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Archive for April, 2008

I'm drained(Loooooong!)

April 5th, 2008 at 02:25 am

As my profile shows, I am a registered nurse and I have been for 17 years now. I thought I learned long ago to leave the office at home so to speak but lately I am struggling. A few years ago I went back and completed my master's degree and since then I have been working in clinical research in a public hospital. In this position, I have a lot more intimate contact with my patients than I did when I worked at the bedside. To make a long story short, these people are in constant need. Constant! They either don't have money for meds or food or rent or utilities or transportation. And the situation is always desperate.

I have to confess that as a general rule I detest helplessness and I have a real problem with people begging. But sometimes, life happens and it is not always the result of people who don't plan or work hard or whatever. Case in point, a couple I was working with today. They have always worked, they had savings but their adult daughter was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago and rapidly became debilitated. The mom took time off to take care of her as she was single and she died after only a few months. Before they could recover from that the husband became ill. She was fired from her job for taking too much time off(to take care of the sick ones). He lost his job due to his illness. Yes, it's illegal but this type of thing happens all the time to a certain type of worker. They have been living off of their savings but now their savings has run out and there is nothing to help them. Nothing. There is a popular perception that there is a lot of help for the poor and destitute but there isn't. At least not in GA. They were allowed food stamps but that won't pay their rent or their utilities or pay for meds. I called at least a dozen charities and agencies and the answer was the same: there's nothing left or they don't meet some narrow restrictions. And I don't have any answers for them. I'm just blown away.

People love to tell stories about seeing people on welfare driving cadillacs and buying steaks with their food stamps while dressed in designer clothes but that's bullsh!t. For every person you see like that, there are 100 more who don't know where their next meal is coming from or how much longer they are going to keep a roof over their heads.

Thanks for reading, I just had to vent.