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Exhausted; I want a way out.

Nurses   (9,768 Views 140 Comments)
by KalipsoRed21 KalipsoRed21 (Member)

4,166 Visitors; 144 Posts

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How do I continue to do this career? I feel like I’ve tried every available, reasonable option. I’ve worked the floor, I worked the E.R, I’ve travel nursed, I did clinical coordinator, and now I do Home Health....suppose to be part time but never is. I’ve driven 1.5 hours to get to work and I’ve worked 30min away from my home. I have been a nurse for 11 years this month and I’m just tired of trying to make it work. Part of my pain is something that has nothing to do with work...and yet does a little bit. Because I was traveling around and trying to find a fit, and because I can count on one hand the amount of men I have worked with, I did not date much and thus did not get married until I was 33. My husband and I have been trying to have a child and it isn’t working out well. We have been told that IVF is our only realistic option but we can’t even get approved for a loan to do it due to my husband’s previous debt. And unfortunately I only make 50k a year and only have a house payment in my name, but they tell me for my husband and I to get approved for the loan we would need to make about 130k a year. My husband is a tradesman and we have never made more than 80k together in a year. However last year he did not have any work at all (Trumps great economy my ***.) Adoption is about as much as IVF and since my husband and I are older also a kind of long shot. (He is 57 and I am 38). 

Yes I could probably go back to travel nursing or return to the ER and make more money than I do now, but I’m just tired. Travel nursing was not terrible, but it is always having to learn a new place, system, doctors, and hope you are following their policies correctly when everyone is to busy for you to ask questions. And it is lonely as my husband can’t get work if he is traveling with me. The ER was okay until my dad died 2 years ago and then all the sudden it got very hard to take care of codes for me. Now I do Home Health which is a cake walk compared to my hospital experience, except the charting. Like I can see all my 6-7 patients in 8.5 hours, and I do try to chart as I see them, but I usually have 2-3 hours of charting to do every evening once getting home. Not to mention that I always have to work a little the day before calling the patients with visit times and organizing my day (my agency requires we call the night before between 5-9pm). I usually drive 80-100 miles a day. And thus I feel like I never get a real day off because either I’m catching up on my charting or I have to be home to receive my schedule (we have EPIC and no longer get the schedule emailed to our phones, it is only on our work computer and I’m not carrying that around everywhere) by a certain time. And if the people doing the schedule are late putting it out then I can’t get to things I want to do like yoga which is from 6pm-7:30pm. As I don’t have a full team of patients that are mine, I always have 4-5 people on my schedule that I am unfamiliar with. So unlike full time people who kind of know who they are going to see day to day, I almost never do. 

I just feel there is no winning with nursing. In all of my jobs I almost NEVER get out on time. I almost ALWAYS have more patients than agreed to be caring for in my interview. I mean hell, when my dad died at 11am it took until 6pm for the hospital to get things squared away so I could leave without fear of abandonment. I actively now screen my calls and I NEVER pick up, then get ***ed at for not being a team player. This last job in home health I made it very, very, very clear that my time comes first. It isn’t about money, although I definitely deserve the money they are paying me plus some. I gave back a 10K bonus and was like ‘All I want from you is a work load that allows me to have my life back.’ Needless to say there is always some excuse why I have 7 patients instead of 6, or why my 6 patients are 80-100miles of drive time. I’m just done. There is always some reason why we (me and my coworkers) need to do more and be better. There is minimal education with outrageous expectations. I am just done. I am a good, reliable, safe, and compassionate nurse. I have worked many, many jobs and have maybe met a handful that I could not describe in the same manner. It isn’t us not doing the work right or well or fast enough that’s the problem. It’s the institutions and their ***ing nut job expectations. It is patients that go to hospitals called ‘Hospitality’ (that is the real name of a hospital in the Houston, Texas area BTW) expecting a spa day instead of care and business minded idiots who set up that expectation from the get go by naming their ***ing institution Hospitality. I just want to go to work, do my job, and be allowed to leave on time 90% of the time. I want to be able to pee regularly and have a regular lunch break, and lastly I want to have enough energy when I get home (or the next day) to have sex with my husband so I can hopefully have a family....so I can have my life. 

Sadly I just don’t see that as a possibility as a nurse without just being a real ***. Like I am just going to have to say no to being in any committee, to staying late EVER for anyone else, to working extra or working over. I find this really hard to do because I believe in team work. I know that team work is how we make it through, but if I stick to my own I can get done. If I do nothing extra I can be with my husband and not be quite as exhausted. I just don’t see how helping others means I have to sacrifice myself this much and I really don’t see humans as worthy of the sacrifice of myself as I once did when I was 22 and really idealistic. I believe everyone deserves good, data based, compassionate care, just not at the expense of my life and desires....ever.

