Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Insert explative here

I had removed this post for a couple of weeks after I wrote it.  I am putting it back.  I had removed it because a couple of people, to be unnamed, had told me that it was a very bad idea to have it here.  However, I feel like there is no reason to censor myself.  I am going through enough in my life right now.  The last thing I need to do is to be careful about saying what I feel.  Therefore, here it is again, for your reading pleasure (or maybe not).


To those of you who don't want to listen to me rant, please stop reading now.  To anyone who is not a true friend, loving family member, or random blog reader that I've never met in my life, please stop reading now. If you don't want to read a thousand page post, stop reading now. (I added that last sentence when I finished, because it is pretty long.)

Today has been a very tough day and I really need to vent.  Before I do so, let me start with some history so that the random blog readers can understand what I'm talking about.

A little over a year ago I started to get sick.  It started with headaches.  Those headaches slowly progressed from one a week to 24/7 5 out of 10 pain.  All the while, I was working as an ER RN at a local hospital.  I have been an employee of that hospital for 6 1/2 years now.  (So 5 1/2 at the time I started getting sick.)  I was going to neurologist after neurologist, endocrinologists, ENTs, etc. to find out what was wrong with me.  Once again, still working 3-4 twelve hour shifts as a nurse at a moderately busy ER.

Now, a little more about my job/career.  I had worked in the ER for 2 1/2 years and absolutely loved it.  I finally knew what I wanted to do.  I had originally planned on going back to school to get my master's degree but decided I wouldn't do that (at least for quite a while) because I like being an ER nurse so much.  I also loved all of my coworkers.  I had my differences with a few of them, but nothing we never worked around.  I felt like the ER staff was like my second family.  They had even helped my family through Christmas one year because my husband had lost his job.

When I stopped working because I just couldn't stand to be there anymore because of my headaches, I assumed I would figure out what was wrong and go back to work.  Unfortunately, things got worse.  I started having a lot more symptoms.  After I was diagnosed in March, I had to give up my position.  I, however, thought that I would be back as soon as I got better (which I was told would be 6 months to a year).  In the meantime, I wanted to try to pick up shifts as a unit secretary, or anywhere else they could fit me in.

I really didn't think this was going to be a problem since I was a good nurse, and a good employee.  In the 5+ years I was there, I went to almost every staff meeting, I volunteered for committees, I picked up shifts when they needed me, and most of the time I worked harder than half of the nurses in that hospital.  I have been told by numerous people that I was a good nurse.  I worked my ass off.

Once I got sick, of course I changed.  I had a fucking headache ALL the time.  I had no idea why.  I was also exhausted all the time.  So, can you believe it???  I was fucking cranky.  Wouldn't you be cranky if you had a headache 24/7?  Working as an ER nurse is not an easy job to begin with.  So I'm terribly sorry if I wasn't the most pleasant person to be around for a couple of months.  About one day a week I was almost in tears at work all day because I felt so shitty.

When I left for medical leave, I hardly heard a word from the people I thought were my friends.  As I said before, my symptoms continued to add up, but my "friends" weren't calling to see how I was doing.  They weren't calling to see if they could do something to help.  Nothing.  Not a word.  I didn't expect a lot.  Maybe the occasional email, facebook message, wall post, anything.  All the while, I was having test after test, I was admitted to the hospital, and was trying ruthlessly to get into the Mayo clinic.  In addition to all of that, I felt like crap!  I really needed support.

After my diagnosis and return from Mayo, I went through a pretty bad depression period.  I had lost my job, my career, my ability to be active (as I was a VERY active person), as well as knowing that people who I thought cared about me, really didn't.  If they did, they weren't acting like it.  I have been through a lot in my life, but this was really getting to me.  My whole life revolved around my kids and husband, my job, and running.  I have lost 2 out of 3 of those things.  Including a lot of my independence, since I can't even take care of my kids and my house without someone's help. 

During this time period I tried to start working as a secretary in the ER.  I was told that I could probably do so.  However, I was pulled aside by my former boss and informed that I needed to be careful because I was pretty "crabby" before I left and a lot of people in the ER had problems with me because I was so "crabby".  I was told that he was just giving me a heads up.  He told me that a lot of people had complained to him before I left about how crabby I was.  I think he used the word "crabby" almost ten times during this conversation.

Now tell me, if you were dealing with a life changing event, you hadn't really felt like your friends were there for you, you were already depressed and someone told you that, how would you feel?  Needless to say, I was hurt. 

Soon after that (a couple of weeks later), I had decided to push through it and go ahead and contact human resources about picking up shifts as a secretary.  I was informed that I couldn't (policies and bureaucratic reasons).  I was told this by the very abrupt and not so friendly HR person.  It was not explained very well at the time why I couldn't.  Therefore, I took it somewhat personally.  In hindsight, some of this was because of my mental state at the time.  After both of those things happened, and I had already felt betrayed by my "second family", I made a couple of comments on facebook.  Once again, in hindsight, that was my way of saying "Hey, everyone out there (especially my work "friends"), I'm depressed and can't really deal with anymore rejection.  Please tell me it'll be okay.  Please tell me you understand and you're there fore me."

