Month: January 2018

Sometimes I get Attached…..

One of the first things they told me was to not get attached….

Your care ends after you walk out the doors, your job is done……

You can’t get attached…

and I don’t….most of the time…..

but sometimes I have to….

I NEED to.

I need to get attached so that I can remember why.

I need to get attached so that I don’t forget the feeling.

I need to get attached so that I can keep going.

I need to get attached because I need to remember that it wasn’t all for nothing.

See the thing is my job might be to care and provide for patients, but at the end of the day they’re providing to me.

In a weird emotional way it’s like every time I get the chance to care for someone the giant gaping hole in my heart from all the chaos being sick has caused me heals just a little more.

I’m not sure the hole will ever entirely be full again but I know that everyday I get to care for patients, a day farther out from being the patient, the hole fills a little more.

I remember my first hospice patient, and the month after that in which I checked the local obituaries every day wondering if they had passed away.

I remember the first child I said goodbye to, as I tucked them into their bed, whispered in their ear and brushed their hair out of their eyes. I hugged the mother knowing that I was the last medical professional she would see until her child passed away and I stood there until she was ready to let go.

A lot of the memories aren’t happy, in fact most of them are painful. It’s not a career full of glitter and balloons. It’s a rare day that we hear the ending to the story. We are there when it starts, when its happening, but how it ends, we usually never know. For us, it stops at the automatic doors leading back out to the ambulance bay, because we aren’t supposed to get attached.

The truth is talking for half an hour with an elderly patient about our pet cats isn’t just a distraction to them, it’s an assurance that I, me, MYSELF can be the someone, in that moment that someone needs. It’s the reminder that I am capable.

The truth is making stuffed animals talk and growl while dancing through the hallways before the patient goes in for radiation isn’t just to make them laugh. It’s the reminder to me that amidst all their chaos they still have a little bit of their childhood left. That they won’t be scarred forever, their holes will fill too.

The truth is explaining to parents that their child who wants to harm themselves, gets better and that this world is cruel and harsh and difficult for growing teens isn’t just to reassure them, it’s to remind me that Matthew’s pain was temporary, and that these kids that didn’t make a permanent decision to a temporary problem could have been him too.

The truth is that as much as I am there for them, I am also there for me too.

As much as I wake up each day and go to work with the mindset of helping others, I also go to work with the mindset of helping myself.

I find healing, in partaking in healing others.

I find comfort in comforting others.

I find strength in strengthening others.

I am who I am now, with the mindset I have now because of them.

So I have to get attached sometimes….

I HAVE to.

I refuse to be the robot like medical professional that provides care in a uniform way to every patient, every time. Who forms no bond with the patient, who shows no emotion.

I have to get attached, and I have to show emotion.

If those that cared for me didn’t show me the same attachment I have now I wouldn’t be here with this job. In fact I would be as far away from it as I possibly could. There’s some days I left offices and clinics and wanted to never face another medical professional.

But I refuse to be that way. I refuse to make others run anywhere but towards my care.

So sometimes I get attached, because I’m human, and it’s a human thing to do, but also because I need to.

Because it keeps me going.

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My Date wasn’t a Death-Defying Date….

Everyone I’ve ever talked to that has had some type of Traumatic Injury/Accident remembers the date.

It’s almost like a birthday, regardless of how many years or decades ago it happened, they can tell you the exact date.

For me: December 7th 2012.

I don’t know if it’s because their life flashed before their eyes, or they had some surreal experience, or they died and came back to life, or should be dead, or what.

All I know is that I never saw the big guy, he never appeared and gave me some big talk about how it wasn’t my time. I never saw the light. I never felt the warmth.

In fact nothing happened, at all.

One minute I was in the air, and the next I was on the ground, with a really bad headache.

I had no out of body experience.

If it weren’t for me falling, that day would mean absolutely nothing to me. It’s the anniversary of my accident, but that’s it. It isn’t the day my life started over, I wasn’t reborn, I wasn’t given a second chance, I literally just fell and hit my head.

