Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thicker Skin

I think in my job profession, I have had to learn to grow a thicker skin. Don't get me wrong, I am still a very sensitive person. But something about working in the medical field sort of makes you go 'numb' to certain things. I don't know what got me thinking about this lately, but I did. I remembered how sensitive and thin skinned I was when I was younger. I remember a time when my mom said she'd pick me up from gymnastics and she was late, and how I got so worried sitting outside alone, that I couldn't do anything but cry. Of course, the thought of being forgotten is scary, but looking back on it - I definitely could have used a chill pill. I think working in the mental health field has taught me so much about people. When I first started I would get so attached to my patients. When I would come in the next morning just to hear that they passed away the previous evening after I had left work, my heart would break and I would take it so personal. I remember who my first patient was that died and crying after I found out. I remember watching my first person code, and the doctors running through the hospital and nurses grabbing crash carts and watch them desperately try to revive them, sometimes jumping onto the bed with them to give CPR or intubate. I never found it scary, just upsetting as I usually knew that person not just as a patient but an elder or someone to respect, a person with needs or desires, a sweet soul who needed some TLC.
Lately it seems that I am saddened to hear of the death of another patient, but I have no tears left to shed. It is the way it is supposed to be, and so many of these patients are just tormented by their diseases. I'm not meaning to sound insensitive here, but it is the truth.
Another completely unrelated way I have grown a thicker skin is through my marriage. And no, not because of the way my husband treats me (that's not what I'm insinuating), but because of the way I have observed my husband just shrug things off that you would think would bother him. Customers cuss him out at work and he just lets it go. People say they are mad at him for something and he will do what he can to repair the situation but if they are still mad? He says "that's their problem. Nothing else I can do", and he just doesn't let it bother him. He has an uncanny ability to leave his work at work.
I admire that. And because of that I have learned to not care what people say or think about me. It doesn't matter really, cause in the end the only thing that matters is my little family. I don't let things bother me. If you have a problem with me and there's nothing else that can be done? So be it.
So I can thank my job, and my thick skinned husband for teaching me and giving me examples of how to focus on the important stuff in life. Its been a lesson learned that comes in handy. Compassion is still very necessary, but understanding disease processes or people's anger is important to grasp, and knowing that "it's just how it is", is such a good lesson to learn. So for now? When I see someone very sick that I know may not make it much longer? The best thing for me to do is pray for them. Pray for their families. And know that things always happen for a reason.

1 comment:

  1. I hear you on this! When my grandma passed away I was devisted but over the following years I heard my Dad say things like "the best thing that could happen for him/her is they go to Heaven." At first I was surprised to hear those words but when I took the time to think about it I knew he was right. So, in October when my grandpa passed away I was sad, obviously, but I also knew he was healed, with Jesus and with my grandpa again and there was so much peace in that! I have so much respect for you and your work, it gives people hope and dignity when the world would just ignore them.