Just when I thought

Just when I thought there couldn’t be one more cause I would champion, God seen fit to show me differently!

Weeks ago I applied for a job working in a group home for developmentally disabled. Although from common sense and being a nurse for 14 years I knew what “developmentally disabled” meant I had no concept of their daily lives or struggles!

A month into the job I love it more than ever! It is still health care so there’s many things to complain about. Naturally the great state of Illinois is 44 out of 50 states for the funding that they give to this population. This means that the turnover rate for caregiver’s is extremely high which also means that there’s very little consistency in the lives of many of them.

Although it’s been fifty years since they decided these people deserve to live life like everyone else instead of in institutions there is only about 15 states that have closed all of their state ran facilities.

Additionally although the world has come a long way and accepting people the way they are or people who I seem to be different it still seems difficult for these awesome people to go out in the community without people staring. Many of them just have social or intellectual deficits that we’re never recognized as such and if they were born that way today there would have been many more resources available to them.

People will often recognize them for they’re protruding or pronounced features, unsteady gait, or possibly their lack of social skills. If anyone spent any time getting to know them they would recognize them for their outgoing, friendly personalities and great big hugs and hearts!

https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=32276

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OMG, YOU ARE A NURSE!?

Being a nurse is a huge responsibility! Like many other occupations when people find out that you are a nurse they want to ask healthcare questions. Of course healthcare is so super personal, after all it is a life that were talking about! So this means that 1 single human being, in an 8 hour shift, has (literally) 15-50 (depending on the shift and nursing home) other human beings lives in their hands! I was always so envious of the super organized and focused nurses who seem to have super human abilities to complete their work. Having said that, I knew how to nurse like that but something inside me prohibited me from doing so. I’d like to say it is my big heart or my conscience but either way there is no room in a nursing home for a nurse such as myself! I’m not being caddy, that is just a fact. Let me just give you a quick story from my first week of nursing that will explain the difference between these “Super Nurses” and me.

My first week as a nurse in LTC I worked on an alzheimers unit. It was a locked floor with 40 residents for 1 nurse and 3-4 CNAs. I was working dayshift, a nurse was orientating me and we were doing morning med pass together in a common area. He was walking up to the residents and administering medications efficiently, like 5 residents to each of my 1. He finally stopped, looked over at me and said: What are you doing? Of course he must have read the confusion on my face because he went on to repeat my greeting to each resident in what I suppose was my voice “Good Morning Mr. Smith, How are you?” “I have your medicine for you” still I looked at him with a look of what could I possibly be doing wrong, He is explained to me: “There is no time to be making friends with each of them, you will never get done”. He was not being malicious he was just being honest!

I just came across an article that accurately describes LTC in the nicer nursing homes!

The Truth About Nursing Homes: David Macaray; counterpunch.org

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is : How to Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows

I’ve come to realize lately that letting go of nursing is only a problem for me the way the thought of seeing your ex with someone else keeps you in a unhealthy relationship! The state surveyors know they are unrealistic yet nothing/no one changes anything. The administrative staff…well I’ll leave that alone. I love and respect about 95% of the nurses and CNAs I worked with! I feel that is saying a lot considering….

So, APPARENTLY Erikson was correct with his theories that missing out on things as a child will have long term consequences! Meaning: I can’t deal with the feeling of having my hands tied. That my friends is what nursing is all about! Your license is in everyone else’s hands and the things that you think you should be able to do for your resident’s just isn’t so! Well, I can’t speak for all of nursing, I’m really speaking of LTC. I’ve said this many times before but nursing homes (I’ve worked in 6 nursing homes in 2 different cities and there was one thing they all had in common: Never enough time to give everyone individualized attention!

Sooo, where does this leave me? Well, I’ll tell you where…..unemployed! Don’t get me wrong, being done with nursing wasn’t all my idea but I do feel like it’s for the best…..I just don’t know….my identity I guess….I’m no longer a nurse I guess (after 12+ years) Do I still want to be in healthcare? I’m working on a bachelors in Organizational Leadership but I won’t graduate for another 2 years…….

