I've been lacking inspiration, and to be honest, not giving my passions much of any effort or time in this pandemic. My job demands a lot of me right now, and I am 100% dedicated and okay with that. I've been soul searching as to why my grandma died the way she did, in the moment she did, what was the purpose. I got angry at anyone that told me I was the lucky one to have been there with her in her last moments. I'd get irate, I wanted to pass on the pain to someone else, but also get them to understand how empty it made me feel, how much it paused my grief.
I fell into a realm in the healthcare field completely randomly. But I thrived very quickly. I gained the knowledge and learned all I could, and am acquiring new knowledge everyday. My confidence grows with each conference, patient and facility. I've finally found a home in the third company in this field. If you would've told me this is what I'd be doing, I'd be entirely puzzled as to how you came to that conclusion. Not now.
This pandemic has targeted a huge percentage of the general population I manage care for. I take pride in remaining calm (on the outside) in crisis. Being the gatekeeper, the assertive and clear voice. The voice for the patient, whom at first was just my grandma. Now I am advocating for yours and theirs and a person that is someone else's entire world as she was mine. I believe that now maybe this was the plan all along. That maybe me feeling lost truly was me finding my way. I look at each patient as an individual, assess their support team and family, and determine just how much people are advocating for them. While assigning and managing their care is my job, I am also obligated to fight for them, to advocate for them, and to be their voice while they cannot be. To be a clear soundboard, voice of reason, to alleviate the fears. I give reassurance to not only the patients and their families but for the clinicians as well. I take great pride in my team and being a part of it. I am thankful and very grateful for each and every clinician on a normal day, but more so now than ever. I hear the fear in some of their voices, the fear they could potentially get sick and give it to a family member. I hear the ones that plead with me to do all I can to get them the proper PPE so they can do their job because they will continue to do so unless or until they are told otherwise. My team is filled with angels and superstars.
I think of my grandma when I speak to a concerned family member. I think about all the knowledge I have now that I didn't then, and how they are me. I try to educate and give empathy. We are all scared right now, and I cannot imagine having this added on while I was with my grandma. I tell them what I wish I had known, I make sure clinicians understand so that they don't treat anyone's family member with the ignorance or plain out lack of care we received. I have a passion and a drive for my work and for a long time I thought it was just because I put all of myself into my work no matter what it is. But this is driven by a force far bigger than me. My love for my grandma and the care she deserved but never received. So in this big, giant mess right now, I am inspired. Inspired by my nurses, therapists and other admin staff, both current and past. I am inspired by her in every intense conversation I have pointing out where we can do better, where we need to do better. In every moment I assess a patient, I think of her, and I truly believe she is guiding this journey or at least holding my hand through it.
I've been exhausted, drained and talked out. Telling families and clinicians that the sky really is not falling when in our world, it sort of is. I am heavy, I feel the weight of every single one of the 200 patients I am dealing with. We have a duty and obligation to be there for them. But I needed to take a step back and do the same for myself. I fight so hard for the voiceless, the weak and the fearful. I forget about myself or deplete me of the energy to do so. This I now believe is where she has stepped in.
I am good at what I do. I am gaining confidence, knowledge and respect. My opinions and voice matters, and it's heard- often. I think that maybe this is where I am meant to be, maybe I am not lost, and going through what I did serves as a reminder to never lose sight of the actual person, just like my grandma. I believe, finally, that maybe I am right where I belong. And today especially, I thank her.