Earlier today I was thinking about the people I work with. I don’t mean my coworkers. I mean my patients. I have a good amount of younger patients whose situations are more than upsetting. I have a 30-year-old patient who is blind, cannot move on her own, is non-verbal, has to have tube feedings for nutrition, a Foley catheter to urinate, a tracheostomy to breathe, and is completely incontinent. I have a 31-year-old patient who has gastroparesis and has lost over 200 pounds in the last 6 years because of it. She now has a feeding tube and an emptying tube in her stomach so that she can receive the nutrients she needs and then empty the leftover contents of her stomach into a drainage bag. I have several patients with cancer. Several have been in terrible car accidents. I look at all these people and give thanks that I am able to do what I do everyday. Some days I feel worst than others; more pain, more fatigued, more unhappy. None of those days have been as bad as the ones people I’ve helped and am helping have been going through and have yet to face. I pray daily that I’ll never end up the way my patients have, but that’s never a certainty. Some days it’s harder than others, my moods fluctuate, my body decides not to cooperate, I hate myself one day and love myself the next. I try to be grateful for everything I have because I’m aware that in a moment it could all disappear. Too many of us believe that we can wait to say sorry, to talk to that person you’ve had a fight with later, to see that family member at the next event. Unfortunately, it’s not necessarily plausible to think that way. What if you wake up one day and find that the person you’ve been having a petty fight with is gone and you never got to spend a last happy moment with them? What if that person is fighting a physical or mental illness that nobody knows about? How would you feel? What would you do? Regret is one of the worst feelings in the world. Is a ridiculous fight worth it? Worth the pain, the rage, the time and effort? I don’t believe so. Say I love you. Say thank you. Say I forgive you. Say I’m sorry. Love each other. Be thankful. Be grateful. Be humble.
When will what I do be enough? This past week has been nothing but horror because of early mornings, running around, working, and catering to people. But apparently, because I wasn’t happy about doing all these things all week and was extremely exhausted…I’m a bad person. Apparently, not only do I have to cater to everyone’s wishes and whims, now I have to be pleasant and joyous while doing it. Just let me disregard my own self – my own exhaustion – and be a happy maid. That’s all I feel like I am to people here. I go to work a full 8 hour day in which I drive around most of the time and deal with sick people, I come home and have to cook, clean, do laundry, put clothes away, etc. How is that fair? I’m one that knows that life isn’t fair, however with two other grown adults in the house I expect people to be able to keep it clean without me having to say or do anything. I feel like I live with children. And then when someone else comes to visit (another family member), I get the shit end of the stick because I am not prancing around merrily doing things for everyone! So done.