Edited by KalipsoRed21

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

14 Followers; 1 Article; 75,904 Visitors; 6,125 Posts

Wow, KalipsoRed, your cup runneth over and I empathize with you, in that 30 years ago, my stress level was at an all time high.

Making your thoughts and feelings tangible is a good catharsis and a way of getting empathy and ideas for dealing with your seemingly insurmountable stress. I wish I could give you a magic pill that would make all this stress go away, but, alas...

The way in which I got through my major life crisis situations(s) was to express myself in every way I could:  Talked to family, friends, and professionals; wrote in journals, drawed, yelled, screamed, and cried. I exercised to the point that my physical pain matched my emotional pain. I read spiritual literature, self-help books, and got involved with Emotions Anonymous. 

I persevered and things got better. Then they got worse. And then better again, as life ebbs and flows. All we can ever do is keep on keeping on. Or just walk away from it all.

The very best to you, KalipsoRed.

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160 Visitors; 10 Posts

Hello! 

I’m sorry to hear about the struggles you are going through. Maybe it’s not the fact that nursing isn’t right for you but you just haven’t found the right path yet. Have you ever considered pre-op or post-op at an outpatient surgical center? You’re in at 6:30 and leaving by 3:30 with relatively stable patients who either need education or just need to be monitored for an hour or so. During nursing school, I really enjoyed my outpatient round care rotation. Same hours as I mentioned before with assessing the patients room and equipping it with supplies the doctor will need for that patient. Relatively low key job with stable patients. It seems to me like outpatient might be your calling. Secretaries usually handle calling patients and your responsibilities end as you leave the door as it’s usually closing time for the entire facility as well. Just something to think about. 

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

14 Followers; 1 Article; 75,904 Visitors; 6,125 Posts

10 hours ago, KalipsoRed21 said:

How do I continue to do this career? I feel like I’ve tried every available, reasonable option.

My husband and I have been trying to have a child and it isn’t working out well.

Twenty years ago, I attended an outstandingly excellent seminar on stress. The presenter put up a picture of his beautiful six year old daughter on the big screen and said, "She is my biggest stress reliever but is also one of my biggest stressors".

I have never wanted to father a child and I made that decision permanent when at age 29 3/4 when I had a vasectomy; three months before I got married for the first time. 

 A life stance, something one accepts as being of ultimate importance, has also been ruled by the Supreme Court to carry the same weight as one's religious beliefs. Not fathering a child is one of my life stances and I have difficulty understanding why anyone so stressed would want to add another "one of (their) biggest stressors".

I understand that we as human beings are driven by, among many other things, our hormonal secretions. But logically, I cannot fathom the reason why one snowed in under an avalanche of stress with heavy financial burdens would even consider adding a liability to the mix. Children are more of a liability than an asset, financially speaking.

I realize that my belief is not a popular mainstream one and maybe I'm opening a can of worms by mentioning it. However, this is a discussion forum and I am entitled to express my opinion and perspective.

Thank you.

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4,166 Visitors; 144 Posts

Thank you both for your input. Davy Do, I respect your life stances and choices. But I do think that is the crux of the issue. I’m not childless by choice, which makes it more stressful to me because I am not a mother and I want to be. Nursing is a happenstance in my life. The desire to have a family and children was there before I went down any path in life. Furthermore, the lack of being a parent is very isolating as ALL of my friends and coworkers have children. People I love dearly, life long friends that I am isolated from because I don’t have children. It is deeply painful to me to be this alone. My husband even has children from a previous marriage, so I am very isolated in this.

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4,288 Visitors; 359 Posts

I know this is not a great solution, but have you considered getting a job with better insurance that covers IVF? We just had our son via IVF and paid about $8,000 out of pocket, and our insurance covered the other ~$18,000. Most of the 8k we paid was for the meds, which were covered but were way more expensive if we had gotten them through our insurance ( would have maxed out our lifetime limit on fertility benefits). We paid around 5k out of pocket for meds, and then 3k for our coinsurance for the procedure. My husband works for Apple and we have insurance through them- they have very generous benefits and excellent insurance, and I believe it's available to part-time employees too. 

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

2 Followers; 29,290 Visitors; 4,111 Posts

Hate to rain even more on the parade ...but not only is adoption a long shot, so is IVF at age 38. With such a high probability of failure, a large amount of existing debt, and a spouse in their late 50's, it's not something I would borrow money for.

We all want what we want, but it may be time to start considering other things in life that might bring you happiness.

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

14 Followers; 1 Article; 75,904 Visitors; 6,125 Posts

1 hour ago, KalipsoRed21 said:

Thank you both for your input. Davy Do, I respect your life stances and choices. 

