Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Soul Searching

I have noticed what I think is a decrease in posting from quite a few of my favorite bloggers. This week I haven't posted either. I have been in a funk. I did not want to talk about the thoughts that are running a muck in my head.

There is beauty. If I just look for it.

There is bounty. To be bought for a price or just admired.

There are cute places to have lunch with a friend.

That have adorable atmosphere and also good food. Places that remind me of Santa Cruz.

And there is the reality of what is. Sometimes we have to get our heads out of the clouds and face the music.

A budget so inadequate that after the bills get paid (when I say bills I am referring to housing, utilities, and insurance, no others) there is no money for food. The fat has been trimmed, and it is not enough.

That is a budget that will not work.

My time of being a "domestic artist," is nothing more than a little vacation. My husband told me he did not need a housewife. It was not his intention to hurt my feelings. I can't tell you how much it did hurt. It hurt because I confessed to what I have always wanted to be since I was little. That "thing" that no one wants or needs anymore. The wife, the keeper of hearth and home. I suppose it can be justified if their are children but when the children are grown? Is there not still a house to be made into a home?

There is so much in my heart right now that I don't really know where to start. So many fears, a sense of things slipping through my fingers never to be regained. A sense of loss. Several years ago I studied to take the GRE, a test to go back to school for my Masters degree. I never took the test. Every time I took a practice test in the math I failed it. The vocabulary words were some I didn't even know existed and memory work is not my strong point anymore. After three months of study I just put it aside. Do you ever think about opportunities for things as coming by to be seized or lost? I have always thought that we never run out of possibilities, but I may have been wrong.

Here I am again much older thinking about school. The first hurdel is that same test. I think I would be a good teacher in a college. But then I get filled with doubts and fear. Really? Would anyone want to hear what I have to say? Could I even do it? Could I pass that test? I have never failed anything before, what would it feel like to fail? I am getting older, not elderly but older, that half a century mark. It is harder to keep up with technology, it is harder to keep up period. The world has always moved at a fast pace, but it seems to be in warp speed. More power to the engines Mr. Scott!

In medicine I realized that I am part of the group who is being phased out. With my years of experience a hospital can hire two new grads. I don't practice medicine by the numbers, or the computer, or the most recent studies. I practice by what I see, and I know what I am looking at. Empirical practice, the human in your gut "knowing," the kind of medicine that is being phased out. The truth is, I don't even like the kind of medicine that is practiced now. It's not worth the headache. Nursing is becoming so automated and regulated that we are becoming not much more than medication dispensers and bandage changers. The computer tells us what times to be in what places giving what drugs. The computer gives us our assignment and a "work list," it keeps track of your times. Being on time with the computer is what is reflected on your review. This is because most of the emphasis these days is on timely drug administration, as if that is all a nurse is, as if that is all a nurse does.

I used to come to work and get my assignment and write it down. After report I assessed my patients and after checking my MAR's could plan out my medicines. Some could be given together, or closer and usually I could get everything given without giving one medicine here or there every hour. That way I had time to actually take care of people. When you spend time in your patients room you find things out. Sick people need hands on care. Now it seems like the idea is to spend the least amount of time in the patients room. Some things can be taken care of right then, others need the doctor and that means some phone calls, writing orders, taking them off, etc... all those things take time.

New nurses think that I make myself work. They try and tell me if I would "get organized," I could sit on my butt like they do. I bite my tongue. If I went into their patients rooms I could find as much "work" in there. I am from a different time of nursing, a different kind of practice.
It's a fight to practice like that. The stress comes from management that just sees numbers. Numbers and statistical outcomes, studies and legal- cover your ass-protocols, keeping to the the check list. The stress comes from having hospitals run like a business, on a schedule with no room for the human element. I can't do it anymore. I don't want too; and it's all I know.

Welcome to Walmart would you like a cart? I can do that.

How do you change your career at my age? I am not old enough or rich enough to retire. I have to work. I cannot afford the luxury of doing what I really love to do which is be a home maker, not if we want to eat. I am fat, I like to eat. I can eat less but nothing is not a good plan. Our housing situation is pretty cheap, we couldn't rent an apartment for this much. So this is it. I thought I could trim enough from our expenses to stay here, but it won't work.

