pressing issues lately (i.e. needing food, a job, and getting ready for her baby) and I didn't know bedbugs were a concern until a couple of months ago.
Anyway, like I said I'm just trying to find a balance between helping someone in need and protecting myself. Do I have thousands of dollars to treat an infestation myself? Definitely not. Would my church have many resources to help me personally? Probably not, but I'm sure there are people who would be willing to help me come up with ideas to help my friend. I think the real solution here will be to help her learn how to properly wash and bag her clothes, and then make enough money to get out of her apartment and leave the bedbugs (and probably almost all of her belongings) behind. Only then will all everyone else be safe. It won't help anyone for me to say "oh sorry, I can't give you a ride anymore" and just let others get exposed to the problem.
Thanks again for all of the advice. Anybody else have thoughts on how she might treat her car seat so it's safe to take in others' cars? She's not going to have money for a cab whenever she needs a ride, so she'll need a ride from someone -- even if it's not me. It would be nice if I could tell her how to protect them.
I agree with everything you just said. It makes sense to me and I think you are handling this the best way you can without trying to be a hero or put yourself in jepordy. Good for you My opinion on the carseat is that she should find a bag big enough to keep it in when she's not using it as I'm sure she'll only be using it outside of the apartment. I can't think of anything to treat it with that would be safe for the baby.
i only asked about Iowa ..not to be nosey...but my sister is a social worker there and i thought that she might have been able to help your friend...My sister has been on standby waiting for this response so i'll run and let her know that she can go and enjoy her week off and holiday weekend.
> Would my church have many resources to help me personally? Probably not, but I'm sure there are people who would be willing to help me come up with ideas to help my friend.
I'm glad that you are doing what you're doing as part of a community effort. I've been mulling a post about the awesome potential if grass-roots communities (like churches) were to mobilize against BB (think tool lending, hot rooms, prep teams).
I am getting a packtite and wouldn't mind sharing it. I think we should share tools, etc. in our local communities.
Thanks for the thought, DeedleBeetle. I appreciate it.
Hello-- I understand... I just think that having a baby pretty much trumphs bed bugs. My point was that the hospital is not the problem. Most hyper sanitize things to the point where bed bugs would not be able to survive (the mattresses are also designed to prevent infestations). Debates over childbirth practices aside, in a civilized modern society we do have the option to give birth in hospitals where our symptoms can be monitored and pain levels controlled. This woman certainly has the right to expect that such a process should be facilitated despite her poverty (and even because of her poverty!)
I would like to add that I would never entrust a woman who is about to give birth to a random cab driver. Really-- this is shocking. Half the time the guy does not even show up. There are some super good cabbies out there, but this is asking a lot even from the best of them.
My other concern is with the baby and his/her wellbeing. Would any new mother want to have bed bugs feeding on her child??? What are the effects of bed bugs on newborns-- no one knows right? I mean if the infestation is so bad, than this scenario could and most probably will happen. Clearly, this is a situation that needs to be controlled before bad becomes worse.
You mentioned that she has a roomate??? How does the roomate feel about all of this??? This person can not be happy about sleeping in a bug infested home. This person also needs to start taking control over this space. Also, the landlord needs to get involved and pay for some extermination... (if only to preserve the rentability of the property).
I also completely understand the OPs hesitation and paranoia. You are truly a person who has a special heart-- a one of a kind. Be meticulous and you should be okay. Also, you might want to look into that diatominious earth stuff. I have read a lot about it and it seems like it might be a good nontoxic way of helping to control the spread of the bugs. It is also, excuse the expression, dirt cheep.
Until you can get a more permanent/effective solution in place, she can put her gear on the way *to* the hospital in plastic bags. Even a plain garbage bag tied tightly would keep any bugs in it.
Of course, the problem with a car seat after the hospital is that it's going to have to be unbagged in the car for the baby to be in in.
As a result, if I were you, if she were willing to put her gear in bags when she got into the car for the ride to the hospital, I'd be less worried about the car getting infested that way than from the car seat after the baby was born.
In that sense, I might offer to drive her to the hospital with her stuff bagged and have her save the money for a cab ride home after the baby is delivered.
