Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Work and feeling down

First the feeling down part...I recognize that today would be the day that S would have returned after being away for a month. And he's most likely not. And I'm incredibly sad about this, as I miss him. And I've been beating myself up about being sad because it's not like he's chosen a family illness to vex me. Still, I realize that I've really been looking forward to his return.

Now on to work. This week has been a particular challenge to me. Actually, the feeling started last week, and I recognize that the escalation of my feeling crappy about my work comes from the above situation as well.

But today, I'm just wondering why the hell do I keep coming to this job? Let me give you a flavor of what I get to deal with. I get to be responsible for holding people to coming in for appointments or trying to uncover the "psychosocial barriers" to their non-adherence. Ostensibly, once I uncover those barriers, I'm supposed to fix them. If I can't fix them, I'm also apparently responsible for defining and holding clinic policies, which more often than not pisses off said non-adherent people.

I'm also responsible for helping people arrange for dialysis when they are on travel. Sometimes I'm given adequate notice, but sometimes not. Today, in a particular show of temper, I got yelled at by a patient because I wasn't able to find a closer unit to where he would be staying. And this on a day when I was so done with being here to begin with.

I help people learn about different dialysis modalities...well, this week, I didn't motivate our nurses to do education quickly enough for one patient, and now she's angry with me. This is a patient who also got angry with me for travel related issues at Thanksgiving.

I work with a hard population of people, I realize. These folks are poor, some have addictions, many have history of being abused or abusing others, and there are a few with significant criminal pasts. And then there are those who are paranoid or hearing voices and being asked to come to a busy clinic and be stuck with needles (really big needles) and sit for 3-4 hours while blood circulates outside of their body.

And that's just our patients.

I know that I signed up for hard work when I became a social worker. I know that somebody like HippyChick actually works in more challenging situations than I do. But today I'm feeling more than a little tired of doing my best to do good things for people and feeling like I only get yelled at for it.

Okay, I'm going to go now, with my pity party, and try to get through the day.

UPDATE: S is coming home today. He's "on-call" with his family so may have to leave again shortly, but he'll be in tonight, and we get to see each other tomorrow. Yay! Shorty - read the comments and I'll attempt an answer at the questions you asked.


P'tit-Loup said...

I know our work is frustrating, and trying to remain positive about it is not always easy, especially when our lives have frustrations as well. (What? We are human?) Not taking it personally can only go so far. A "compassion fatigue" trainer told us to use the phrase: "I am I, You are You," to help create some healthy boundaries toward those clients who test us every step of the way. (Not that you do not have healthy boundaries already, but just to help shore them up on a tough day.)

Literary Hoax said...

You do an incredible worthwhile job, Spin. It's not surprising you feel fatigued and disillusioned at times.

It's such a shame S isn't back yet, but perhaps the extra anticipation on both sides will just add to the fun when he finally gets there.

Hope your day improved lots later on.

shorty said...

I was just wondering where you feel you stand with S?

Do you consider him a boyfriend? Do you ever consider dating other people?

I understand you are in a commited relationship with S, but am confused as to where this is going to go? Not that it has to either because I see how wonderful he is to you and how he makes you feel.

Just wondering how long you were planning on living in the threesome that you are before exploring other options....that is if you even want other options.

That was all very confusing to me, I hope you get what I'm trying to ask and that I haven't stepped on any toes in doing so.

spinsterwitch said...


I love and feel loved by S. The relationship, as it stands, is still mutually agreeable, and I don't anticipate changing it in anyway for awhile.

I may change my mind, as we are wont to do when we change and grow, but I can imagine myself being with him for a very long time. As for the threesome, since S is the primary in both SS & my relationship with him that pretty much depends on how their relationship continues as well. I know that is confusing, as I care for SS, too, but in some ways it keeps it simpler to keep those internal barriers about the relationship.

I'm not someone who wants children or desires a live-in longterm relationship...or at least not now. So this makes me happy, and I can see it continuing to make me happy for awhile.

Hippy Chick said...

sorry you're having a rough day girlfriend. yes i work in a challenging environment with challenging clients but so do you and so does every social worker! it is very frustrating especially when you don't feel particularly supported by other staff. maybe you can take a mental health day for yourself soon, hm? in other topics, i'm glad you'll get to see S after all!