This will just be a rambling post mostly because I am running very low on brain power! I sometimes work at a rehabilitation center as a sitter and last night I worked 7:30 PM till 7:30 AM and then to top it off I went to bed and woke up an hour later. So that is the sleep I am running on. The rehabilitation center I work for is where clients with a mental impairment that has made it impossible for them to function in society. I love them all! My job is to keep eyes on a gentleman at all times. He has been court ordered to stay at the facility and he has a tendency to go AWOL. His days are constant turmoil. It breaks my heart.
He feels comfortable talking to me and he was quite agitated last night and he spent from 8:30 pm – 12:30 am talking in circles about how unhappy he was. Most of it did not make any sense but I never let on. I just gave him my full attention…which is probably why he kept going. But talking can make a huge difference and I know this. You may not get answers but releasing the burden can make a difference. So I sat on my butt and listened.
I received a shock when I first got there. I had not been there since July and I was sitting out in the common room and asked one of the other clients where this particular lady was. I thought the world of her. I wear VERY long nails and she would get so excited when I would go there and come over with her container full of nail polish. Sometimes I just sit outside my client’s door in the hallway and she was always coming and checking on me and having a little chat. I expected this lady to say that she had gone home… She had passed away. And she was not the only one. Another gentleman passed as well. It took me a few mins before I was able to respond. I was just shocked.
It does support the fact that when there is mental illness there is often a physical condition as well. Both of them died from chronic health problems. And I see it when it is medication time. Checking sugars…special medication. Some pf the clients are young too. I sit in the hallway and watch them as they go about their day. Wondering what really goes on in their minds. Each person has a problem with control. But do they realize it? Or is where they are at a place of comfort during the calm times. I have to believe when a person is that disabled they do know peace. That they do not have regrets or sadness for their lives. Does anyone tell them that they are every bit as special…they just are put together differently.
I have to say for the most part the staff is good. Some are so patient. Others excuse my language but “a bunch of bitches!” If you are not a person with great patience and compassion find a different field of work! Of course they have to be stern at times because the clients have to recognize rules and the goal is self-control. If they could make their own decisions they would not be there. But sometimes they need a soft touch. One of the young ones there has a autism-spectrum disorder. So to calm him they sit with a special comb and comb his hair. When I am sitting in the hallway I can be certain he will show up with his comb no matter how he is feeling.
You have to do it because you care. Granted you have to leave your work at work. And I have seen violence. There is a security guard there at all times. This can be exhausting for the staff and nerve wrecking. So it is definitely not an easy job. This is why I say it has to be something that is on your heart. I have been in plenty of psychiatric hospitals and it amazes me that they have nurses on that view it as a job with a paycheck. They were absolutely miserable to the patients. If you did not already feel crappy…you did once they were done with you. Imagine being somewhere to get well and you have people making you feel worthless…like a bother to society. Who the hell hires these people? Is there not some sort of criteria?
Well that is my ramble. I am at a loss for words on how tired I am. My body feels like it just went through the spin cycle. Funny I used to be sleeping all the time and now sleeping during the day is difficult. But don’t worry it takes me all of 5 minutes to fall asleep at night. I figure by about 3:00 I am going too be ready to drop! One thing about a job like this is that it is mentally draining as well as physically. What happens to me is my body goes into overdrive to keep me going and then I have to wait till it stops which can be at the most inopportune time! Sitting on the toilet is not the best place. Or in the shower. Or in the middle of cooking supper. Cause when my body says it is done…it means NOW! No forewarning. So if you could say a little prayer that I do get some sleep today it will be very much appreciated! Have a great Sunday!