Tired but happy I have a job and able to pay the bills. The last 6 months of 2009 was bad for nursing work believe it or not which put me behind. It is a wake up call for me to realize that even the people who know how to save a life are not really guaranteed work. Too many times in the past year I have been close to homeless. I figure I am earning the last part of this struggle through life in a hard way. There are two reasons for it. My education was most certainly through the School of Hard Knocks. I have always been that way for me; resistant and rebellious.
The second reason was brought to light by my old father when he told me one time: “Never forget your raisens,” Which translated means “never forget where you came from no matter where you go in life or what you do.” I have forgotten that before but not for a long time and often I have said truthfully that I lived better, had more control of my life and finances, and felt happier working at McDonald’s. I knew when I worked, what would happen, what I would do, when I got off and when I got paid. Often times I thought about going back to a job where I had time for the people.
It seems hard to believe for the average bear but when you make more money, your life changes and you need more money and when you get paid daily, you really get screwed up because there is always some money in your pocket unless there is no work. So the money you spend the day before frivolously, just might be the money you need to pay the light bill. And for the back to the people part of it, being a nurse is like herding cattle. You do not feed the sick and weary souls or your own soul, you feed the machine.
So why don’t I take a full-time job after 17 years? Well it all started 17 years ago when I went on a quest to find a home, a job where I would feel happy and make friends…a life. Seventeen years later and so many cities I lost count (maybe 200 or more), I still haven’t found a home. I work hard, I do what is right, I am a team player and will break my back to do what need to be done but I cannot tolerate the bullshit of it all, blatant disrespect or one thriving off the others, like the machine.
When I went to nursing school, just as it is now, you are taught that it is a professional and respectful career. If only one nurse or instructor had told me the truth of the matter, I may have been a doctor (although it is not much better than nursing), but most likely a lawyer. My life would have been totally different. Two years after I became a nurse I looked into medical school. I had a plan to work in the mountains of West Virginia and provide healthcare to the poor by house calls and be paid by whatever they could afford.
Before I became a nurse, I was shy, smiled all the time and my face turned red when I talked to people. Now my face turns red in anger, I never smile, everything tears me up that deals with abuse of the system, the country, the people of the world. It is my fault but I was a first generation college student, excited to find out I wasn’t as “stupid” as I thought I was and realized I had a chance. It was one of the times I jumped from the frying pan into the fire without making an informed decision or evaluating my options. It was all on me to figure it out.
Maybe the anger comes with growing up, but somehow I don’t believe that. Maybe it is post traumatic stress disorder…I have seen a lot of real life things that belonged on Hellraiser or some other horror flick. I work 13-15 hours (including to/from work), take an hour or so to go to sleep and chronically am deprived of sleep. I know I don’t eat right, sometimes not at all in a 12.5 hour shift, just drinking Mountain Dew (a lot of nurses drink Mountain Dew, it is funny how they made “Code Red”…similar name to Code Blue)…Well, seven days until the new job starts.