Thursday, September 27, 2012

Where in the...

world did JackassJimmy go?!

I finished my CNA class the other night. No one is happier than I, that I don’t have to make the hour drive, three times a week, any more than I am. When I reached the end of the class, even before reaching the end, I knew I was done. Not done, like I didn’t want to go on, further my health care education and career but, just done with being free labor. Busting my ass three nights a week for no money. When you’ve been unemployed for as long as I have, working hard enough that it looks like you could use a shower, an hour into your shift, there needs to be some sort of compensation.

My compensation is that I am done.

Walked out of the nursing home and felt as if a ton of bricks had been lifted from my chest. Not only was it easier to breathe but I knew I was done with some of the people and energies I had experienced along the way. I can weather many situations but nursing homes just really take it out of me. There is barely anything positive associated with them in my eyes. Sure you have a select few people, who really like their job, honestly care about the patients, and really try to do the best they can. Others are more or less in a holding pattern, until they can find something better & or more lucrative for themselves.

I wouldn’t say I made friends in my class, which is odd for me but, in retrospect, we’re all such different people and personality types. Some I had pegged from day one, others, I couldn’t have been more off the mark if I tried. We were comrades in arms. It was sink or swim from day one and if you were seen as dead weight, you drowned. I’m just glad I was able to help myself & the others around me and have them at my back, when I needed a hand. Never underestimate what you think you can do. Put yourself in situations that are out of your comfort zone. Like really think about it from the perspective of another.

Sure, cleaning up someone who is incontinent and has soiled themselves is gross. No doubt about it. Would I rather do something else? Of course, who wouldn’t? On the flip-side of that, imagine being that person, who because of age, injury, or a number of other reasons, has to rely on someone for the most basic of functions. As grossed out as you may or may not feel, I can guarantee you, their embarrassment is a thousand times greater than how grossed out or uncomfortable you may feel. Being a caregiver of any kind is difficult and rewarding. Some days you go to work and feel like you are the luckiest person in the world. Other days, you’ll be convinced the universe is out to get you with all of the shit it throws your way.

Be human and realize there are going to be good and bad days. That you too will someday, more than likely, rely on someone, a family-member or caregiver etc., for something. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the course of the last 4 months or so, it’s that people can be really awful to one another. I’m sure you have experienced it first hand, I know I have. It sounds cliche but it really doesn’t take all that much more energy to be nice and if not nice, basically considerate for other people. Are you always going to be given the same courtesy, probably not. Lead by example. Life is short. Be helpful, be humble and do one thing everyday to make the life of someone else better or easier in someway.

I hope you all are well.



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