I’m writing this in the middle of the night. I know we are told not to take work home with us. And for the most part, I’m pretty good at that. Currently though, the reason for my wakefulness is concern about a particular individual or rather, a couple.
I have had this happen before and was thinking about some of the things I can do to work through it.
Usually when I leave the office at the end of the day, I think ‘What else could I do that would make things better/easier?’ It isn’t about finding solutions immediately more about looking at the whole picture and distinguishing ‘things I can change’ from ‘things I can’t change’. We can’t oblige people to make certain decisions – except we can – in some rare circumstances.
The situation in the particular case is one that is very unusual and doesn’t come up too often but without any of the more dramatic details, it has come about because the carer and the patient have very different interests and what is acceptable in one case is completely unacceptable in the other. And vice versa. Of the the primary concern lies with the patient himself and that is the way the decision-making has gone, it has left another person in distress as a direct result.
I have sought advice from managers, doctors (Consultant and GP) and up through the service to Assistant Directors (who, incidentally, had to seek advice himself on this one!) so I know it isn’t a decision or a situation that I have made in isolation. The fact that different people have disagreed with each other is notwithstanding because I have, at least, sought the support and experience of others to reach the point we are at. I know this logically but there is an illogical and emotional tug that is nagging.
And for all the procedures and advice and legal manoeuvrings there is a basic instinct to want to ‘make things better’ ‘ease discomfort which exists’ that is gnawing away at me.
I am far better at leaving work at work and protecting ‘home time’ than I used to be in general though. I think it is partly something that comes with practice and experience and partly a part of how we are made in the first place. It is definitely the one distinction between people who are subjected to fast burn out as opposed to those that can continue to work in the profession. But sometimes there are thoughts you can’t leave so easily at home.
But I think, or at least with me, however well I think I have been managing, a situation might pop up very rarely will keep me pondering a long time.
A bit cryptic I know.
Mental note to discuss this situation further when I do get to work..