I was never close to death. There has never been a point in my life in which it was questionable whether I would live. (Except for that one time I went in to have a scheduled surgery and passed out, and the new RN panicked and pressed the code button. Now that might be debatable but other than that I’ve never headed towards the light.)

I follow lots of different people who have become sort of angels to me. I don’t know them personally but I feel like I do because I just connect so dang much with their stories. I follow their social media platforms that they’ve used to turn into this incredible source of strength and hope. They are like real life gods to me. I find so much resemblance in them. Like when I grow up, I want to be them.

(I got to see one of them speak at an event and I almost peed myself from excitement. I was so nervous and excited that I was sick to my stomach. I was the real definition of a fan girl.)

I relate so much to them.

Except for one tiny, well really big thing.

They all almost died.

(And if it wasn’t physically then it was mentally/emotionally.)

Their dates, their December 7th, 2012’s, those were almost their last.

I don’t know what it’s like to be close to death, to teeter on such a fine line between seeing a tomorrow, and never having another.

So when they discuss their trials and difficulties, it makes sense. They went through this overwhelmingly horrific event. They defied odds, and somehow managed to survive. They fought death, and they won.

And then I look at my trials and difficulties and I’m just confused. It doesn’t make sense. All of these people, they found the good. They had the “re-awakening”, the “realization”. They’re able to have an undying amount of love for life because they know what it’s like to almost lose it.

I run a fine line between my love and hatred for life. I am left in awe everyday of the mere thought of life, because it’s just so cool, but I also have days where I’m just really stinking mad at it.

I don’t have the reminder of why I can’t be mad at life. I don’t have that thing that the big guy or the universe dangles above my head. There is no voice that says “Merideth you can’t be mad at the universe, you can’t hate me, I spared you.”

I just have an unlucky experience, a date that’s just a reminder that something unlucky happened to me. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For a really long time I wanted the why, in fact there’s probably a handful of these blogs about trying to figure it out. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t still occasionally hope for it.

I think the reason I so badly wanted a why, was so that I could know that bad things didn’t just happen to people for no reason. I wanted/want to know that the universe, the big guy, don’t just throw hurdles at you for no reason.

I’m at a point in my life that I knew would happen eventually, well I figured it would, but didn’t hold on to hope or dream about it, or realize it would get here so soon. I’m at the point where my POTS is basically unnoticeable.

It’s a place in my health I’ve never been before. Now I’m not saying I’m healed, because I definitely still have POTS, and I do still have to receive treatment for it. What I’m saying though is that there aren’t any big arrows pointing at me anymore screaming “sick girl”.

I could meet someone new and have a friendship with them, and they would never know I was sick unless I shared it with them.

My Invisible Illness has finally become Invisible.

So what the heck am I supposed to do?

It seems like those that are in the significant date club either end up two ways:

– They get the sign from the universe, they have their magical moment. They end up with a different outlook on life, a reason why. (Or at least they figure it out.)

– They magically get healed and are left without significant deficits/results. They’re able to move on and forget about it. Their date eventually becomes just another day.

(And I guess technically there’s a third ending too: you die.)

So where do I fit in?

None of the above 3 things happened. Big Shocker, but I ended up the odd one out again.

I once wrote a book (or half way did), and if you’ve known me from the beginning of all of this then you’ve probably heard about it.

It was this great (according to my mom) compilation of learned lessons, and acquired interesting outlook on life.

But I stopped writing it. Because I didn’t feel like I had a valid enough reason to write it. Why would anyone listen to a young girls experience if she never even had the “aha” moment.

Why would you read something if it didn’t leave you with a positive push to better your life? I don’t have the qualifications that the people I look up to do. I don’t have the certified death defier sticker that the others do.

I just have this oddball story. This strange compilation of things that have happened to me because one unfortunate event changed everything.

So where do I fit in? Where do any of us fit in?

What happens to those of us that don’t get the fancy message from the universe?

Why are some of us death defiers, and others not?

How do you find your why? Or do you ever?