Does anyone else ever envy their patients? - page 4

Be honest--do you ever the patients you take care of, even just a little bit? It probably sounds wrong, but I often do envy the patients I take care of. Ultimately, they get to choose their... Read More

  1. by   VivaLasViejas
    I'm currently enjoying a relatively stress-free life on my Social Security Disability payments. I can stay up all night and sleep half the day away if I want; I eat when I feel like it; I watch TV and play on the computer at all hours of the day and night. I live with my son and his husband so I don't have to pay full rent on an apartment, and really, the only major responsibilities I have are to pay my bills on time and clean up the kitchen after family meals.

    So what's the downside to a so-called life of leisure? I lost my career, my middle-class lifestyle, my home, and a good portion of my dignity to the disease (bipolar disorder) that officially made me disabled. I used to be a productive, well-respected professional in all my nursing roles, but now my ability to multitask and my short-term memory are so bad that I can't even learn new computer programs or handle multi-line phones. I'm also anxious and get distracted way too easily. And I take six meds daily to deal with it.

    I can't imagine anyone envying me my current lifestyle. I'd trade it all, including my $1282 monthly SSDI benefits, for the ability to work and make a good living the way I used to. As it is, I'm very thankful for my support system of friends and family, plus a good doctor who helps me manage my illness. I'm thankful too for not being homeless, hungry or without medications. Believe me, when you've hit bottom---and I did several years ago---there's no way to go but up. Perhaps the patients the OP mentioned are using up their limited energy battling their own private demons. Maybe they're just lonely and needy. And yes, maybe some are entitled and wear their suffering as a badge of honor so everyone will feel sorry for them. But envy them? Not so much.
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Jun 20
  2. by   CelticGoddess
    I find this very frustrating and quite frankly, it angers me a bit. I am currently on medical leave (I have severe persistent asthma) and over the past year, have been in the hospital 7 times. During that time, I have lost my independence, my dignity has taken a ding and I am in debt due to medical bills. Not a whole lot to be envious of. BTW, I am only 48.

    Let's see: Sleep all day. Well, not really. I barely sleep (it's 3am and I am wide awake after getting a whole 2 hours of sleep). When I do sleep, I wake up frequently. So, yes, I can stay in bed all day if I want but it gets me no where.

    While in hospital I don't sleep at all but I do spend my time in bed. VS every 4 hours (except on the unit, when it's every 2 hours), breathing tx every 4 hours, meds every 3 hours. When I finally am able to fall asleep, I only sleep 2 to 3 hours at a time. On the unit I am not allowed to get out of bed at all and even when I'm in a regular bed, I am not supposed to. There went my independence and dignity. (I have had my bed alarm turned on because I would attempt to get up by myself, bad me). I don't have a choice but to call for every single little thing. It's not all it's cracked up to be.

    When I get home, I am still sick (just stable,for the time being). However, even though I could stay in bed all day, I am so sick of being stuck in bed it's the last thing on my mind. I still don't sleep more than 3 to 4 hours at a time. I average about 6 hours of sleep a day. I am very limited on my activities, because I can't breathe well. When I am finally able to increase my activity, I still have to be careful because if I over do it, I am going to end up in the ED having a continuous breathing treatment.

    The worst part of all of this is how many people think I am lazy, over reacting, exaggerating, etc my illness. People look at me and assume I am healthy. Former co-workers have commented about how I have it made. I get to sit around, not a care to the world. The assume that my life is a bed of roses.

    Be careful what you wish for. You could end up like me, unable to work, while at the same time wishing you could. I am a lucky one, my medical leave is temporary. I can probably go back to work in July. But if the Nucala fails, I am out of work permanently. Be thankful for what you have.
  3. by   brandy1017
    I don't envy them and after reading other comments I realized nothing I say is adequate in the face of what others have gone through or are going through. I wish everyone that is struggling peace and healing.
    Last edit by brandy1017 on Jun 20
  4. by   jaderook01
    On the contrary, I thank my lucky stars I've been blessed with relatively good health, lifestyle habits, and come from a family that raised me to not feel entitled. My patients should envy me, honestly.
  5. by   NightNerd
    I have never envied a single patient of mine for the situation they are in. My patients have historicslly either been on hospice or have pretty heavy psych/substance abuse issues. They have lost more freedoms than I would ever want to give up for the "luxuries" you speak of.

