But I’m Not 

I get the impression that many of you think me a saint for what I do. I’m not. Not even close.  There are days when I do not like my job. There are moments when I hate it. There are times when I dislike my patients. There have been a couple times when I was glad they died. There are times when I resent my younger clients for their laziness and not holding down a job and for using the system. (Not all the people I care for are elderly or vulnerable.). There are times when I wish they would try harder. Times when I want  to stop blaming me for being late even though I showed up at my scheduled time. And times I grit my teeth because they are complaining that I didn’t fold their towels a certain way or that I pulled the covers up too high or not high enough. Times I want to tell them to fuck off and show some gratitude. There are homes where I have to sit in my car and take deep breaths before going in and homes where I have intense anxiety when I know I have to go into the night before. I have called my patients bitches and assholes behind their backs. There are days when I hate old people. Days when I call in sick when there is nothing wrong with me because I can’t take one more day of giving of myself. 

I am not always a good and kind person.  I get angry, hate, resentful, weary and bitchy. Most days I love what I do and believe in the importance of what I do.  Most days I wish I could win the lottery and quit.  

13 thoughts on “But I’m Not 

  1. Such is the lot of a caregiver. For the most part it is an entirely thankless job that sucks you dry, though there is the occasional patient that can make it all worthwhile. I have a client like this now, who suffers from dementia but is a hysterically funny lady. The other day I was helping her dress and my hands were too cold for her….she told me to “warm them up in my pussy!” I was so shocked I couldn’t respond, and then she started laughing and laughing, saying she was glad she could still make a grown woman blush. I’ll take a wry sense of humor anyday over the complaining and hitting most of my patients have done. I tend to think caregiving is best done on a very part-time basis (a luxury not all can afford), because of the intense burnout it can cause.

  2. Hey- if you loved everything about your job, you wouldn’t be anywhere near a saint. You’d just be weird. Seriously, honey. You’re a human being and a damn good one and you do a most difficult job that few could do. I think that’s plenty.

  3. You are human. These are normal feelings. But I still think you’re one groovy chick, who doesn’t give herself enough credit. Because you my friend, are wonderful. So go suck on that, why don’t you.

  4. I know it’s twisted, but this post made me laugh. I love that you want to “set the record straight.” The whole time I’m thinking “She’s just like me! I’d be the same way!”

    Life is hard. It helps to let it all out sometimes.

  5. You are human. And, as Mary Moon says, if you loved it every day, and everything about it, you would be a fine candidate for the funny farm.
    To keep going, knowing that there will be ugly days, sad days, frustrating days is admirable.
    So accept our compliments. Please. You do a difficult job, which few are prepared to take on.

  6. I didn’t call you a saint. I said you were one of the beautiful people on this Earth. Listen Birdie…even us beautiful people feel like telling our bosses, our husbands, our patients, or our grandchildren to fuck off. Your last tiny paragraph is exactly how most of the human population feels. Sharing ourselves and our thoughts and feelings on these blogs is what saves most of us I think. We all feel less alone and understood whether or not we are weary or bitchy or happy or grateful. I meant what I said. You truly are one of the beautiful people that walk this Earth. I’m grateful to have found you and your blog.

  7. Oh no I wasn’t trying to make you feel like you were above the rest of us in my comments about the work you do – I’m sorry if my role in it made you feel awkward. I don’t think anyone could do your job with calm acceptance and God-like grace lol…it’s that you do it despite the difficulties that I admire. It’s a thankless job in many ways and I meant to help you see that it was worth the effort you obviously out in. (Hugs) xx I think you’re awesome with or without your job anyway.

  8. My husband does the same type of work and it takes a special kind of person to keep working to help the elderly. We always think of the elderly as sweet old people but they are just people who have gotten old and age does not improve a nasty person if they were that way their whole life.
    I think taking care of people is the hardest job there is and I am always grateful that there are special people out there that take on that job. So yes, you are human and have bad days but you keep going to work and doing the best you can and that is good enough.

  9. Well said. I really feel your frustration and disillusionment, and I appreciate how you cut through the crap and tell it how it is. Not glamorous, not holy, simply hard often ungrateful work. We all know there are those glorious moments that make you love it, but that doesn’t negate the shit factor. Kinda like how you describe motherhood to me, the most amazing thing yet totally soul suckingly sucktastically difficult at times. Hope this make sense and hope you have a rewarding, awe-inspiring day soon to balance out some of the “fuck this shit.” 🙂

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