I could teach maybe. If I could find something to teach. How can I teach nursing, when I hate what it is becoming? Maybe I can, by making them see they have human beings in those sheets. I'm afraid I would talk a good percentage of them into finding other careers. All of the ones who do it for the money!

How can I teach nutrition when I am fat? No one would listen to me, they listen to the skinny-skinny equals credible. I don't think that all this skinny is healthy. Somewhere in the middle is probably right. Women are getting too thin. We are even wanting our little babies and children to be thin and that is ridiculous.

If I could pass the test, what would I teach? That is the biggest 'if' I have ever seen.

So here I am, with all these thoughts to sort out. I am thinking that I am probably not alone; with thoughts running amuck," because you have been quiet too.

I will leave you with a good thought. No matter how hard things are getting here at home in the good old USA, they are still good. If we but lift our gazes from our own front door and set them across the seas to lands devastated by famine, or chronic states of poverty, or starvation; we look at our lives full of wealth and can only give thanks for our plenty. The poorest of our poor are still rich here. We live in a land full of every good thing.

We live among a people who still value each other. We are still free, perhaps not for much longer; but for now we are still free.

For now there are still options for us. The courage will come, it has too, there is no other option.


Laura ~Peach~ said...

YOU took my heart and put words to it... I have been not working in nursing for 3 years come nov 19th... I had stopped working in the nursing home because of several things but one is "as long as you chart it I dont give a damn if its done or not" that i totally disagree with... i would so much more rather do the care and play catch up on charting it if necessary.... Ok its not even a matter of what i'd rather its the ONLY thing I can do because i can not look in a mirror at myself much less face God knowing that i did not do something to care for another yet wrote that i did ... OH HECK NO!
Supervisors DON's even Administrators dont scare me but judgement day... that would scare me IF i chose not to do unto others and care for the widows and children... and lemmie tell you things are so tight here and the credit debt game is back on after becoming debt free several years ago... what stinks is the simple fact ... I CAN get a job ... yeah would you like fries with that??? but I can not come close to the amount of money i can make in medicine anywhere else... and there may come a day when I can not spend the hours monitoring my teen and taking care of my grandson BUT for today... We squeek by and when we cant squeek we slide the credit card... and will catch back up later because right now today I will not sell out my beliefs and love of CARING for others for the financial security of a two income family gives.

LE sigh...

Anonymous said...

You are a caretaker. Your housekeeping skills are amazing, your interest in nutrition is intense, your experience in the health industry and your ability to discern strengths and weakness is "your gift".
God has prepared you for the work he created you to do, I pray that you recognize that you are intentionally and wonderfully made, and move forward with your many, many, abilities.
Your whole "Blogger Persona" screams "In-Home Assistant". If you could get 5-6 clients who need occasional home care, e.g.: shopping, cleaning, meds, companionship, and just work independantly with the main objective of supplementing the income, while providing a wonderful service to someone who needs a hand. Seasonally, you could disinfect homes when a family has had illness. For $$$ amount, you could go in, clean kitchens, bathrooms, change linens, and help a family resume their busy lives. You could do a seasonal cleaning and Christmas setup for the busy family. Never forget, that you live in God's economy, and he knows your needs and your heart.

Karen Deborah said...

WOW anonymous who ever you are, that was a mouthful of wisdom and I will seriously consider it! Go back into business for myself, not a bad idea. Hummmmm....

Angela said...

I'm WOWing with you Karen from what Anonymous wrote!!

Everything you wrote is WOW also..It really hit home. Especially where it concerns my hubby. He really doesn't KNOW where to turn. What should he do? Go back to school and take what? Please pray...

What you said about the homemaker,,wow again. I thought about it, yes,,,That "thing" that no one wants or needs anymore. The wife, the keeper of hearth and home.


I'm still praying also girl...two more weeks and 40 days will be completed on the 12th..It's been such a blessing to pray for those that you have placed in my path..((hugs))

joanne said...

You have all, KD and commentors, taken my breath away today. I have been given much to think about here and will do so...then i'll be back...

