Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Health Care

Working in health care kinda sucks sometimes. You have to work ungodly hours, and some call the graveyard shirt the 7pm-7am shift. Well, not me. My 'graveyard' shift is my good ol' crack of dawn 7am in the spanking morning shift. Waking up at 5am sharp to rush to get myself ready, Abby's diaper bag packed, throwing things all over the house just to get to my mom's house by 6:20 to drop off my baby so I can make it to work by 6:55 (if I'm lucky) that is pure torture. I have never been a morning person, by any means, and I have trained my mini me to be at least a late morning person - when I'm home we usually wake up around 10, which is great. 7am? No way. As soon as Abby is old enough for it to work, your girl will be back on her 7pm-7am shift. Even though it probably won't be until she's in Kindergarten - I'm patiently waiting to start spending my mornings zonked out again. Good thing I only have to go through this 3 days a week.

(*EDIT: I am more than patiently waiting for the day Abby starts kindergarten. Good lord please don't let that day come too fast!)

Back on to why health care sucks sometimes. You are almost always overworked, and you don't get much of a break. Me? I get a 30 minute lunch, it never happens that way. It's more like run downstairs to the cafeteria, grab a drink and something you can eat on the go, stuff your face as quickly as possible and get back to work. You realize at the end of a shift when you finally get a chance to sit down, that your feet and back are throbbing, your dehydrated, your starving and your really have to pee. I drive home like a zombie and it takes all I have to not crawl right into that crib with Abby on my work days. Instead, after the little one is in bed I usually have some laundry to do, some cleaning up to do, and then I force my eyes open at least an hour longer so I can spend some alone time with my wonderful lover. Last night on my way home, I stopped at CVS to pick up "The last song" I've been dying to read it. It's not very often that it happens so I was unusually relaxed and excited when I got to crawl into bed with a new book. Yeah, didn't even make it past the first page. I just veg ally remember Jake coming into the room, taking the book from my chest, kissing me, and turning out the light.

So yeah, a job working in health care, a hospital at least is going to drain you to your freakin' core. No doubt about it. It's hardcore. & You have to be hardcore to follow through with it.

However. You'll have some days every once in a while when it all makes sense. Something happens that reminds you why you came into the field in the first place. That either makes your heart hurt, or it makes your heart makes you rejoice or cry, it makes you really step back and think about what your doing. It makes you happy to care for people, it makes you took this route in life and its an indescribable feeling.

It happened to me yesterday. This sweet (well, he wasn't so sweet at first) old man was in with a traumatic brain injury. The first thing you think of when you get a TBI? Great. They're going to be out of control. & That he was. He continued to pull off his gown and his oxygen. He tried to pull out his IVs, and scratched so much at his skin he was bleeding all over. He looked horrible. He tried to punch me once, grabbed me by the arm and pulled me down to the bed twice..he was hardcore. He didn't open his eyes once all day, he was in and out of sleep, and when he was awake I was the bitch from hell and I needed to "stay the fuck away from him" The day went on, and I learned more about him.

He was a good man. He was a good Samaritan and took two homeless men into his house, to give them some food and a place to stay for a couple days. Apparently, they stayed longer then expected, so he asked for some rent money if they planned on staying. They beat him up. Honestly, how the in the world do you beat up a sweet 70-some year old man, one who was trying to help you. It broke my heart, it broke my heart to know that he didn't have to be this way. He was a healthy, normal man..and was now severely brain damaged by some selfish soul.

At this point, he became my challenge. I was going to help him. I was going to make him feel better. I told him that I needed him to wake up, he didn't. I told him that I was going to help him get cleaned up, that I was going to make him look and feel better. He nodded his head.

I spent the next hour wiping his sweaty face off with a cool rag, cleaning all the blood off his body, putting a dressing on every wound he had dug into himself, I changed his bloody sheets and blankets, I put a fresh gown on him, I pulled his slumped down body up higher in the bed, and then I brought him some dinner...and then the unbelievable happened.

He woke up, he opened his eyes and asked for his glasses. He sat up in the bed, and fed himself dinner. He asked for a glass of water, and some chocolate pudding. He asked to watch channel two, he called me "baby doll" and he said please and thank you. And he smiled. He was a completely different person. He did a 360.

The other people on the floor said that's what he does. He spends all day totally out of it, then at evening time he wakes up and acts normal. But I'd like to think the little bit of TLC I gave him helped just a smidge too.

Those are the things that touch my heart, bitter sweet. He had no family, no one to take care of him..but that's why I was there. That's why I am there every day, to help someone who needs me. Weather they realize it or appreciate it, It's my passion and I enjoy it. People ask all the time "how do you do it?" That's how. You feed off those special patients who touch you in a strange way. A way that makes you look at life a little differently. It's inspiring. It's worth being ungodly tired 3 nights a week when I get home. It's worth waking up way before functioning hours. It's worth everything that it is and I can't wait to continue doing this for the rest of my life.

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