Saturday, March 11, 2006

Hazards of Living

It is way too early on a Saturday morning... like 6:30 am, and I am awake. This happens.. my one day to sleep in and I am up before the sun is. But find it so hard to drag my butt out of bed on weekdays.. ironic huh?

You know, there are some days when I wonder what I was thinking by going into this field of healthcare chaplaincy. There's politics from too many angles, there's red tape within my department, and then within the units that I work on, that it interferes at times with the job focus. On top of that, I seem to be saying goodbye to a lot of patients lately. I have only been here for 3 and half years, but a lot of the longtimers have died. Especially recently. It is getting hard to deal with some days.

Not only do I work in renal (kidneys) but also Geriatric medicine. I did most of my training in longterm care (Nursing homes), and this is a bit different because at the hospital, some of our patients are acute. They had a fall and we help them mobilize a bit better before we send them home. But often, we end up diagnosising patients with dementia, and then they aren't allowed to go home (as they are a safety risk to self and others) and then we have to place them in a facility. So most of my patients are just waiting to be admitted to a care facility.

Yesterday, I was talking to the wife of a patient with dementia. He wants to go home, (well I can't blame him.), but she had a small stroke earlier this year and she admits she does not have the strength to fight him on what he wants. She feels guilty for not letting him come home. "Jane" feels like the staff don't like her because she is so emotional lately. She says she spends most of her time crying lately. At home, when she prays, at times when she sees her husband. After talking about this for a bit, I told her that it was not going to be easy. The man that I met is not the man that she married. His disposition will/has changed due to the dementia, and it will be hard to visit him in his new place. He will tell her to take him home. He will slowly forget the things that he knows more and more, and soon, he may not know her.

I asked if she had a bible at home, and told her to look at the Psalms, and try an exercise of praying the Psalms. There is every range of emotion in there.. from joy and bliss, to raging anger with God and the psalmist lot in life. She said she would try that. Jane affirmed my interaction with her and my manner with her husband as valued. It was a good way to end my week. If only I could maintain that focus on a regular basis.

No comments: