Life after monitoring

  1. Hi everybody:

    I don't know about the rest of you but I'm having a hard time envisioning rebuilding my life after this monitoring program. It has set me back financially, educationally, emotionally and has damaged my career. I'm 55 so maybe part of this is a sense of fatalism that comes with age but this program has really damaged me. I'm withdrawn, paranoid and not optimistic about the future. I'm taking all the necessary steps to put my life in order. For example, I'm registered for my last semester of my CRNP studies after having to take a year off. What are your plans? Has this experience changed you? For the better or worse?

    I wish you all a happy day!!!
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  2. 38 Comments

  3. by   catsmeow1972
    Y'all already know how bitter and unhappy i am. i don't need to repeat that. In the hopes that I have a positive outcome in the SSDI issue I will use that and the income i have from family (I am grateful for it even though I hate the fact that i need it) to support myself financially. i will use the time left of this albatross to balance out my meds and try to be nice to my self.
    When it's all done, depending on how i am doing in the mental health arena (without the swinging ax of IPN, I suspect i will be doing much better) i may try to utilize some of the programs that SS has that encourage a recipient to return to work. As it stands now, i would kind of like to resurrect my OR career. I don't know if that's possible but it's certainly worth a shot.
    As far as how this has changed me? I am much less trusting. Now my trust must be earned. I wasn't sure it was possible to be more introverted than i was to start with.
    None of this has been a positive experience for me. Granted i was digging my own rabbit hole but instead of pulling me out, this experience only dug me a different one.
  4. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Cats:

    I think being good to yourself is a great plan indeed!!!! Before this mess you were an accomplished woman and professional. Don't let these imbecilic sadists steal that from you. Of course this is the pot calling the kettle black & this is easier said then done. I totally agree that it will be almost impossible (at least for me) to get back to any sense of normality while in one of these programs but this too will pass and we have lives to live when it does. I hope your disability claim progresses well and you have the opportunity to restore the good parts of your life you have worked so hard to achieve. In the meantime I'm trying to practice some level of acceptance (not to go all 12 step on you) and accept this is my fate FOR NOW. Do what I need to do and get these monsters out of my life
  5. by   Recovering_RN
    I'm 53 and newly (10 months) divorced. When I agreed to the monitoring contract, it was so that I could continue to work as a nurse. Now, after 2 years, I'm just trying to keep plodding along, keeping my head down, one day at a time, to get to the end, and once I'm out, I'm going to try to semi-retire. I can't afford to completely retire but I will go PRN and start doing some traveling that I've been wanting to do for a very long time (personal, not travel nursing). I am sick of the nursing profession and just want out, or as "out" as I can afford to be. I only keep going in the program because I need the financial security of knowing that I can come back and work as a nurse again at any time if I decide I need to. I also have a pride component, I don't want people I know to able to look up my name on the board of nursing website and see that my license has been revoked.

    This program has shattered my self confidence. I used to be very confident and assertive. Now I feel like I walk around trying to be invisible. I'm paranoid about getting caught with vanilla extract in my system, and I've learned to be grateful for whatever crappy job anyone will give me. That's good, gratitude, I get that, but I used to feel that any facility would be lucky to have me work there, I've got great experience, but now I'm just grateful for the few people who were willing to hire me despite the ridiculous paperwork, restrictions, etc. And I have that awful sick feeling of humiliation in the pit of my stomach when I think of all the unsuccessful interviews I had, people who were not willing to deal with the TPAPN stuff, people who I had to tell all about why I was in TPAPN, so they can know all the juicy details and tell anyone else they know that also knows me (ER is an incredibly small world). Fun times in the gossip mill, at my expense. I had a thirst for knowledge before, reading journals, attending annual conferences, reading email distribution lists for emergency nursing. Now I just delete those emails, I throw away the journals and I don't attend the conferences. I'd have to get permission to go from TPAPN and I don't want to do anything to get me on their radar. No special requests, no reason to even know my name. I wouldn't go to the conferences anyway, because I'd encounter people who know me and my history.

    I've learned humility, peeing in a cup at the lab. Humility is good sometimes, I get that. But for me, it comes at the expense of self confidence. I was so confident before. Now I feel like a low life, grateful to anyone for allowing me to work.

    I just want out of nursing with my license intact.

    Reading through all of this post, I can't be sure that it's all the fault of TPAPN. I mean, loss of self confidence would happen to anyone who's been fired, right? I diverted, I got caught, got fired. Of course I'm ashamed to talk about it, of course I avoid situations where I have to see any former colleagues who knew. That's really not the fault of TPAPN, to be fair. It's how all in my face, for THREE years, my disgrace is, that's really gotten to me. If I'd just gotten fired, I could've moved on, learned and not done it ever again. I hope I'd be smart enough to do that. But would I? Idk. Maybe I needed a dose of humiliation, financial burdens, time consuming IOP and AA meetings, paperwork and more paperwork etc, to ensure I'd stay clean. But a year would've been sufficient, thank you very much.
  6. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    These programs are just too damn long and have too many moving parts and requirements. When I think I have 2 years left in this surreal existence I get depressed. A year of certified clean time should be more than enough
  7. by   hppygr8ful
    Also in my 50's here. I finished in 2009 and sort of just stalled career wise for a the next 6 years or so. I was doing psych and wanted a change so I took a job as a RN consultant for a company that runs group homes. I was ultimately let go when I started pointing out all the fraud and patient's rights violations that were happening. So now I am back in Psych and loving it. I am 3 classes away from finishing my BSN the it will be on to my MHNP.