Illinois Nursing Board

This is my response to the nursing board and their “recommendations”

Sunshine Fegett1:13 PM (3 minutes ago)
to Beth

For some reason I did not realize that I only had 14 days to respond to this email. I also can’t understand why the email came 3 months after the conference call. I haven’t worked as a nurse in 8 months. There is no food in my fridge, my checking account is overdrawn $600 and my mortgage payment is 2 months behind! I am floored that the stipulations are so stringent! They aren’t even reasonable. I don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on special extra evaluations and testing. I’ve been doing everything I am suppose to, seeing an addiction specialist, going to counseling, single and group every week and monthly drug testing. There are so many nurses in the program! How are these archaic rules helping the healthcare profession or the public! Is the Illinois Nursing Board not aware that addiction is a disease or that there is an opiate epidemic occurring nation wide? Wouldn’t it make much more sense to assist healthcare professionals in avoiding situations that make their lives worse such as spending $2000 on an attorney in addition to court fines and monthly supervision fees!?!? All this in addition to taking away their only means to making a living? No one gave any thought to the 12 years I worked in LTC and did a good job. No one spoke with the residents and family members at Imboden Creek that are still asking about me daily!! No one has paid attention to the fact that I gave my everything to my residents, working extra shifts and hours, NEVER calling in sick as to not leave the facility short or my coworkers short. No one stops to think about the REAL issues in LTC: 1 nurse administering medication twice in 8 hours to 29-50 residents or 1 CNA unable to give individualized attention to residents that worked their entire lives just to be stuck in a tiny room with a person they don’t know and having to beg to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water!!!! Resident’s climbing out of bed because they just can’t wait another minute to go to the bathroom, trip, fall and fracturing a hip! I am currently attending Millikin University to obtain a bachelors in Organizational Leadership. It is my plan, hope, prayer that this will enable me to make a difference in the lives of the aging population because as a nurse (at least an LPN in LTC) your hands are tied by the rule makers who the majority have no idea what real life is like working in a nursing home! I mean no disrespect whatsoever and I’m sure my license will be suspended indefinitely since my response is a week late but I could not agree to the terms either way.                                                                                                                     Thank You, Sunshine Fegett

This Here Blog

I started this here blog of mine for many reasons, most of which I’ve stated several times and many are the same as others who start blogs. Unfortunately there are days when this here blog of mine causes me all sorts of inner turmoil. My mind is constantly racing: Write, don’t write, Write about how I feel, Write about what I think, Write my life story, Write about me, Write about others, Write completely open and honest (this is the 2nd hardest struggle) Write and post with reckless abandon with all the world to see ALL of your vulnerabilities!?!? (So this may sound dramatic to some but it weighs on my mind and heart daily!) The thought of sharing the most intimate details of my life with those who “know me” but don’t “know me” like that!

Like many other people I made a New Year’s Resolution I have already broken. My resolution was to share This Here Blog openly instead of hiding it away. My ultimate goal and the 1 thing that fills my cup the most is always helping others. Unlike the very brave folks I’ve seen on here and T.V., fearlessly telling their truths to help others, I just CAN’T bring myself to share This Here Blog!

I genuinely feel if I could just get EVERYTHING out I would be taking away it’s power and this would be a huge step toward feeling better. The problem is: I have to get out of this bottomless pit that I seem to have fallen into before I can get anything done.

For the life of me I can’t get out of this terrible rut I am in! It’s like I have to wait until the very last minute to get off of my @ss to get anything done! It’s this big huge BLAH feeling all the time! Everyday I think I am going to get up and be productive, HA!! They switched my medicine so maybe that is part of the problem. Plus being broke during the holidays! I’m not working and I don’t even know where to start with that. I’ve worked as a nurse since 2005 and I have absolutely no desire to continue working as an LPN because in Central Illinois LPN’s aren’t taking seriously. The place to most likely work as an LPN in Central Illinois is a nursing home and I most definitely don’t want to do that anymore!

The more I sit at home, not working outside of taking care of my mom, the more I don’t want to do a thing outside of my home. Usually something will happen that will propel me into action, that has not been the case since Thanksgiving.

The Book of Sunshine: Chapter 1

Date: December of 1976-1981

Age : infant-5years

Husband: J.D.

In the 70’s there was a movie titled: Sunshine . I can’t really tell you why but this is where my mom says she got my name. As with the first few years of my life and what led up to it, I never asked my mom about the origin of my name until after 2001, after I turned 25, after my mom had a major stroke and really couldn’t tell me much.

This movie was a “made for T.V.” special and it’s soundtrack consisted of 7 songs by John Denver, one of which was “Sunshine on my Shoulders’ for which the film is named: IMDb

There’s a menagerie of memories I have up until 5 years old. They are kind of thrown together and all mushed up. My most vivid memories are from 2 different apartments in the same apartment house.

