"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Bit About Dementia.

I have only ever done a small amount of research on Alzheimer's disease...That is, research at the computer and through books. But I have been graced with the *delight* of working with anywhere between 5-15 people each shift who suffer some form of dementia. And that number is out of ~30 patients each shift.

It's not easy.

Some people love working with these patients. Frankly, I hate it. I don't mean to sound like i hate my patients, but the work is hard. I think particular nurses that like doing this are afraid. They are afraid of working with people with 100% of their mind. Maybe they are afraid of normal human contact and would prefer to come to work and not be judged by their patients.
Or maybe they just have a bigger heart than the rest of us and don't mind if their patients aren't able to appreciate or remember it.

I need to be able to build relationships with my patients. Thats just who I am. I need to be able to carry out a normal, civilized conversation without being punched, swatted at, growled at, etc. I understand these people are confused out of their right mind, they have no idea where they are and how they got there. I would probably try to punch a bunch of strange people in white scrubs if i didnt know where I was and they were trying to do things to/with me. Thats understandable....but it's still not my preferred area of work. Is that so bad? That even though i accept my future role as a nurse, I still hate a big portion of it? I just pray, every single night, that one day I will find a job that I love...Truly love. I don't care if it has long hours and I am exhausted...I dont care about any of that if I can look forward to going to work, seeing my patients, seeing my coworkers and not dreading the entire thing. I firmly believe that if you are not *remotely* happy at your job, you have no shot at being happy in the rest of your life. Hopefully I'm wrong. Sure, you could still have a great spouse and wonderful children you love to come to, but a job you hate will eventually tear you apart and bring you down, and there is no way for that to not affect the rest of your life. I accept the fact that it is impossible (nearly) to get a job at 21 that I will love. Ok, i get it, I have to work my way up there. But if the rest of my life is like this...I dont know what to do next. . .

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