Big Hair Envy said...

Anonymous hit it on the head...personal care, in someone's home, would be PERFECT for you:)

Yes, the blogosphere has been a bit too quiet lately.....my blog has suffered right along with the rest of you. Too many changes, too little time to process all of them. I've always wanted to be a SAHM, but it was not meant to be. I'm moving in a new direction, and I hope to hear (soon) that you are as well:)

Karen Deborah said...

A friend called me and said, "holy cow," people will think your husband is mean. Let me clarify, he is not. He did not say this in a mean spirited way, he was stating what is; what we need, which is income.
It does hurt but it's life and life is real. I want my blog to be real.
My husband loves me. My feeling are hurt but it's ok.

Kitter said...

Karen...you are so gifted you could help anyone from cutting their hair to cooking, shopping and even gardening ;)
I think Home Health or Hospice. Yep, there is charting and rules...but, it's so much more personal and you can set up your schedule. Plus, it's more using 'what you know' kind of skills and improvising when you're in the field. Kitter

Rosie_Kate said...

I get that your husband is a sweety, but I also get how that comment would hurt. It would cut me right through. It would be just like you telling him that he weren't a good enough provider. Not that you would, of course, it's just that men are wired for providing just like women are wired for homemaking.

With your skills and experience I would think you would be very good at working in Hospice or In-Home Health Services. There has to be something where you can combine your medical and home talents... I will pray that you will find that something.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Anonymous took the words right out of many mouths, it seems (mine included). You know you can do this . . . you did it for me so many years ago. I'm on my knees right alongside all the rest.

Can't wait to see the bushes burn and the waves part -- God is GOOD!!!!

Your hunny and mean can't be in the same sentence, as far as I am concerned. He's sweetness incarnate . . . I know it for reals. ; D

farmlady said...

Maybe Anonymous is channeling God. I would guess that he wants us to stop finding reasons to fail and live our lives..., now..., in faith and love.

I think I just heard him loud and clear....

WudWerkr said...

sounds like anonomys is speaking from experience . I know several people who do that exact thing , some on there own others through an agency . sounds like solid advice to me .

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh girl I feel your internal turmoil. My only advice is to give to God. Get on your knees and ask direction. It will come. No matter what the answer...be brave, study hard. You can do it! I know you can. You know I struggle with fear and self doubt too. I'm finding that most people do. Do it afraid! I am and I know victory is coming:)

Flea said...

There are grad degrees and schools which don't require the GRE, you know. And my little corner of the medical world is filled with older nurses. They're almost a necessity in psych work. Our ED girls especially need to feel like there's a mother figure taking care of them. And psych patients need that human touch. It's a lot less of the technical that you're talking about. Something to look into? You'd be perfect for the psychosomatic patients who need someone to look them in the eye and be kind but honest.

Mental P Mama said...

Wow. You don't need me to weigh in here. I love all these ideas. And I love anonymous. I flubbed my GRE hideously, and went in and told the admissions guy that that score wasn't me. I got in. Just sayin'... It's just a test, and I would like to think you've passed them already with flying colors.

Kathy said...

I was speechless after reading Anon's comment! And then Farmlady's first sentence was my first thought also.
I am a great lover of furthering one's education lifelong. BUT I have a few questions I'd like you to consider before thinking about a Masters Degree. It seems to me that you already have been blessed with ALL of the skills you need.
Re read Anon! Still praying!

noble pig said...

First, I did not think your husband was mean by his comment, I get it, it was just a factual statement. I have gone to college twice and have two degrees, yes it's difficult but you have to want it so, so, so bad. If you are serious about the GRE take the course Kaplan offers, you will pass if you are serious but I don't think that's what you want. I think home health care or hospice is for you. A caretaker for families with the ill is so much your style. Get it going, you can do this.

Tricia said...

I am so sorry you are hurting like this, and that I was not there to suppoprt you in the midst of it. Know that I have prayed for you many times these last few weeks. You are a god-send into my life, no matter your profession. Your worth is not tied in what you do or how much money you have, but in the Savior who gave His all for you. Have a blessed day. :)