The 2nd floor apartment consisted of a living room to the right when you walked in, a small bathroom just to your left, the kitchen straight ahead and then the only bedroom was to the left of the kitchen. In the upstairs apartment we had a female German Shepard name: Lady and when I was around 3 she jumped up on the roll away bed with me during an argument and her paw got my cheek leaving a scar on my cheek right below my left eye.I also remember a picture of me or maybe it was just my favorite dress pictured in my head hanging on the door frame leading into the living room from the hallway. Either way I remember my favorite pink dress, the one I wore in the pics that actually hung at the neighborhood bar: Julies Tavern, in Decatur, Il , right down the road from where I grew up! I never have come across these pictures as an adult but I remain hopeful!

In the downstairs apartment I have several memories mostly good! My mom would always take me to the public library to rent Little Golden Books & Dr Seuss! I loved reading and being read to and the fun poetry world of Who-ville would leave an everlasting impression (positive impression) on my life! Additionally there was an incident in which I washed my hair with Nair (a bottle of cream rinse used to remove bodily hair which unfortunately included the hair on your head) and to “teach me a lesson, or whatever, my mom cut all of my hair short”. Also we grew up in a time when kids in Africa were starving so it was our duty as a member of The U.S. to eat every thing on our plate no matter what! This particular night it consisted of a bowl of chilli that I did not want to eat for whatever reason so I added A LOT of salt to make it better! Of course it actually made it worse but I had to eat it anyway because we did not WASTE food back then!!!! Lastly, the memory I tell no one about: My stepfather was an alcoholic and he believed in whippens! If you did wrong then you got a spanking with this red and white belt! Well I clearly did something wrong that warranted a whippen with THE BELT!!!! After getting the spanking, I rolled around on the bed in a “convulsive fit” and rolled off the bed and broke my left jaw on the “end table” that sat next to the bed. Who knows what the Dr was told but ultimately the dentist wired my jaw shut to allow the break to heal which meant I had to eat baby food in preschool…..it didn’t last….I pulled the wires out and the dentist gave up.
I honestly don’t remember how soon after this incident my mom and I moved out but I do believe anything longer than immediately would not have occurred if the roles were reversed!

Anxiety/Depression/Baggage (it’s all related)

anx·i·e·ty
aNGˈzīədē/wp-1539450923462..jpg
noun
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
“he felt a surge of anxiety”
synonyms: worryconcernapprehension, apprehensiveness, uneasinessunease, fearfulness, feardisquietdisquietudeinquietudeperturbationagitationangstmisgivingnervousness, nerves, tension, tenseness; More

 Depression:
1: feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
“self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression”
2: a long and severe recession in an economy or market.
“the depression in the housing market

Baggage:

past experiences or long-held ideas regarded as burdens and impediments.
“the emotional baggage I’m hauling around”
wp-1539451156930..jpg
It wasn’t until the last couple of weeks that I realized anxiety was the voice I kept hearing in my head telling me “you can’t do this” “you don’t have time for that” “remember, that is too hard to do” “you aren’t smart enough to accomplish________” I kept identifying the feelings as stress! This is a link I found for screening tools that can help you sort through various mental health issues:
Growing up I thought that people could just look at me and see right through me. I was sure that people could tell that I was growing up with a shit home life, poor, parenting myself, abuse etc. It took me years of adulting to know that wasn’t the case.

I’ve been going to counseling since I was 9 years old! Well off and on anyway. Any counseling before I was 20 was mainly court ordered due to being in foster care and/or related to resolving issues of abuse which looking back never was successful.

1_IN_10perpetratorsrisk_factors_3SIGNS

If you or someone you know has been abused:

GET HELP NOW

CALL 866.FOR.LIGHT OR TEXT LIGHT TO 741741

You are not alone – resources and support are available. Call to have questions answered or chat with a trained crisis counselor, 24/7 at no charge. All conversations are confidential.

 

Researchers estimate that 38% of child victims disclose the fact that they have been sexually
abused.5,6 Of these, 40% tell a close friend, rather than an adult or authority.7 These “friend-to-friend”
disclosures do not always result in reports. This means that the vast majority of child sexual abuse
incidents are never reported to authorities, though research suggests that disclosure rates to authorities
may be increasing.

Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R., Turner, H. A., & Hamby, S. L. (2012). Child and youth victimization known to school, police,
and medical officials in a national sample of children and youth. Juvenile Justice Bulletin, (No. NCJ 235394). Washington,
DC: United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

I’ve always avoided discussing the abuse I endured growing up. I stuffed it down deep for years and spent my time perpetuating chaos subconsciously avoiding my childhood. I did have counselors that would elude to the fact that I wasn’t covering the root of all my problems but I was hell bent on putting out fires because that required less effort.