    What I have wanted, occasionally, is for others, occasionally my patients, to understand the limitations that are on me. Whether physical or emotional or simply because I don't have eight hands and prescriptive authority, I cannot do or be everything they want me to. Sometimes I want to confide a lot more than is right in them in the hopes of catching some sort of break.

    But.

    I get to walk away. After 12 hours, I get to walk away and take care of ME instead of them. And they are left with what, exactly? To "lay in bed all day" instead of participate in society and be fulfilled? To throw demands around at people instead of be able to care for themselves? To rely on the caring of strangers instead of having healthy personal relationships? These people are often more miserable than we as nurses tend to think about.

    I agree with posters who said it is time for some you time. I don't think you intended this post the way it came across, which was very belittling. Please, take some personal time and do whatever makes you feel whole and at peace. We do lose a lot in caring for others, but or jobs should never be enough to take all the joy and meaning from our lives.
  6. by   vintage_RN
    I think your post is very strange and I would never wish to be sick, isolated from my life and family. And I don't envy my patients, tiny babies fighting for their life. But I do sometimes envy their parents - especially of stable babies. I've been struggling with infertility for years and would give anything for one baby, what these parents have. Many of these parents have tons of kids and neglect them, have one night stands, do drugs etc. Sometimes when I'm cuddling a drug withdrawal baby I envy their parents and wish I could take them home with me. But I would never envy the patients you are speaking of...be happy you have health.
  7. by   Emergent
    Purple gal: It sounds to me that you need a change. You are obviously feeling overwhelmed by the burdens and responsibilities of life.

    I work in the ER and some of our frequent flyers definitely enjoy the role of being a patient. They eagerly get on the gurney, turn on the TV, and await service with a smile (and hopefully some Dilaudid).

    Don't fall into this type of thinking!!! Do self care and get some R&R!
  8. by   rescueninja1987
    I work in ICU, taking the place of my patients is my worst nightmare.
  9. by   Everline
    Nope. I don't think I have ever envied a patient. Some of my patients are actually healthy, but they have other situations or difficulties that I would not want to have. I understand wanting a day or two off and wanting to be catered to a bit. I certainly have dreamed of having a stress-free life when things get stressful. But I find that when I get that golden three of four days off in a row, I start to get restless after a couple of days. Too much time to ponder my belly button and get upset about the lint. Call me crazy, but I like to be healthy, independent and active. With responsibility comes some of the greater things in life.

    That being said, everyone needs a vacation sometimes. Maybe it's time to plan one, do some self-care and go back to work refreshed.
  10. by   RNNPICU
    OP it sounds like you need to make some adjustments in life. You may need to quit you tech job, focus on your nurse job. Also, it sounds like you may need a vacation to give yourself a break, even if it is just for a few days. Spend some time with your mom, just the two of you, or with some female friends. Life always has its up and downs, there are some days I would love to hang out at the pool and really do nothing... that is normal feelings. I would love for someone to come and ring me food and drinks. When I go on vacation that is exactly what will happen, but also vacation is not what pays the rent. Some years are just better than others. Sometimes you have to make big decisions and it can cause a lot of stress.

    Stress can play games with you and cause you not to think as clearly.

    For the others I do not think OP was trying to insinuate that being ill was all fun and games. I think she is just stressed and isn't seeing things clearly.
  11. by   Emergent
    Quote from RNNPICU

    For the others I do not think OP was trying to insinuate that being ill was all fun and games. I think she is just stressed and isn't seeing things clearly.
    I'm glad you said this. I totally agree, and hope others can take a deep breath and not take purplegal's post personally.
  12. by   OrganizedChaos
    Pixie Rose you & your mother areare in my thoughts.

    Have you ever been hospitalized? I take it you haven't became if you have you wouldn't have made this post. The last place I wanna be when I'm that sick is the hospital. You don't get to sleep in, you are disturbed because they have to check your vitals. The bed is not that comfortable. I do not stay up all night by choice.

    You obviously need to see a psychiatrist & need to cut back on your jobs. Why are you working 2 jobs?
  13. by   Libby1987
    Op, based on this and other posts of yours, at minimum I think you are a passenger in your own life, with some sort of distorted perception of the experience of others.

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