Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Puzzle of Kim

All day long, I take care of people who are often at risk of life changing health problems. Most of them can only blame themselves. Not eating right, ignoring advice from doctors, not taking medicine they need, thinking they can beat the system by not committing fully to treatment, deciding that they/the book they read/the web site they visited know better than the truth staring them in the face. "Manifesting" their way to health. What bullshit. I could give you a thousand examples. By the time they get to us in the ER they are having major pity parties over their poor health/unfixed injury/chronic pain etc. Yet there they are again, weeks or months later, with yet another health problem or flare up of the thing they never took care of last time. And I get really sick of those people. You make decisions. You may decide to eat poorly - that is your decision. When you end up diabetic after being warned it was coming and you could have changed that, I don't feel badly for you. When I tell you that you will not fit on the CT scan table because you weigh more than 450 pounds, I don't feel sorry for you. You chose to put yourself in that position. When you complain about your pain from the condition that you chose not to follow treatment for, I again do not feel sorry for you. When your breathing treatment doesn't work because you reek of cigarette smoke - well, it sucks to be you. Go ahead and say I am a bitch, I really don't care. Try my job (which I do love, BTW) for a couple months and you will see exactly where I am coming from. If you are elderly, injured, sick, indigent, a victim of poor parenting, a child - you have my heart in your hands. I am 100% there for you. I am just not feeling those who choose their own destiny and then whine about it. Bitch about the medical profession all you want, the bottom line is you should be taking care of yourself. We are not your watchdog.

If you have come this far, you will see why I wrote what I wrote.

I realized that this also applies to me. I am my own watchdog. I have no one to blame but me if I don't fit into the gown, onto the stretcher, into the lawn chair. My knees hurt. Because I put too much weight on them. I am at risk for diabetes. Because I don't take my meds regularly and make poor food choices. I am the patient that I abhor caring for. So I began what I call The Puzzle of Kim. It includes little pieces that when properly put together, will make a whole new me. I began at the gym, whenever I could, doing whatever I could withstand. I moved off midnight shift after 22 years of depriving my body of sleep. Now I work 12pm-12am and actually get 7-8 hours a night. It's heavenly! I have learned to say NO to things that don't interest me, or that I don't have passion for. I stopped eating fast food, or food in the middle of the night. I take my pills first thing in the morning. I have lost a fair amount of weight. I still have a long way to go, but I am getting there. And I have the people listed above to thank. They made me re-evaluate myself and practice what I bitch about. I will heal, with no real goal other than healing. Then I can continue to pour my heart into the people who deserve it, and go through the motions with the ones who never learn. I know with the economy and my life choices, I will have to work for many more years, so I need to do it in the best way possible. I have been doing this for about 7 months now - I just went to my new shift last week and I am so pleased with how I feel. The puzzle is coming together. I will keep you posted.