I am looking back on my facebook to see what I wrote and it's amazing the difference in my status updates from then until now (and prior to then).  It's so obvious, to me at least, that I was depressed.  So here are the comments I made - "Six years of hard work, dedication and friendship and now I'm nothing more than a 'crabby' pain in the ass!"  The next day I posted  - "Robin needs to realize I can't make people care who don't... and move on."

Those are only two of the many comments I made.  Those applied to people at work.  The rest were obvious (okay, obvious to me) that I was depressed, or at the very least, having a very hard time going through what I was going through (and still am).  Examples - "Robin really, really, really wants to be back to myself again.  Have I mentioned how much I hate this?", "Robin really needs something good to happen for a change..", and "Robin is just not feelin' it".

A few weeks ago I was told by one of the two people I actually still consider a friend from the ER to call my old boss and talk to him about working as a secretary.  She thought he was going to let me start doing so.  I called him.  For the second time since I left there, it took him 2 weeks to call me back.  The first time was when he called me back to tell me that I couldn't work as a secretary.  I had commented on someone's facebook status (she was asking if someone could pick up a few hours for her), that I might be able to if he would ever call me back.

Okay, now that you have the extremely long history, here's what happened today.  I was informed, again by an actual friend that still works in the ER, who has been very helpful throughout this whole thing, that there was a job that I could do that would be perfect for me.  It would require almost all sitting and it would only be for 8 hours in a day.  I am currently having to work 12 hour shifts as a monitor tech, which are killing me.  She told me to talk to my old boss before I left today (I was getting off early).  So, even though I felt like crap and I was having one of my "bad days", I decided to go ahead and talk to him.  I am now regretting that decision.

When I first talked to him he said I could pick up the 8 hour shifts.  However, he then led me outside to talk further.  He then proceeded to explain that he had heard through the grapevine about my posts on facebook.   The posts he was referring to are the one's above about "six years of hard work..." and about him not calling me back.  He stood by the other boss's statement about me being crabby and that he was just trying to help.  I explained that the way it was handled was unprofessional.  I also explained that I have been going through a lot of shit and I was very hurt by the things that were said to me and the that the statements on facebook were not all directed at him or the other boss.  I also explained that what I say on facebook is my private life.  I understand that I should have been more professional, but they should have been as well.  In addition to that, I was asking for some understanding in what I'm going through.  I didn't get it.  In the end, I said "if you don't want me to fill those holes..." and he said "I think that it would be better if you didn't right now."

In other words, just like I thought, I am not welcome back down there.  I have been feeling that that was the case since I was told I was "crabby".  That is why it takes 2 weeks to return my phone calls every time I call.  That is why he has not done anything to allow me to work there again.  That is why I had given up on trying to work down there a couple of weeks ago after it took him so long to get back to me (for the second time).  He has made it abundantly clear that he does not like me and does not want me to work there anymore.

The only reason I stayed on at the hospital is so that I could work my way back into being a RN and in the ER.  I thought I had the support of my fellow ER staff.  Obviously I was wrong.

I am so hurt and angered by what happened today.  I am being judged by things I said on facebook almost 6 months ago.  I am being judged on my attitude at work the last couple of months I worked as a nurse, over a year ago, at which time I was having problems with my illness.  I am hurt because I am no longer looked at as a good nurse, solely because of things that have happened outside of work, and because of the way I was for 2 months out of the 6 years I've been there.  Do the first 5 years of hard work and dedication count for nothing?  Evidently so.

I was still hanging on to the thought of going back to being an ER nurse.  Due to my health not improving to the point that I thought it would and now this, I feel like that hope is gone.  Even if I do go back to being an ER nurse someday, I will not be returning to the place I once called "home".  I feel betrayed that my "friends" not only decided not to be there for me during my time of need, but that they also took what I said on facebook, in a time of despair, and used it against me.  All I became was someone they could gossip about, including to the boss.  How low is that?  Here I was, trying to reach out, and what I got in return was a slap in the face.  I was there for those people when they needed someone, as well as I could be, and when I needed someone, they not only turn their backs, but they also make a bad situation into a horrible one.  They made someone who already feels depressed about their situation, even more so.

Now, the whole reason he pulled me aside today was to get on me about things I said on facebook or my blog.  So, why am I posting even more details of my feelings on my blog, you ask?  Well, because I don't give a fuck anymore.  I was making general statements about my feelings on facebook.  (except for the comment about my former boss calling me back, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that statement at all)  So if I'm going to get judged and berated for generalized statements I said on facebook, I might as well just get it all out in the open. 

I am pissed, but most of all, I am hurt.  Very hurt.

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