Finally I moved back to Decatur in 2013 and life started to be less chaotic and as a result I had more time for self reflection. wp-15322971963037355743889565155872.png

In 2015 I found an amazing counselor who let me avoid the topic of abuse for awhile but then started pressing me. That eventually led me to finding a counselor at Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center but not until 2017 and I only went a few times AND I verbalized what I had endured ONCE and thought I was cured and didn’t go back.

This situation is actually intertwined with another that I’ve been going through this year. I would not say at all that my childhood was actually the cause of my opiate addiction but after finally openly discussing some things with the counselor I am seeing now I can see a correlation.

People who misuse opioids often report extensive histories of childhood maltreatment, which include emotional and physical abuse, emotional and physical neglect, and sexual abuse……Authors:News Author: Batya Swift Yasgur, MA, LSW; CME Author: Laurie Barclay, MD

Of course it started with a prescription here and there over the years (2007-2015) and then it occurred to me that if I took pain medicine then I could work more. The pain in my feet, carpel tunnel and back would be relieved which curbed the fatigue and enabling me to work more hours. After the scripts ran out then I found opiates on my own and of course justified it all with the above reasoning.  This ties into the childhood issues because being sexually abused over many years by several men made me feel like damaged goods. If I could work more than I would be indispensable regardless of being damaged goods! If I could have identified these issues earlier in life it would have saved me a lot of heartache!

I started this blog for 2 reasons:

1: I was sure that writing this blog would be therapeutic

2: I wanted to help others

Point being, if there is anything that I would stress to anyone, DON”T WAIT! Don’t wait to take care of yourself!wp-15322981882021055409800515570857.png

I think it is safe to say that we all want some of the same things in life and just as I thought when looking it up the #1 thing was:

Happiness
Biggest Challenge:  “Not knowing what I want to do.”
Happiness is a choice folks.  It just is, plain and simple.  Every single day you get to decide if you are going to be happy or not.  I think the main reason most people are unhappy is because they are looking for something outside of themselves to “make them happy.”  Guess what, the new car, house, outfit, boyfriend, or girlfriend is not the answer.  The only person or thing that will bring you happiness is YOU…….Kathy Caprino  The Top 10 Things People Want In Life But Can’t Seem To Get.  

You can’t be happy if your anxious or depressed and the only way to beat anxiety and depression ongoing is to get rid of your baggage! The sooner you get rid of it the better! You can’t just ignore it, shove it down, alter your mind to avoid it….you have to take it step by step. You have to actually put in the sometimes long, tiring, frustrating, no immediate gratification work to boldly acknowledge your baggage (each piece individually) take it out, unfold it, see where it came from, why it is keeping you down and after you’ve gone through each one (like steps in the grieving process) you can then and only then fold it back up, put it in the bag and let it go!

Nursing in a nursing home 2

This first picture (I’ve used elsewhere on here) is me , my Mom and Melissa. This 2nd picture is since my mom had a stroke. In 2002 she had a stroke, spent 6 weeks in the hospital and then 6 weeks in a rehab to home program in a nursing home. I thank God that this was before I was a nurse! I genuinely think I was clueless about nursing homes at the time. In 2015 my husband had a diving accident and spent 3 weeks in Carle clinic a ‘trauma center/hospital”. I noticed E V E R Y T H I N G the staff did whether it was right or wrong and I acted a fool several times when they did something I didn’t like.

So imagine that feeling for your loved one!alexaanddad

Better yet imagine a nurse (and their are many) that take their job personally, to heart, wearing their heart on their sleeve! It is emotionally draining to be a nurse no matter what! Then to add 30+ human beings to it and 2 med passes in 8 hours and then threats if you work over, threats if you don’t, threats on your license you caused and didn’t.  30 human beings with a past, with a heart and a mind and a family that sees them how they were and wants you so badly to see that person the way they do so that you never forget that YOU are the person they are counting on to take care of their Mom who raised them fearlessly, or their Dad that never let them down and they don’t want to let him down.  Being a “nurse in a nursing home” whether you are a CNA, LPN, RN (Rob Good you are my super hero) is no easy task and it is so very hard to be present in their everyday life and then go home and pretend like nursing homes are equipped to take care of someone’s loved one in a way that will ease your mind enough that you can go to bed and sleep without a heavy heart!!!!

They say nursing is one of or the most trusted profession, well let me say a couple of things about that! 1: I know how to do nursing by the book and anyone that tells you that nursing home nursing can be done by the book is a big fat liar! You can’t take care of 30 resident’s in a way that follows what “the state” claims they expect and what the very same people know is the reality!! 2: The thing I heard most or the compliment I held nearest to my heart as a nurse is/was: “Sunshine it is obvious how much you genuinely care for your people” I  believe that more often than not nurses want to do a good job for their patients/residents and many nurses have varying ideas on what that is!

