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7:26 p.m. - 2012-05-24
I really love working with old people.

Actually, not all the patients are old. Some of them are just very sick.

I think I like it for the same reason I'd like to work for Doctors Without Borders (or a similar organization) someday. I like being able to help people who really, really need it, instead of looking the other way and saying "it's not my problem."

Tonight I worked with a woman who is dying, and spent time while she was sleeping with a woman with a woman with Altzheimer's who calls for help every time a staff person walks past her door, and another woman -- maybe only in her 40s -- who had severe anxiety and was telling me over and over that she was psychotic and too scared to get in her bed and wondering if she should go to the emergency room. Apparently the regular staff is fairly fed up with both of them, undertandably, but I'm not there every day and my patience is still more or less untapped, so I sat with each of them and had endless, non-sensical one-sided conversations. I know that what is nonsense to the rest of the world is reality to them, and for each of them it is a very scary reality to be alone in.

When I got home I had a package in the mailbox, with five copies of the industry magazine I wrote an article for a couple of months ago, and a nice note from the woman I worked with there, saying she hopes to work with me again! I wasn't expecting that, because I thought I was basically filling a gap between a departing staff writer and her successor who started the next week.

Of course I had sent an e-mail saying I appreciated the opportunity to work with them and would love to do so again a while ago, but I didn't hear back and figured it was a one-shot deal.

Maybe not.

Maybe I should pursue freelance writing more; I know I probably could make a living at it if I tried, but the problem is it's not something I have much interest in. It pays well, but you don't really make people's lives better doing press releases, industry magazine articles, glossy coffee table magazine pieces, textbooks, etc. I like working with people much more, even though (at least at the CNA level) it pays a lot less.

Oh well. Gotta clean the kitchen. S. is coming from Vermont tomorrow to see us, yippee! I need to get caught up on absolutely every chore/necessary project this weekend (like unplugging the bathroom sink AGAIN!) because on Tuesday I begin summer school hell that lasts till July 2 -- 16 1/2 hours a week of biology and lab on top of my CNA course.


Five weeks. I can last five weeks.



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