Thursday, April 27, 2006

I had a good day, then a bad day, then a good day

Today was the day from hell, or at least 11:20 am until 3:40 pm was. I had to do an emergency respite care admission to a nursing home for one of my patients. I won't bore you with all the details and drama. Needless to say, anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. The worst part? It should have taken a half hour at the most! This was the first time I've had to do a respite care admission, which I admit is kind of shocking. It doesn't come up that often in hospice but you'd think I would have done one by now. And now that I've survived, I'm pretty sure I never want to do it again! Oh well. You live, you learn. At least most of what went wrong was not my fault. When I called my nurse Beth to follow up on the patient, I told her I felt like the worst social worker in the world (I was slightly emotional by that point.) She proceeded to make my day- she said I was one of the best social workers on the team and that no one else would go to as much effort as I was! She could have just been saying it because I was in a bad mood but I'm choosing to believe her. The family and caregiver was happy with me, Beth was happy me, it seemed to turn out all right in the end. Putting it into perspective: yesterday was my 7 month anniversary with my employer. This was my first bad day/afternoon. The past 7 months haven't been all pinky skipping and lollipops but, for the most part, I continue to enjoy my job.
Case in point...little "Manny's" mom died Tuesday night. After the respite fiasco, I headed over to her wake. The boys are doing OK. Manny came right over to me when he saw I was there. He showed me his new Bible (he read all about heaven) and the remembrance stone. Then he told me that he had drawn a picture of his mom's face and that made him feel better when he felt sad. We talked for a little while and then I gave him a big hug. I talked to the family for awhile and they really affirmed my role and confirmed once again that this is where I'm supposed to be. The biggest compliment was when the patient's sister "Lola" said she wished that I could follow the boys into bereavement because they had responded so well to me. I would do it in a heartbeat if my boss would allow me too. Unfortunately, we can't do much follow up after a patient dies, the bereavement department takes over and we occasionally hear updates. It was nice to hear that I'd made a difference in their lives, at least for this one point in time.
My day started out busy but good, turned bad and crazy, and ended up affirming and encouraging. I'm still on the right path and God keeps giving me strength each day to somehow do this job.

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