Thank you KalipsoRed, and I yours.

1 hour ago, KalipsoRed21 said:

 I’m not childless by choice, which makes it more stressful to me because I am not a mother and I want to be.

"Want" is a key word here, as being a mother is not something you need in order to live a full and productive life.

1 hour ago, KalipsoRed21 said:

 The desire to have a family and children was there before I went down any path in life. Furthermore, the lack of being a parent is very isolating as ALL of my friends and coworkers have children. People I love dearly, life long friends that I am isolated from because I don’t have children. It is deeply painful to me to be this alone. My husband even has children from a previous marriage, so I am very isolated in this.

We often have difficulty accepting our lot in life and this nonacceptance goes against the Zen of life. For example, there are many things in life I wanted to do, but am incapable of achieving. So I pursued and put my energies into realistic endeavors.

Does that make me a better person? Not one iota better, but less frustrated and disappointed accepting my lot in life. Especially for the chronically malcontent neurotic that I am.

I also sense that perhaps you want to be like others, and possess the same things as others, or otherwise you rule yourself to be inadequate. There's a reason why "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods"-it's an insatiably frustrating endeavor.

I think Bob Dylan put it oh so well in "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest":

"Well, the moral of the story,
The moral of this song,
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong.
So when you see your neighbor carryin’ somethin’
Help him with his load,
And don’t go mistaking Paradise
For that home across the road."

I submit my post with all due respect, KalipsRed, and only wish to discuss situations and share perspectives.

Thank you.

 

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1 hour ago, Sour Lemon said:

Hate to rain even more on the parade ...but not only is adoption a long shot, so is IVF at age 38. With such a high probability of failure, a large amount of existing debt, and a spouse in their late 50's, it's not something I would borrow money for.

We all want what we want, but it may be time to start considering other things in life that might bring you happiness.

It isn’t something I’m willing to borrow for either. A wage slave is not something I enjoy being. I would like to try a sperm donor and IUI which is something I can afford on my own without my husband’s help. The crazy thing is that we’ve both been checked out. I have no apparent issues with getting pregnant. The only identifiable issue is his sperm count and morphology. We were pregnant once last year but miscarried at 6 weeks.  But his ego is getting in the way and he often says stupid *** like “I don’t believe that doctor. Of the two of us, which has kids?” And I want to just scream, so like what? It’s my fault that I practiced safe sex until I got married? Geez, I’m a ***ing idiot for practicing safe sex and for wanting the guy I married to be my friend and a lover....not just a guy who liked my paychecks?

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1 hour ago, Davey Do said:

Thank you KalipsoRed, and I yours.

"Want" is a key word here, as being a mother is not something you need in order to live a full and productive life.

We often have difficulty accepting our lot in life and this nonacceptance goes against the Zen of life. For example, there are many things in life I wanted to do, but am incapable of achieving. So I pursued and put my energies into realistic endeavors.

Does that make me a better person? Not one iota better, but less frustrated and disappointed accepting my lot in life. Especially for the chronically malcontent neurotic that I am.

I also sense that perhaps you want to be like others, and possess the same things as others, or otherwise you rule yourself to be inadequate. There's a reason why "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods"-it's an insatiably frustrating endeavor.

I think Bob Dylan put it oh so well in "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest":

"Well, the moral of the story,
The moral of this song,
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong.
So when you see your neighbor carryin’ somethin’
Help him with his load,
And don’t go mistaking Paradise
For that home across the road."

I submit my post with all due respect, KalipsRed, and only wish to discuss situations and share perspectives.

Thank you.

 

Actually that is the thing. To live a full productive life I do feel I need to have children. I absolutely feel that without children I have very little in this life. I love my husband, but he is not enough. And my career is among some of the worst decisions I’ve ever made. If I were not the breadwinner of my household, and knew what I know now, I would have never gone to college, gotten knocked up by a random guy...because what does it really matter? and lived in an RV doing something artsy until I die.

Edited by KalipsoRed21

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303 Visitors; 17 Posts

I'm sorry for your struggles. It is a lot to go through. In terms of the work aspect, have you thought about looking at working at insurance companies as a nurse case manager or other nursing position? A lot of the positions are work from home and the insurance benefits tend to be a little better (including IVF). Not all of the insurance jobs are utilization review. Some have a lot of patient contact and some have none.  

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

10 Followers; 33,528 Visitors; 3,230 Posts

This might be way out there, but have you considered fostering?  There are a lot of throw-away children out there.  Is it in the realm of possibilities to take one in and possibly adopt that child eventually?

I know it's not at all what you had in mind but it would mean a lot to some child.  Also you would still be parents.  And it might be a way off the nursing hamster wheel.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

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