Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Work Hangover Wednesday: DNF
Sometimes we put up with harsh conditions long past the point where we knew better.
I attempted to give notice at my job yesterday. I was actually going to quit altogether, but after a long discussion with my boss about everything that's been chewing at me for the longest time, we arrived at a workable solution, pending more thought on my part, at least for now. So I caved. Nothing is decided. I guess that qualifies as a DNF for quitting my day job.
It's like bailing at mile 90 in a hundred mile race after puking your guts out all night when your crew has one thing in mind and your mind has long since left the planet. Do I want to? Does it really matter at this point?
There is an option, where I would no longer have a regular schedule or be obligated to work these back to back 12 hour shifts that are killing me, and it would be a more comfortable transition for me as I ease into my future plans. But I don't know yet. It might not happen.
So Work Hangover Wednesday might soon become a thing of the past.
Today the hangover is intense, I am getting close to going down for a nap because I have not slept much all weekend. I feel like I've been operating a jackhammer, I feel completely rattled to the core with the emotions of the past few months and days as I've been contemplating this transition and finally arrived at a time limit for myself to wean off the teat of steady employment.
When your job takes you so far away from who you are, and where you want to be, it's time to change. I'm not running, I haven't run since vacation, I did a couple of bike rides, other than that I've been a zombie, doing a few walks.
I've been physically, emotionally, spiritually drained. While I'm far from alone, my friends and colleagues who are in the same boat as me all have limited resources to support each other through this challenging time. And there are a lot of us who've had each other's backs through the toughest days, and those days are far from over.
I love the work I do with the patients, but the old advice "don't quit your day job" does not apply when your job is taking more from you all the time and is hazardous to your health physically, emotionally and spiritually. It's not the work I do, it's all the other crap that gets piled on top of us that has nothing to do with the work of true patient care. It makes you crazy.
It's almost a joke that since becoming a nurse, in 7 years, my hair has turned gray, I've gained 20 pounds, take more medications for my health conditions, and drink more alcohol than I ever have in my life. Good thing I'm a lightweight or I wouldn't be able to afford myself. Unfortunately it's NOT a joke. It's true.
It's not right that the business of delivering health care has to be so hard on the people who actually deliver the care.
Health care reform is not taking us to a good place. We need health care reform desperately, but we've gone about it in a way that cannot succeed unless we reform the political process and legal system in this country, and stop the corporateering, profiteering and gaming by those who hold the power. People need to step up and say we're not going to take this. Until we start caring about each others' well-being independently of our rungs on the socioeconomic ladder, we are going to continue our downward slide in quality of life and the quality of our future.
Have you seen the movement by the people in Boulder who took on a big energy corporation? Well the same will happen to health care if things don't start to improve. People are being pushed to their limits. Things will change but only when everyone decides they've had enough. When things get rolled out later this year for the Affordable Care Act, if it's not well-orchestrated, there could very well be protests in the streets and a lot more forceful action on the part of the people. And long overdue, in my opinion.
When our politicians do nothing and we let them get away with it, we have only ourselves to blame, and the only way to fix it is to start cracking the whip.