Friday, March 05, 2010

Emotions...Sometimes Suck!!

I know I have said it before. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking when I went back to school. It has been an adjustment that I don't think I was fully prepared for. Now that I am here, I am doing fine, I am enjoying it, but I am really looking forward to March break.

We have been in the nursing home placement since the beginning of January. In the beginning all was good. As we were there longer and longer, I started seeing the other sides of working in a nursing home setting.

I was on one floor for about 7 weeks and I really loved that floor. I knew the residents and the schedules and routines. I felt like one of the employees...just without the money. Then I was moved onto the dementia unit. What a change!!

I knew it would be different, I knew it would be harder, and more dangerous (to some extent), but I wasn't prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that I would experience there. It is hard to imagine some situations as being funny, sad and frustrating all at the same time. But that is what every evening was like.

Some residents just constantly ask when their family is coming. They don't sleep, because they don't want to miss them. Some residents talk about killing themselves, and you - if you are there at that moment. They tell you that they hate you, but you can see in their eyes that they don't have any understanding of what they are doing. Some residents are violent. They lash out at you for no apparent reasons, or if you have to do something and they don't understand why you are doing this to them. I was grabbed on my shoulder and whipped around because a resident didn't like something I did. It is a scary place to work, but it has also been so rewarding. If they can even go together...

I felt so good when I was able to help a difficult resident do something, like brush their teeth, or have them take out their dentures (which can be a hard thing to do, most don't like giving them up!!). Or when I was able to have residents smile at me, and I got them laughing. Just paying attention to some of them was all they needed. I was able to deal with a resident who had been aggressive one night then the next time I dealt with him, he listened as I explained what we were doing and there was no aggression.

I have grown. I have seen things I never expected to see. I have cried. I have laughed. I have learned to foresee situations before they happen. And I have learned that a hug can go a long way, in any language!!

I have also learned that I gained more out of this experience then I ever thought I would. The unconditional trust is the biggest thing. These residents just trust you. Good and bad...

The other night I seriously felt like I was having a breakdown. This isn't something that I am sharing here to get pity, or sympathy. I am over it, this time, although I know that those days will come again...

My memory has disappeared, my life is too hectic and I felt like there were so many things on my shoulders. I decided that I needed to cut some things out of my life and my daily routine. I need to focus on the important things, which may seem selfish to some...but they are myself and my family. That is really all that matters. Right now school is up there too.

I haven't had a job outside the home for 15 years. This was my first experience back in the workforce. I am glad that I have learned to be a duck (water beads off the back). Nothing really sticks to me, and I am kind of a neutral person. I really try not to get involved in drama (work or anywhere). I try not to shoulder all the issues that people have. I try not to let those situations win is hard though.

I think that I would like a job where I am working with a small group of people, not a large number. It would even be nice (in my idealistic world) that we all get along...and the high school drama just goes away, but that is just me dreaming. I am going to have to just work and continue stepping away from these situations.

Oh the joys of becoming a working outside the home mom....what was I thinking???


  1. Hi! Stopping by for a visit from MBC. Love your blog.

  2. Koodles to you for going back to school, I can't bring myself to do that just yet.

  3. You are an amazing woman!! Thank you for the sacrifices you make..