Today, I visited with my colleagues a patient in Liège. I travelled there by train and met them at the Guillemins station. I hardly know this town and even less the patients Street Nurses supports there. We’re going to visit Mr. J in his home at a few minutes distance.
We tried to inform him ahead of our visit but couldn’t get through. So now we’re trying just on the off chance.
There is no reaction when we ring a few times. But then, unexpectedly, the door is opened after all - by a friend of our patient.
Mr. J. is in bed and today is not exactly his day. His night was chaotic, and he feels anything but well.
Even so, he is available for a chat. We ask how he’s doing and consider together how best to help and support him on this difficult day.
He seems exhausted but remains very cordial towards us.
After so many years I’m still surprised how patients receive us.
We often arrive without prior notice and sometimes at moments when the last thing they want is to talk, to see people and undertake any action.
And yet, they mostly welcome us in their homes, in their personal sphere, to spend a few moments together.
That gives me a warm feeling.
And sometimes I wonder who benefits most …
(*) We do our utmost to respect the privacy of our patients and our professional secrecy. However, we want to testify to how they must survive and how we are working together to reintegrate them. As a result, the names of places and people are deliberately omitted or changed and real-life situations are placed in a different context. There is no direct link between the photos and the stories above.