Monday, September 08, 2003

All right -- the main reason I haven't updated this in a week or so is mostly because the past week or so has royally sucked. It's actually taken work dis-satisfaction to a whoooole new level. I'm not sure I've mentioned this on this blog or not, but I've been working for almost the past year as a "Home Health Aide," basically a rented pair of hands for those who don't have use of their own. I've been helping a 21-year-old with muscular dystrophy with his daily necessities, and because he's also a college student and aspiring counselor to similarly-disadvantaged kids, I've also been acting as tutor, advisor, and all-around factotum. It's been a pretty good gig all along -- he's pretty cool, and it's worked out well. He reads his books, I read mine, and we're both happy. At least until I find a job that a trained monkey can't do.

Anyway, with the passing of my graduate assistantship and the 10 well-paid hours per week that I've also been depending on for income, I thought I'd ask the nurse staffing agency I work through for more hours working other cases. This has proven to be a very bad idea. In the past seven days, I have accomplished the following:

1. Cleaned the apartment of a 60-year-old HIV+ multiple stroke patient, which looked like it hadn't been cleaned since the Johnson administration. I'd go into more detail, but you don't wanna know and I don't wanna remember. There were flies...

2. Hefted a 200+ pound old guy from the floor where he'd wound up when his knees gave out on him, onto a bed. In the process, I pulled each and every muscle in my lower back. This weekend has involved hundreds of thin layers of Theragesic and Janine's fingertips, which I appreciate now more than ever.

3. Tended to another, much more destroyed stroke patient. The saddest thing about this was that his wife had a lot of pre-stroke photos hanging around, of them looking very happy together. Now he looks about as present as a goldfish.

All this has me both hating the fact that I don't have a job that doesn't require me to wipe up mucus and urine, as well as loathing myself for being reluctant to subject myself to a very real section of the American population that makes me so gaddamn sad. Sad for them and alarming to me that I and everyone I know are just one errant blood clot or metastisis away from being in a similar condition.

So I am, once again, re-evaluating my options. Clarifications soon. And hopefully no more morose Andy. All I know is that I'll be eating much better from now on, and getting more exercise -- I intend to be in good health and fully in control of my limbs up until my heart explodes. Which will be right after the gas tank of my Porsche ruptures on a rock below a hairpin turn off the Big Sur. Age 106. Left my glasses on the nightstand. Shit yeah.

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