If you can get your hands on one of those portable steamers than you might be able to sanitize the seat at the hospital-- indeed, this should be done anyway for the health of the baby. Another thing to consider is that the hospital might be willing to run it through their sterilization process. I recently had an external fixation device removed and the hospital sterilized it for me. I do not know what they do for things that belong to newborns, but it might be worth asking about-- particularly if it involves the health of the child.
many charities give away car seats to new moms. see if you can get a new one for her for your car for the baby.
and stop sending pregnant women or women who just gave birth with a newborn in tow into taxis. Is that serious???
Have you ever taken a taxi sick? Ever given birth?
Beth - 25 minutes ago »
many charities give away car seats to new moms. see if you can get a new one for her for your car for the baby.
I would highly recommend a crisis pregnancy center, if you have one around. they can give a lot of supplies to new moms who are having trouble affording supplies.
Hi Hunt For...
There's another thread about this subject with Sounds of Sea talks about the living arrangements of this mothertobe. Apparently lives in a place with her husband and various friends who need a place to live temporarily and who live there with them. I think i recall that the place is not in the young mother's name and so she can't force the issue of treatment of the place. It sounds like a sad and dark living situation.
We also discussed on that separate thread about what will happen to the baby once the baby comes home from the hospital. I am so afraid of what the bugs can do to a new born. I wish that the young mother and baby could go to a shelter or some other clean living place where they would both be protected from the bbs. I imagine the mother will be nursing her baby...Doesn't she need to be well fed and well rested, bathed, etc for that?
(i just don't understand the husband of this young woman, her parents and the friends who come to sleep. Couldn't those friends see the need and in exchange for staying there pitch in and pull the place apart, clean every freakin' thing, purge and organize the place? I can't believe that the parents or whoever is on the lease will not get the place treated before a brand new innocent and helpless baby has to live there.)
Maybe you can find the other thread..you'll find it interesting i think. Seem to recall that it is also titled like this one.
i should have said...
friends to serially stay there with the couple.
DeedleBeetle - 46 minutes ago »
Maybe you can find the other thread..you'll find it interesting i think. Seem to recall that it is also titled like this one.
Click on a user's "rank" (newbite, member, old-timer) and you get his/her posting history. Here's the thread:
I have actually had to take a taxi while sick. I've dated women in NYC twice, so while I've never lived there, I've spent many, many weekends/weeks there, and so, yeah, I've had to take a taxi while sick.
I feel for the woman SoundsoftheSea is trying to help, and no, taking a taxi with an infant isn't ideal.
However, women and children in big cities do it all the time.
I should also point out, however, that if there's an active infestation in her home, getting a new car seat isn't going to help matters. Because if she doesn't protect the carseat inside the home, it still runs the risk of getting infested.
And one of the first things they taught us at the training I went through when I worked at a battered women's shelter is that people who go into helping professions are people who want to help other people a lot--that's why they're there.
But you can't help others if you hurt yourself in the process. They teach this to social workers, doctors, and teachers--just as they teach it to lifeguards. Sometimes in those positions, you have to make hard ad painful choices. And Sounds of the Sea will have to work out for herself where she's going to draw the line.
But it's okay for her to think about what she needs to do to keep herself safe even as she wants to help this woman. And a lot of helpers--esp. women--feel guilty about trying to put our own needs first.
I was trained as a social worker. Worked as one for four years. I left the profession after the "system" told me to allow a 40 year old woman to die a slow death from a joint disorder in her jaw that caused her to be unable to eat solid foods because the doctor didn't want to risk her visa by challenging the head surgeon who was refusing the surgery because the patient had Medicaid and it wouldn't cover all of it. I am well aware of the phrase "save your own ass" as promoted by social workers at large that left me in hospitals with this woman from malnutrition. I was once told by the supervisor that told me I could no longer help if I was going to be "this honest" of a social worker, I wouldn't have any friends.
All of life is a risk. Helping others is always a risk, as is connecting with them. The social work street ethos frankly disturbs me as it usually goes against the actual ethics set forward in the NASW's code of ethics. According to this code, sound of seas would be doing the right thing in ensuring she is as safe as possible while helping her friend.
The car seat can be left in sound of seas car, that is what it would be for.
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