Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Work Hangover Wednesday: DNF

Everybody has a limit. One of the downsides of being an ultrarunner is that we are able to withstand discomfort and adverse conditions for a long, long, time before we throw in the towel.

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.


HappyTrails said...

I TOTALLY agree with your comments on the health care stuff. It is scary what is coming our way. But who do we talk to, who will listen, and who can take true action politically? There were many loud voices who were strongly against the healthcare bill that was passed but in my opinion, all those voices and concerns were ignored and it is being shoved down our throats. Yes, we NEED reform but not in the form that is headed our way.

I hope you are able to find some job relief and peace for your body, mind, and soul - at least temporarily. Such stress tears the body down. I hope things can improve for.

Had my first experience in the infusion clinic today. I experienced several strong, emotional feelings as I entered its doors: saddness for the people sitting in those chairs receiving their chemo, thankfulness that they CAN receive chemo to treat their cancer, thankfulness that I am not sitting in one of those chairs, and the realization that although I am not sitting in one of those chairs, I am still part of the cancer family receiving treatment,
hence my presence in the infusion clinic. Lots of feelings jumbled together. THANK YOU for caring for us.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Kathleen, the only true political action is by the people. Grassroots movements have always been the thing that led to real change. It takes time and persistence and energy on the part of many. Courage. I hope people have not forgotten all about the civil rights movement, the women's movement, labor movements, and all the hard work by people in the past who have taken to the streets to demand change, even if their lives were threatened. Because our lives are being threatened in even greater numbers by the status quo.

I am thankful that you are not receiving chemo, that you have other options. Those patients in the chairs thank us, they express their appreciation for us in so many ways, every time a patient thanks me it almost brings me to tears, and often does...

I only wish that the people running the health care system could see how the environment in which health care is delivered affects the patients and the caregivers, and be there when those patients are thanking us. Perhaps then they'd be a bit more humane when making administrative decisions.

I wish you the best in finishing your treatment, and hope it is all behind you soon.

M Rubsam said...

Good luck sorting it out and getting your health back together.

I've been reading your blog for awhile and I have been there in a job that is draining and bad for the body and mind. It's not worth it unless you can get to a different and better place or restructure the work environment to your benefit.

Best wishes,

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks. I will sort it out, I am already on my way there. I am pretty powerless to restructure anything at work, I can't even get the hallway to stay clear of clutter. But I am making progress on my own projects outside of work, and trying to be patient with myself and keep taking steps to move forward and beyond.