Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

Well, that was quite a year. It began with me on disability, followed by a cancer scare, followed by a miserable post procedure infection that made me ill for a couple months. There was a time during the first half of the year, when I wondered if I would ever feel well again.

It took over a year to recover from getting hurt by a patient. And I still have to take pain medication for periscapular myofascial pain syndrome. Because of this injury, I decided to hang up my inpatient spurs and to move on to a new job. After 11 years at St. Helena Hospital, I took a home health psychiatric nurse job which has been a good fit for me. I drive way too much (which isn't good for my back) and I work way too many hours but at least I don't have to worry about being pummeled by a patient anymore. The pay is substantially less than what I am used to and the benefits suck. The plus side is I get to go home every night.

But mostly I'm happy that I don't have to wrestle with patients. When I think back on my inpatient career and try to count the number of times we had to put "hands on" a patient because of dangerous behavior, I would estimate that I have been involved in probably 500 "take downs". As the years have gone by, it took longer and longer to recover from the broken ribs and the bruises from these violent events. The last one was the last straw. Psychiatric nurses, like police officers, should be able to retire with a pension at age 50.

It was a good Christmas here. All the gifts were practical and needed. It was a relaxed time and we all pretty much just enjoyed each other's company.

And the year ahead? There is so much I want to do. Time to start scratching a few of those bucket list items off the list.

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