I am back to work. In my numerous years of chronic illness, I have only worked full time for less than half of them. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to work full time hours again. Although I try.
I am a nurse, as I have stated numerous times on this blog. That makes it kind of difficult to work with a chronic illness. At the time of my diagnosis with fibro, I was working night shift in the ICU. Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen ever again.
I’m sure it’s possible, but for me it is not. Not too many people can withstand more than a few years “running the floor” without some sort of health issues. Most nurses eventually burn out and move on to some other type of nursing. For me it was telephonic nursing, then hospice.
The reason hospice works for me, and home health probably would too, is that I set my own pace. I’m not in a busy clinic, floor, ER, OR, etc. I see a few patients per day. I stay “PRN” meaning I work when I want. “PRN” mean “as needed” by the way. I don’t get benefits, but I’m not obligated to work a forty hour work week within set hours either. I can refuse assignments.
The problems for me right now mainly deal with the fact that I am so eager to move out that I’m working A LOT. Currently I’m pulling on call shift 2-3 nights per week. I’ll be doing my second weekend in a row as well. In addition to the 3-4 daylight shifts I’ve been picking up.
When I’m on call, most of the time we don’t have any issues, but I can’t take my sleeping meds. So I don’t sleep very well. So by the end of the week I’m in pretty bad shape.
But I am happy to once again feel productive. I’m so happy to be back in my element as a hospice nurse. I truly feel “at home” in this type of nursing. I know what I’m doing, I’m confident in what I’m doing, I work well in the team atmosphere. I have years of experience and I’m not afraid of death. And I have a wicked gallows sense of humor.
So right now, work is great. I hope it stays that way…