Every nurse has their thing they are good at, something they aren’t good at, something they stay away from at all cost (I am terrible with phlegm) and of course it can never be at all cost because nurses take care of business. That is our job under any and every circumstance!

What does it mean to be a “good nurse”?

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Kati Kleber, RN
Kati Kleber, RN

 

“There is something about a good nurse. Having a nursing license and job doesn’t make you a good nurse. Working for 30 years doesn’t make you a good nurse. It’s not about being a good IV starter or being best friends with all of the physicians.

It’s so much less defined and measurable than that. It isn’t measured in letters after your name, certifications, professional affiliations or by climbing the clinical ladder.

It’s something you feel when you see a good nurse care for their patients. It’s that security you see in their patient’s eyes when they come in to care for them. It’s that nurse whose patient’s family member will finally go home to sleep and shower because they know their loved one is cared for with that nurse.

All in a week

I don’t know if I’ll ever post this but I’m writing it anyway. For the last 4 years I’ve been taking  prescription medication. I’ve tried to wean myself off. Last week I became so sick from a virus that I couldn’t get out of bed so I thought it would be a good time to try again! So last Wednesday I started titrating down (I’m in no way suggesting that this is the best way for anyone else to do this) and last night was the very last of the very last. I sweat and then I’m cold, back and forth, back and forth. I took my Wellbutrin and Buspar last night along with melatonin and I slept from midnight until 8am without my legs becoming restless which is amazing. However I couldn’t get out of bed until noon because I was still so tired and cold! Thank God for Edgar!

He keeps me going no matter what and if course my ever patient husband

They keep me in good spirits and faith keeps me strong. So being sick and tapering off “unnecessary” medication isn’t enough so mother nature made her appearance (my opinion about this is in a post: thank you Eve), my oldest son had been arrested the week before for a FTA (failure to appear) and was released on the same Wednesday as above (8/15/18) which could have been a good thing but that’s a whole post by itself.

So during this week 8/15-8/22 I’ve been trying to get things in order to start school (first class was Monday and thankfully it’s only 1 day a week) today I wake up and check the mail and find a letter saying my financial aid wasn’t processed because they were lacking documentation! Documentation I sent in last week during my misery

So I called and the person they told me to send the documentation to hadn’t even been in and had 45 emails she hasn’t gone through. They claim however that they will get it worked out!

Last but certainly not least it occurred to me that the reoccurring issue that I’m constantly running from is my childhood. The abuse that I haven’t addressed is holding me back. So yesterday I made an appt with growing strong sexual assault center that’s set for today at 2pm.

Soooooo that’s my week in a nutshell!

The Crime Report – Home

Criminal Justice…. This is a link to The CrimeReport a news and media site full of unbiased info, news and resources about our “criminal Justice system”

https://www.facebook.com/The-Crime-Report-110343137639/

“Nursing in a Nursing home”

Pretty early on in my nursing career I started planning an escape. Looking back I realize this was much like relationships I didn’t want to be in. I would stay because it was easier then starting anything new. At times I would stay in spite of how miserable I was……..in nursing and in relationships. Additionally I may not have left if someone hadn’t opened the door and shoved me through!

I quickly came to loathe the feeling that I couldn’t change things that bothered me such as passing pills to 29-54 people twice in an 8 hour shift and deal with emergencies and trying to give everyone the time and attention they deserve!! So many times I’ve tried to understand why these hardworking retired folks are treated like it is a nuisance when they ask a person (being paid to take care of them) to take them to the bathroom. An even better question is : Why does the person being paid to take care of your mom taking care of a minimum of 7 other people, therefore making it difficult to take everyone of these often physically or mentally impaired or both to the bathroom every time they ask, or every 2 hours if they can’t ask. The reality of it is: your mom is lucky if she get’s taken to the bathroom twice in an 8 hour shift!

—-In  2012, total spending (public, out-of-pocket and other private spending) for long-term care was $219.9 billion, or 9.3% of all U.S. personal health care spending. This is projected to increase to $346 billion in 2040.42 [Updated February 2015]—-42 National Health Policy Forum (2014) The Basics: National Spending for Long-Term Services and Supports. Retrieved (January 2015) from http://www.nhpf.org/library/the-basics/Basics_LTSS_03-27-14.pdf

I have been pondering the whole “nursing in a nursing home” thing lately. I’ve come to realize I can’t see where anyone actually knows what happens in nursing homes, like no one even discusses it. Well I’m really thinking I’m going to write some posts that are candid about “nursing in a nursing home”

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