Monday 19 September 2022

Grieving and Not Moving On

Last week, I was really struggling with whether or not I should renew my registration as an active nurse, or whether I should switch it to "non-practice". I'm honestly feeling that I will likely never go back to my nursing career. I was reading this article about the changes being implemented in Ontario regarding patients waiting for long term care placement in hospital, and came across this statement: 'Jones said discharge planners will have to have "very challenging" conversations with patients about going into a home that they do not want to go to.' I have been having those "very challenging" conversations with patients for years already. And as I was writing a commentary on the article on Facebook, I realized how very burnt out I am. Not just depression, anxiety and winter driving phobia, but burnt out as a nurse. I'm really tired of being responsible for other people's lives, of trying to convince them that it's no longer safe for them to live at home, convince family members that have promised mom, dad or spouse that they would never put them in a nursing home that keeping them at home is not the best or safest option. And yes, convincing them that they couldn't wait in the hospital until a bed becomes available in their first choice of long term care because it has a long waiting list. Of putting up with their anger because I was the one they were dealing with, even though I didn't make the rules. And regularly being caught in the middle, between clients, families, doctors, home care, acute care, long term care, placement office...

In the end, I did put in for active registration. But when I had to answer yes to the questions, "Do you have a mental or physical health problem that prevents you from safely practicing nursing?" and "Are you currently off work?" followed by "When do you expect to return to work?" to which I had to answer that I was uncertain, the College of Nurses has placed my application in the "For further evaluation" pile. If they decide to place me in the "non-practice" category, I'll be fine with that, as long as they refund the difference I paid for active registration. 😁

But I'm still trying to figure out how to get on with my life. I don't really want to be on disability indefinitely. A month ago, I applied to a couple of insurance brokerages who were both advertising for insurance brokers as I felt that was something I could do that wouldn't be as stressful as nursing. I did a little investigating first and found the training that I could take to become a licensed broker and figured it wouldn't take me long to get my level 1 licence. However, I had no intention of paying for the course until I knew that I had the job. In my cover letter, I did point out how I felt many of my skills as a nurse were readily transferable to being an insurance broker. I did get an interview with one broker, but the anxiety the night before seriously hampered my sleep, making me wonder how well I could do in any job, subsisting on so little sleep. The interview only lasted about 10 minutes and they didn't even ask for my references, so I knew I wasn't getting that job. They were polite enough to email me to let me know that they wanted someone with training and experience. The second brokerage initially emailed me back stating that they had a likely candidate, so were no longer looking. I wished them well with their new candidate and was relieved that that was the end of that. At least I thought so. Then late last week, I got another email from them stating that the candidate they hired had decided not to pursue that line of work and was I still willing to come in for an interview. I didn't respond until yesterday. Honestly, I really didn't want to go in for an interview as I really didn't want to go back to work. And I was trying to analyze myself - is it because I'm just too lazy? Maybe this is God's plan for me. What if it's the answer that I've been praying for? And believe me, I was praying. I even asked God to make me feel positive about this job if it was His plan for me. But I didn't. However, I also didn't feel that I should pass this opportunity up. So, I actually had an interview booked for tomorrow, even though I was incredibly stressed out about the idea. But then I started crying and crying and crying, and getting short of breath and started hyperventilating. It didn't get to a full blown panic attack, but it was heading in that direction. And so I called my sister Judy. She's my second oldest sister and has basically stepped into the maternal role since my mother passed away. Yes, at 60-something, sometimes we still wish we could talk to our mothers. Anyway, she said that I need to just stay on disability. I agree. I know that God would not expect me to take a job, or even a job interview that would stress me out almost to the point of a panic attack. But I still feel lingering guilt about it. And that guilt and doubt has been forcing me to try to get on with my life when I'm just not emotionally ready. 

Meanwhile, the Queen died. We all knew it was coming, but I really didn't expect the Queen's death to hit me as hard as it did. I don't consider myself a monarchist, but nor am I anti-monarchist. However, she has been a part of my life for my entire life. I've known the anthem, "God Save the Queen", since early childhood and I'm still struggling to replace it with "King" and "him".  It's the end of an era. And I think my emotional health has really impacted my ability to cope with the death of the monarch. I've sat there and watched multiple long processions of her coffin, with tears running down my cheeks and sometimes great sobs racking my body. This morning, when I was watching the rerun of her actual funeral (I didn't get up early enough to watch it live), I thought I was doing okay until the bagpipes started to play. My prayers are with the royal family. Charles and Camilla looked absolutely exhausted as well as bereft at the funeral today. I almost felt as if was revisting the loss of my mother through this entire mourning period. 

On the plus side, I did a self-study module on insomnia and I am trying to implement better sleep hygiene habits, like going to bed and getting up at the same time every day and not using electronic devices close to bedtime. And maybe someday, in the not too distant future, I will actually get a decent night's sleep in return. Hopefully, more than one decent night's sleep. This evening is not the evening for good sleep hygiene, though. After nearly having a panic attack over a job interview, I felt that I needed to write. 

No comments:

Post a Comment