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Nose care

July 16, 2012
by Kathleen Mears
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 I hate bringing this up, but as I write this, my nose is bothering me. It feels dry inside and stuffy. Since I am quadriplegic I cannot check out my nose. I cannot reach to scratch, rub or blow it. I have to rely on the aides to help me.

To me cleaning out my nose is a very private thing. I do not like depending on others to do it. Having an aide assist me to blow my nose does not always do the job. It needs to be cleaned with a cotton swab. I understand some aides are squeamish about doing it. But if it is not done, I am uncomfortable. 

When I first went to a nursing home, I was embarrassed to ask certain aides to clean my nose. So I found an aide on the other unit who would always help me.  She took me to the shower room and used a wet washcloth to clean it. We laughed many times at how dirty my nose actually was. 

When I get a cold, it is god awful. Without cold medicine my nose ran continuously and blowing it did not necessarily help. It dripped so badly that I needed aides to come in often to wipe it. I used antihistamines to try to keep the dripping under control. 

Although antihistamines usually worked, many times I had the aides plug my nose with tissues. Even though they needed to be changed frequently, that was the only way I could work on my computer. The tissues protruding from my nose felt funny and I got strange looks from visitors in the hallway.

I know it is a small thing. But those who can clean their nose ought to be grateful. 

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Kathleen Mears

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...