the work i do

I didn’t know if when it would happen or if it ever would.  It has been really hard to make patient visits.  Then slowly starting this week, I feel more at ease like I did before.  Last Sunday I answered an on call referral to ICU.  I provided pastoral care to a family of actively dying patient.  I presented the visit to my group.  I didn’t do nearly as well as I thought I did after I considered some of the feedback from the group.  Yet it was immensely difficult visit.  I felt disconnected from life after the visit.  Earlier in the week, I had few meaningful visits where patients wanted to talk about theological stuff.  And then yesterday, prayed with two patients in particular that stand out in my mind.  I prayed with one person who was really sick yet still had faith in God.  And I provided end of life care to family of actively dying patient.  The mother said why didn’t God take me?  Why is God taking my son?  I felt heart broken to hear that.  I realize I don’t have any answers.  All I can offer is support.  I prayed with the mother and her family.  And somehow I feel once again reminded of the fact that I do what I do not because it’s easy, not because I do it better than others, but because I am able and because I have been given the opportunity to provide care to patient and families in hospital setting.  Another patient was anxious she may be judged after her death, which she believes is imminent, and she didn’t know what that would be like.  More than anything, I hold on to the love of God.  I told the patient that God loves her.  And the judgment she would have faced, Jesus took in her place as he did for me as well.  Really last Sunday I felt like I couldn’t keep making pastoral visits…too difficult, too sad, just too much to bear.  But I see now that what I do can mean the difference between laying awake at night fearing the judgment day or wondering what God’s love would look and feel like when you finally go home, or whether God understands the pain of having your son in your sixties is being taken before you and being able to cry out to God who knows the pain you are going through because he too had lost his only begotten son.  What can I say?  It’s a privilege, it really is.  The work I do, it matters.

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just checking

how un-safe or unstable must a person be to be checked into a hospital i wonder?  last year, i spent thanskgiving in a hospital.  food was good.  i didn’t especially want to spend thanksgiving that way last year and certainly not this year either.  i may not be feeling great but i want to make sure i’m not feeling so badly so that i won’t have to spend thanskgiving in a hospital two years in a row!

i think i might be okay since my therapist is just getting to know me and he and i can’t figure out exactly how depressed i am at the moment.  🙂  wonderful, don’t you think?  i guess i fake it until i can make it!!!

you are fired!

last night i basically fired my therapist.  she was cutting down her hours anyway and wanted me to find a new therapist.  i didn’t take the news very well and felt my world come tumbling down.  i reacted badly and ended up in the hospital, the worst hospital ever where my psychiatrist wanted me to stay until she returned from her week long vacation.  the doctor at the hospital was unsympathetic.  the staff was unprofessional and uncaring.  i hated it there and basically was looking forward to working with a new therapist who wouldn’t make me stay at a hospital while he or she was on vacation.  so basically since august, my therapist and i have been in a holding pattern waiting for a new therapist to take over.  and during that time, i basically got worse.  and after each session, i get upset over what my psychiatrist said or seemed to be implying.  we were losing trust in each other and the relationship that had been built over the past fifteen years was rapidly turning toxic.

i was supposed to talk to her this morning.  but last night i called her to say i didn’t want to talk to her and didn’t want her to be my doctor any more.  anyway she left a message saying she didn’t recommend the way i was choosing to handle the ending of our patient-dioctor relationship.  but you know what?  i don’t take it personally that she’s choosing to cut down her hours so that she can travel more and retire some time in the near future.  she shouldn’t take it personally that i want what’s best for my treatment.  and right now, working with a new therapist is better for me than talking to her, especially when it’s clear that she doesn’t trust me, and doesn’t think i will improve with some radical change. last night before i left the message about not wanting her as my doctor anymore, i left a message saying i didn’t want to take my meds anymore and wanted to slowly come off my meds. then i realized later that i just didn’t want her to prescribe me medicine anymore.  anyway hope i can find a new psychopharm and new therapist soon!

final exit

i really think that if i died an early death that jesus would still love me. am i wrong to think so? when this life is so hard, when the pain gets unbearale, i often just want to escape: a final exit. maybe that’s why sleep is so inviting. sleeping allows me to stop life for a little while. and that’s why the hospital visits are helpful to me too. i get a break from my life.

last time i ended up in the hospital, i had a black out, a day of no memory. i’m not sure whether i was conscious or not. i only know that i have no memory of being in the ER. is that like hitting rock bottom? i don’t think so. i talked to a girl who ended up in the intensive care unit as a result of an attempt. i’ve never ended up in the icu. maybe i’m not doing so badly. but still everytime i attempt a final exit i run the risk of making a “final exit.” there are times when i’m not sure that is what i really want. so maybe i’m not really ready for a final exit.