…another day

I was chided by my patient for making fun of baldness (which I wasn’t.)

“Someday you’ll lose all your hair, and be drooling, and laughed at. How would you like that?”

Sort of taken aback, I kind of raised an eyebrow and began walking away.

“That is, if you even get to be old…” she mutters behind me.

Over the long weekend I was yelled at by no fewer than 4 different patients.

“Just leave me the fuck alone!”

“You stole my face and tried to kill my son,”

“You tried to shoot me. Don’t even try to walk by me!”

I just keep a straight face, let it roll off, and get on with what I was doing. It’s a difficult job, but I deal with delusions, mood swings, psychosis. And every one of those patients eventually apologized to me.

“I’m sorry if I was rude before,”

“I don’t hate you, you’re really nice, you just shouldn’t have stolen my face, it’s not very nice.”

“Please forgive me. I was just scared and confused, but you’re a sweet girl,” that was followed by an attempt to kiss my hand.

And every time I smile and say, “of course. No worries. Everyone has a hard morning sometimes. I know you didn’t mean it. We’re still good!” Which earns a smile back.

There are a thousand hard times, and viscious words, and violent actions we deal with at work from out patients. But that’s why they are there, because they need someone to take the time and not run away or give up on them. And its after a horrendous Thursday, and a terrible Friday, and a hard Saturday, and a decent Sunday, that you have an awesome Monday. You’re tired and sore and you’re not sure how pained your smile looks, but you keep on going. It’s the victories of getting the mute patient to say a few words to you. It’s getting the angry, isolating patient to creep out and take a shower, and find he actually feels pretty good and notice him chatting with another patient, out of his room for the first time in days. It’s getting the manic teenager to take a nap, and wake hours later and see the difference in her mood and hear her say, “thank you.” It’s suggesting a patient try not napping today and seeing if it helps her sleep through the night, and having her dubiously say, “okay,” but then a couple hours later having her excitedly say, “hey, this staying awake isn’t as hard as I thought it would be!”

I give 100% for those 8 hours a day for those moments. I do it to see my angry, my scared, my confused, my lonely, and my troubled patients Smile. To see that moment, brief as it may be, that the realization comes across their eyes, that for as huge and crowded and cruel this world is, there is someone who cares about what happens to them.

Adventure Time

Every now and then I find myself watching a movie that makes me want to jump up and do something with my life. Embrace a sense of adventure…

Like I recently watched the movie Black Panther.

 

It makes me want to go to Africa and experience the culture and do relief work of some sort.

 

Or the movie Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

 

It makes me want to go abroad, somewhere we don’t hear much about and tell people’s stories.

 

Movies like those make me want to go to some third world country and help out in some way or another. Makes me want to have an adventure.

 

 

download

 

Wait a minute…

 

Both those movies have Martin Freeman in them…

 

sherlock-john-watson-season-3

 

. . .

 

 

19f

Zombie Day

It started out as an innocent bite on the thumb. But shortly after..

Stage 1: The infection..

Stage 2: Bloodshot eyes..

Stage 3: Elevated vital signs..

Stage 4: Extreme sluggishness..

Until the final stage:

Saturday

I believe there is no magic in my life, because I have no faith in anything. I close my eyes and all I see is darkness. There are three orbs, swirling around each other, like a giant atom. Each one flashing images like crystal balls. Underneath is a large deep bowl, cracked and broken, draining its contents onto the darkened floor. My broken heart, unable to hold a feeling or a hope..

I never hear voices or callings. Not the way some people say they do. Not even in the way other people say they do. I am neither faithful nor crazy. I simply don’t hear anything. I don’t feel anything. I have no direction. I have no guidance. I make foolhardy decisions because I don’t know what else to do.

I had heard a story once of a religious man feeling a pain, behind his ribs, real pain that seized him. And then nothing. He couldn’t explain it, but he suddenly no longer believed in God. The faith just shut off, like switching off the blasting television. Just silence. He ended up going on a personal journey, to find himself, to renew his faith. In the end, he completed his journey, returning home, never having found his faith.

It is not to say that I don’t want to believe in something. I want to believe in something so deeply. But the more I reach down, the more I feel nothing. There is no magic in my life. There is only me. Every decision is me. Every success is because I worked. Every failing is my own mess up. I can only hold myself accountable.

And it terrifies me to feel so completely alone as I do…

Super Moon

In honor of the Super Moon.

A little bit time consuming, but quite enjoyable if you’ve got the time.

The first is a reading of Italo Calvino’s “The Distance from the Moon” from his collection Cosmicomics, read by Liev Schreiber, and presented during a segment of Radiolab.

 

The second is the Pixar short it reminded me of, called La Luna. (video plays mirrored)

Woke up with a burning throat and a runny nose. Unsurprisingly, found my car dead and just walked to work in the cold dark. Before even hitting the floor, was pulled aside and it was professionally implied to me that I need to step up my work performance.

I was seething with a burning throat. I felt my spirit dying and my anger growing. 
I walked back out to the floor after my lunch break, my throat so swollen I could barely swallow my food, and having seriously considered the feasability of putting in my 2 weeks. I took a seat next to a snoozing patient. I rub her shoulder gently til her eyes open and ask if she wants to use the restroom. Her eyebrows crunch up, but she nods. Patiently, I help her to her feet and escort her to her room. I congratulate her when she makes it. I sit on her bed across from her and wait for her. When she’s done, I ask if she wants to take a walk. She says she does. We walk slowly around the chairs and down the short hallway. I tell her she’s doing really well. She looks up at me and smiles. “You’re the best worker,” she tells me, and for the first time today, I smile too.

To everyone who made it special. I had admittedly been nervous about my birthday, thinking that no birthday could top my 30th in the level of love and happiness i felt, especially after the year i had. But i was proven wrong. From the birthday love and wishes on facebook, to the wonderful card from my coworkers, to the odd night full of smiles.. To everyone who showed up and reminded me that i am seen, you have filled this wounded heart with so much love. Thank you all.

I am who I am

This last year has been bad, the worst. I entered my third decade of life and I’ve hated every minute of it. I have never been faced with so many challenges to my life and personal identity. I’ve never questioned my own self so much, and felt as though I’d lost so much along the way. I’m 30 and I feel like I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing. I’m 30 and I’ve never felt so lonely. But the truth in my heart, is I am who I am. Long ago I came to terms with the fact that I’m not cookie cutter. I do things my own way. And that not everybody is going to accept that, and that’s okay. I’ve spent so much time and energy trying to make others happy, that I’m not happy myself. And I’ve let people make me feel ashamed of myself. March to the beat of my own drum? The truth is, I don’t hear a drum. I bask in the sound of my own silence. And I like it. And I’m going to be okay. I’m going to have more bad years, and I’m going to have great years. In two days, my year from hell will be over, and I survived it. Today, while waiting for my coffee, late in the morning, the woman behind the counter looked at me, and told me she was proud of me. And that was all I needed. In two days, I’m going to turn 31, and I’m going to have the best year..

The little things that remind you you’re pretty, as you’re walking home from work. When a dude hits the breaks and backs up so you can cross in the crosswalk, then whistles as you pass by. I may have been uncomfortably close to campus, but I’ll take it.

Head Turner

When youre sitting outside with a friend, talking about serious stuff. And lean back in your seat just as a guy is walking by, and your metal outdoor chair with the janky armrest decides to let out the most god awful screech, making said guy jump in fear and turn around…

Hashtag: Not Exactly How I Want to be a Head Turner..😳