Nickie Coby (puppybraille) wrote,
Nickie Coby

Helplessness, questions and professionalism

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.
Tags: advocacy, anxiety, chronic pain, college, disability related, internship, relationships, social work, surgery
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