Sunday, August 8, 2010

I will stop this!

Last week was really rough.  I had a horrible clinical day on Tuesday (previous post) and couldn't even bring myself to go back on Wednesday.  I get to miss 2 clinical days so I took advantage of the first one.  I discussed the situation (me diving into the bathroom in lieu of helping my patient) with my instructor and she said not to worry.  She said it was no big deal and things happen and all those other wonderfully sweet things people say.  But it was a big deal to me. 

For the first time I was hit with the reality of how my unpredictable bowels can have a serious impact on someone else's life.   Not just an inconvenient 'can you stop the car' or 'wait a second I have to go again' kind of way.  But a serious 'I can't provide you with CPR right now because I have to find a bathroom NOW' kind of way.  It made me feel incompettent.  It made me helpless.  It made me mad.  But most of all it scared me.  I don't want someone to die because I have to run to a bathroom with violent diarrhea before it runs down my leg.  True, my patient only needed a dressing change and honestly, it could have waited until I was done.  True there are other nurses and aides around that could help.  But things shouldn't have to wait because of my bowels.  I shouldn't have to be tied so closely to a bathroom.  I want to be Super Nurse and help everybody when THEY need it.  Not just when it's convenient for me and my intestines.  Why can't I just have this?

I am off to Indiana University next week.  I am going to have a long confab with this doctor before any tests are done.  I am also weighing my options regarding a colostomy.  I may not have "active" Crohn's right now but my guts are sure acting like I do.  Sometimes I think a colostomy would just be easier.  I don't know.  I'm still researching.  Does anyone have experience with this?  Please let me know.

I think I spent enough time crying and feeling sorry for myself (and skipping school) last week.  I was ashamed and embarrassed.  (Yes, it's true, I still get embarrassed every now and again.  Don't judge me.)  But, now I am just mad.  I am actually enraged at the fact that my body is failing me.  From head to toe I am a mess of pain and malfunctioning organs.  It's time I find a way to stop this.  For good!


BrightSide said...

Hi Jenni,

I hope you're feeling a bit better this week.

I considered writing the standard "don't worry, everything will be fine" type of response, but then I thought a bit more about it, and I know how frustrating and unhelpful those types of responses can be sometimes. In truth, I have been following your adventures in nursing school with a mix of impressed inspiration at how strong you are to face that schooling while battling a difficult time with your health, along with a bit of secret wondering at how someone could handle such a career where bathroom breaks are often not on your schedule. I confess I have been quite relieved at having a desk/office job during my flare-up times.

For what my opinion might be worth- if anything- I think much of your future will ride on what direction you want your future nursing career to go. There are many, many areas where you can help people with your nursing education. Some of these may put you in the tough position of needing to use the restroom while your patient needs urgent assistance.

However, I don't want you to be discouraged, there are many, many areas you might consider where this may be less of a problem. For example, working in a doctor's office would generally not involve any critical situations. Also, there is the entire area of home-care. I had several nurses come to my home after my surgery to dress my incisions, take my vitals and question me about my pain levels, eating habits etc, as well as answer my questions. I came to really appreciate their help and expertise. The good thing here is that these patients have been released to their homes and are no longer in critical condition. There is also the area of rehabilitation and physio-therapy. I think there are also nursing positions at dialysis and blood donation clinics.

These were just some thoughts coming off the top of my head. Hopefully you might be able to find your way into a situation where things really will be ok, and your health challenges will not be as much of an issue.

~Bright Side

Jenni said...

Thanks so much Brightside! This was way better than "you'll be fine". HUGS!!!