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Erlene B

Brief info

The reason I became a Caregiver (PCA) long ago was not from wanting that profession. Unfortunately, it was the wrong choice of dropping out of high school and needing to find work. I tried different jobs and even tried to go back to school. Nothing worked until my friend who was a high school friend working in a nursing home, helped me to apply, and I got on the 11:00-7:00 shift. I learned a lot from that Army nurse. Then I went on the 3:00-11:00 shift which I loved because of the people I worked with as a team. It was hands-on training including bathing, making beds, and doing all we could for the residents. We even had to do our own shirt’s laundry, bringing it downstairs and putting it away before we went home.

Then my own experience brought me to care more for others because I myself became very sick. After working at St. June’s Nursing Home, I was married and went to Mississippi since my husband was stationed there in the Navy. He went overseas. I came home to my parents’ house and was expecting my first baby. I went full-term, but something was wrong. The labor was too long, so the doctor was pacing the floor, because he had tried to fix the baby because she was facing the wrong way. The heartbeat was not good, my labor was too long. Then he decided to take her Cesarean, and it was a beautiful little girl 8 lbs. 13 oz.

After the recovery time, I developed a terrible headache. I tried to get better but would stand up and vomit because the pain was terrible. I went home, the headache came back, and I was rushed to the hospital. I lay in the hospital one week with nothing being done except a nurse saying I belonged in the mental ward upstairs since she thought I was crazy.

Finally, when I begged my baby doctor to do something, he gave an order for me to see a neurologist. Dr. Milhorat had a CAT scan done. “Rush her to Burlington; she needs surgery!” My brain was being pushed onto my skull; one hour more and I would have died. Prayer was asked for me. At that time I didn’t know the preacher, Sister Collins, who prayed for me. My recovery was remarkable and it was a miracle for me to be alive.

The doctors wanted to know why this happened, so many tests were done. They showed no reason why I had to have this brain surgery medically. Also in that recovery, I did have 10 seizures and was put on medication because of the seizures. One month later, back home, the neurologist told me to have a normal life and that I could do anything.

Five years later I went back to work as a housekeeper in a hospital. I hurt my back helping a nurse move a water mattress. The doctor said, “Something is wrong; this isn’t a back problem.” He did a blood test which came back suspecting lupus. He sent me to a specialist who wasn’t sure because of all the different symptoms I was having. Back in the hospital, no one could tell me exactly what’s wrong.

They suggested a hospital in Boston; I admitted myself. The specialist was an expert in Rheumatology. The MRI scan showed there was Lupus in the brain and nervous system. It also showed I had had three strokes. They gave me no hope, only medications to slow the Lupus down, and sent me home. I was sick in bed, incontinent, and walking with a walker if I did walk. As the process proceeded I was very sick vomiting as the room was spinning as if I was coming out of my house in the winter, with a porch that held EMTs and their patient, down we all went. I thought I fell off the side of the world, my blood pressure went over 180/160. The doctor said, and “We almost lost you!”I was very scared to die because I was not ready.

I was invited to the mission in Montreal. I knew I needed God’s salvation; I needed God’s help. So God brought me to these precious meetings, and Sister Collins prayed for my salvation and for healing,” Let her get better every day.” Back to the doctor’s office, through the blood test, the doctor said, “Lupus is completely gone! We have to give God all the glory because it was a big miracle!” Every day I slowly did something better like sitting up and walking more. Praise the Lord for his goodness to me.

My husband left me, and I start working. My jobs were in the home helping people to stay at home. I lived in Washington State and the agency then I worked for was called the COPES, a program I liked very much helping people stay in their homes, with whatever need was there. Working with couples was my favorite task.

That’s how I can still fulfill my desire to help people to stay in their homes while working for TLC HomeCare & TLC Nursing. I always want to be a positive influence and help my fellow PCA. And help my patients be comfortable. I always want to improve my field if not with a class at TLC Home Care. Then getting in and just trying to be a help. Of course, my miracle that God has done for me has lasted 27 years. The Lupus is still completely gone which was proven recently by another MRI scan in New York State. That neurologist said,” You’re one tough bird!”So I give God all the glory. We need the blessing so we can be a blessing wherever we are to help.

I am very thankful for my work through TLC Home Care. I do have a lot of caregiving experience, and TLC HOME CARE was good enough to hire me even if I don’t have that high school diploma yet. I am working on it and can say now, “Don’t drop out of school, especially when it’s a requirement to have a high school diploma.” Thank you TLC HOME CARE for helping me have a job I like as I enjoy very much working with the elderly to keep them happy in their home. I am a PCA that cares from her own experience. And of course, I know the Lord is the one who cares, and the preacher that prays for us. It’s such a miracle that I love to share with everyone my experience as why I became a caregiver. It was God-given to me. Now as we as a team pull together in patience, understanding, and love, people can see that we have patients that profit. They realize that TLC HOME CARE lives up to the name.