Degraded homes

This Blog Post was originally published on the platform "writelier" (formerly "co-writers" and "200wordsaday"). Sadly the blogging platform was discontinued. I downloaded all my blog posts and prepared them to be republish them here.

@twizzle 's story about The Street got me into another thought about paramedics.

To recap twizzle's story, he basically was waiting at a street with people "below" average. I don't mean "below" average in a bad way or prejudiced.

Obviously all around there are places where people have to live like nobody ever could imagine living. There are places in cities you should "ignore" when visiting the city or simply districts that are "marked dangerous".

Luckily I don't have such districts near the home paramedic base I am sometimes volunteering at.

I am also thankful that we don't have shootings or knife attack on a regular basis. If I remember correctly I knew only one in recent years.

But one thing that happens somewhat regularly: compulsive hoarders and houses in really really bad condition.

As I have written above, houses no one could imagine living inside.

I was in several of such houses. Two really burned into my mind.

The first I remember was a house off the road and civilisation, well not completely off, but at least about an hour drive to reach civilisation again.

We drove a patient home after he has been in the hospital for several days. I don't remember what his problem was, but I remember his house.

From outside it just looked like a small cabin in the woods. But the shutters where closed, the door had a bunch of holes and it really didn't look like somebody would live inside.

As we entered the inside, I smelt a penetrating scent of urine and other stuff I couldn't classify. All around where old newspapers, piled up to the ceiling. I'm not going into detail how his bath and toilet looked like.

After asking several times if he would really live here, we had to leave him. Every question if he was living here, he answered with yes.

The other house I can remember was way later in my "paramedic career". This time the house was right beside one of the most frequented streets in my district.

The house didn't look as bad from the outside, as the first one did, but as we entered the living room through the garage, where a really old Mercedes Benz was standing, I knew something couldn't be right.

The Mercedes probably wasn't moved in decades, but it was in a really great condition. If I had to estimate the value of it, it would be way over 100k€.

Anyway, after that car took my attention for a split second, we were standing in the living room.

Bottles of urine all around us. A small, false step and you would be covered in urine, probably standing there for weeks.

I think everybody knows how urine smells, now take the worst smell of urine you can think of, and no multiply by at least one hundred.

We shifted him from our transport chair to an old and grubby couch, where he wanted to sit until his life companion showed up.

The women how showed up as life companion probably was about half the age of the guy (the guy was probably in his 90s) and almost as filthy as the old man.

We also asked her several times if this would be the place they were living in. Yes, they were.

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