Thursday, April 09, 2015

The new normal

I have been a blogging fool lately! I thought I would update how life has been going since I started my new role as the palliative care social worker at the hospital. I know that I  have mentioned that I love working days! Having a regular sleep scheduled has helped me have more energy and I think I am less grouchy:) (Jeff claims he has seen mild improvement!)  I still struggle with waking up 4-5 times a week at 4 in the morning, wide awake and am still dependent on sleep medications. I am weaning myself off of the Ambien though because that medication has contributed towards all sorts of crazy behavior. I have had full blown conversations with Jeff and other people, texted and eaten weird combinations of food whilst under an ambien spell! I try and only take it if I am really in a bind and have only one refill left and don't plan on drug seeking for more:) !
As far as my actual job, I am loving it. Palliative care allows for the privilege of helping patients and their families have input into what they want their care and in many circumstances, end of life to look like. It can be hard and it is complicated. I have said many times over the last six weeks that nothing complicates a life more than having it be under the magnifying glass of death and dying. I thought leaving the ER would mean less drama. Oh Lord, how wrong I was. The drama is plenty and many days I am literally left speechless. This role can be draining and I have to be careful to do healthy things and take care of myself. Some days I do want to just come home and have some wine! But, I also try and journal, read, blog, work out, drink some favorite hot tea or meet friends for dinner. Working as a medical social worker, in the ER, and in palliative care continues to remind me everyday how precious life is. Tomorrow is never a guarantee. Assisting and counseling patients and families in coming to terms with their own mortality can't but help me examine my own.  I have had many conversations with myself over the last few months where I am finally tired of making the same mistakes and am taking meaningful measures to knock off the crap that only  hurts me and my family. Jeff and I do not have our shit together at all when it comes to what would happen if one of us became suddenly ill or died. I realized how foolish this was when I worked in the ER but this job has made me all too aware of how important it is to have those discussions before something happens. We are slowly making our way towards planning and hopefully we won't need to look at it all again for a very long time.
I am certainly still finding my way in my new role. There have been some frustrations and certainly hard days. But, overall I am so happy with the changes! 

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