    How this experience changed me? I was a very damaged, selfish and self centered person. I have learned true empathy and joy even when I am at my worst.

    As I have mentioned I also am currently trying to convince my local legislature to address BON abuses.

    Hppy
  8. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    I'm glad it helped you. Perhaps 8 years after I finish this I'll have something good to say about it with time for reflection but I honestly doubt it. I'm so glad somebody is taking up the vanguard of reform. It won't help me but perhaps it will convince to base addiction rehabilitation efforts on medical research and principals and not the musings of some guy who had a "vision"
  9. by   ericninetwo
    I think the reason why you are in your program and at what point in your nursing career you were forced to enter will determine your life after monitoring.

    Me personally, as you probably already know, am on probation due to a DUI that occurred while I was still in college. As a 25 year old, I'm at that stage of life where weddings, parties, and other events that involve alcohol are common. Yeah I enjoy drinking but does that one DUI truly make me an addict? I don't think so, it was a one time mistake. A mistake. Nothing more or nothing less. My only other criminal conviction is for petty theft when I was back in high school. This program has (and is) literally taking my life away from me. I don't mean just with drinking. Can't travel out of the country, if it's in the states I have to make sure there's a collection site. We recently had a family trip to see the solar eclipse in person, somewhere on the border of Utah and whatever state, but I couldn't even go to that because there was no collection site. My parents are getting old, I want to take them out to travel but can't, I have student loans to pay that I could be paying with my drug testing. This whole program is a scam I don't know how else to put it.

    To sum it up, I'm going to be the same person I was before this whole monitoring BS started.

    Not saying that it isn't helpful for others but they really need to individualize each persons case and not just lump us all into one box. As a new grad, I wanted to really get my acute care experience and then transition into public health but right now I'm about to start working in psych. I'm grateful for the opportunity but there's really no correlation with that DUI and how I will perform as a nurse. To be completely honest, if I knew a single DUI was going to land me in this predicament, I would've chosen a different career altogether.
    Last edit by ericninetwo on Oct 24
  10. by   catsmeow1972
    I said in a post above that since i was able to take the rest of the time (667 days) to work minimally or not at all in nursing, i was going to just try to be nice to myself as I've not done that in a long time. This program is very good at degradation, humiliation and generally kicking the stuffing out of a person. Great for a person already fighting depression.
    Anyhow, as eric said above some of the things I've wanted to do recently are just made near impossible by this thing. There was a family trip to Andrews, NC for the eclipse. Did i get to go? Nope. Family has a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some quiet time up there this fall would be beautiful. For me? nope! Too far from some place to pee. Thanksgiving this year will be up there. Not for me. I could probably "ask" but I stubbornly refuse to apply for permission for a normal life.
    The contract states that one must work X amount of time to prove safe practice as a nurse. i have done that. What's the point of the rest of this garbage. (i know the answer, it was a rhetorical question.)
  11. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Eric:

    Loved your post. Specifically:

    "To sum it up, I'm going to be the same person I was before this whole monitoring BS started."

    I'm glad you have that attitude!!! I don't think a one-time DUI is evidence of anything but bad judgment. Furthermore, I don't think BONs have any business punishing nurses for it as we have a criminal justice system for that. I have similar circumstances and have come to the conclusion that this program is indeed a rip-off designed to suck as much money out of our pockets and place it in the rehab industry's bank account as possible. I will say this I will never drink and drive again but I would have came to that conclusion without the intrusion of the BON as the criminal justice system did hold me accountable and teach me a hard earned lesion.

    Why some nurses love to pile on and feast on the misery and misfortune of other nurses is a great mystery to me. I self reported with the thought that perhaps I would be placed in a program that would help. How stupid of me!!!
  12. by   Julius Seizure
    You are all so much stronger than I would ever be if I had to endure one of these programs. There but for the grace of God goes every nurse.
  13. by   1056chris
    This is so true. I had a positive pre employee drug screen that tested positive for a prescribed pain medicine I had been on. I had recently moved, but told them they could call doctor. I had to agree to the program or not be able to practice. All the paperwork, the working only certain shifts , the meetings, the cost of the urine screens and why cant they have a computer call you. They should look at each case individually and the circumstances.
  14. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    You had a prescription and they still put you in a monitoring program? Why? Didn't they give you a chance to produce the prescription? WOW!!! That's terrible.

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