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Today, I sit in a hospital, neither as the patient, noor the staff member or intern. Today, my grandma is having surgery, and I'm learning more about myself.


It's hard not to be involved. My training has helped me to understand the dynamics of many different situations. When I'm working, I feel in some control of a stressful situation. I find it much easier when I know what's going on. When my knowledge can be used to help someone else or myself, it doesn't make all of the struggles worth it necessarily, but at least the struggles can enable me to do good.

Those who know me know I prefer to be an advocate. I prefer to support someone, interpret the situation, understand what's going on and then find ways to ease the situation. I am definitely not a doctor or a nurse, but both my training and my experiences have allowed me to have relatively good medical literacy. Helping others gives meaning to my life and advocating for myself gives me a sense of dignity, self-worth and self-determination.

I want to be with my grandma the whole time. I want to know what is done and I want to know that she will know that I am there and that I will watch to make sure she is alright and getting what she needs. And yet, I'm not a doctor, I cannot perform surgery, prescribe medications or do anything like that. And with my RSD, I can't really do a lot of physical stuff. I hate this feeling of helplessness and the knowledge that I can contrrol so little.

I know that I need to balance who I am as a student/professional-to-be and the reality that I'm not able to do everything. I also have to ask myself if my desire to help, to be with her throughout is in her best interests and whether I could, in trying to advocate for her, take away her self-determination. It's a fine line to negotiate. Do other professionals experience this struggle? How do I deal with the feeling that I'm not able to do as much as I want to?

I have many questions and very few answers.

Edit: The surgery went well, at time of posting, haven't seen her, she's in recovery now.

Comments

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3kitties
Jan. 15th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
family members and professional training
One of the most challenging things is the art of extricating yourself from your professional role when your family members are the ones in the hospital. The fact is that sometimes acting in that professional role can serve as a convenient shield for facing emotions associated with the situation. This is actually a very unhealthy coping mechanism.. What your grandmother needs most from you is for you to be her granddaughter. Certainly it is reasonable to be observant in case she needs assistance; but more than likely she just needs you to be ready to sit with her when you can. Sometimes presence can be very powerful in the healing process.
shazza59
Jan. 16th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
I shall pray for your grandmother and for you as well.
jenandbronze
Jan. 16th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
I agree, i am best known as an advocate and have a strong voice.
capricorn_sistr
Jan. 20th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
I think that as long as you ask the right caregivers the right questions about your Grandma - things will be fine. You will be able to sit and visit with her, knowing that she has been getting the best care possible. I will most certainly pray for her speedy recovery!
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