Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Managing Anxiety. Or Attempting. Part 1.

I've missed my blog, but even more, I've missed having the time to blog. Learning a new job, new city, navigating that new city and surrounding cities, settling kiddos into a new preschool, moving 2 times in 3 months...these are all good problems to have, but they definitely take time for adjustment. I've thought of so many things that I'd like to blog, but I went from working 3 12 hour shifts/week (usually more like 5 12 hour shifts every 2 weeks because I often had the luxury of asking for low work load, aka a bonus day off when our unit was overstaffed) to working 5 days a week for a month which then shifted to 4 days a week. The biggest change is that I went from being able to "leave" work at the hospital (except for when I would mentally process my day on the way home or in the shower and remember something I forgot to do, which I then could call a coworker and know that whatever I forgot to do was on another person's to do list) to bringing work home. Eventually I will ideally get most of my work finished between 8 am and 5 pm. That's the plan. For now, not so much. But, I'm working on staying afloat.

I transitioned from being an acute rehab nurse to a home care case manager when I moved to Minnesota. Home care case managing involves having a caseload, which for 4 days a week will eventually be up to 24 patients at a time, who either I see for each visit or sometimes another nurse will see the patient depending on my availability. These patients have either recently been discharged from the hospital or have experience a change in health status that necessitates home health services, in the form of a skilled nurse to come to the patient's home for health assessments, disease/symptom education, medication education, etc. Ultimately, I oversee the care of the 24 patients I case manage, meaning that I help decide if therapy/social work/nursing assistants should be involved with the patients care and that families often see me as their life preserver as they navigate caring for complexly ill family members at home.

On a side note, for any of you care takers out there, y'all are AMAZING. I wish somehow our society could better support caretakers because, wow, y'all do so much and often get so little praise in return, not because what you do isn't appreciated, but often because the person receiving the care isn't necessarily able to say thank you. So, from me, to you, thank you so much. You are a super hero. Seriously.

I've written about my perfectionistic tendencies before, and while they serve a purpose, I sometimes wish I could be one of those people who is totally ok with B quality work. Because B quality work is solidly good, seriously. How many amazing people are out there in the world who were solid B students? A lot more than A students, and the B students are probably overall happier/less stressed than the A students. I'd wager.

Anxiety is (for better or) for ill ingrained in my personality. Not in the way in which people just look at me and start to feel themselves getting twitchy (or, at least I hope not.) I'm anxious in the internalization way, where I let my anxiety smash its way through my body, and even though I wear a mouth guard, my husband gently wakes me up to tell me to stop grinding my teeth, that it sounds like I'm eating gravel. And, where I remember being in 1st grade (that teacher was something else, I know...you're probably thinking, "Really??? A 1st grade teacher? No way." Just ask some of my classmates, or classmates siblings, or my sister. They'll vouch for me) and feeling sick to my stomach, not just butterflies in my stomach, more like Mayflies in Northern Minnesota at their prime bouncing off of the side of the house, so many that you can hear their wings beating. That's how my stomach felt in 1st grade. 70% of the time, at least.

(Be on the look out for Part 2. Hopefully not too far out in the near future.)

No comments :

Post a Comment