I imagine there are as many ways to interpret my title as there are people who will read it. Bottom line, I am soooo tired of life. Surviving is a difficult place to be. I’m not getting better. I’m definitely not thriving. But I can’t just cease existing either.
The years of counseling, the dozens and dozens of workouts, the time and effort to cook and eat healthy food, the risky choice to be vulnerable with a handful of people, the challenging of negative thoughts and replacing them, the worship songs sang, the prayers prayed, the hours reading the Bible, the difficult choice to participate in things that you want to avoid (since, ya know, people say that engaging in life helps), the going to coffee with a friend, and plenty of other things has led me only to here. To blabbering pointlessly at my therapist and then bursting into tears and talking about hard stuff, feeling like the session was maybe worthwhile, but mostly feeling like it’s not nearly enough. Wishing I could have 50 minutes every day for a while. It seems like I need so much more.
Oof. Emotions are heavy. Cognitive distortions are loud.
After eleven months of idiopathic problems with my right wrist (and yes, I’m right-handed), almost two weeks ago, someone was finally able to give me an answer. I had an MRI with contrast done during Christmas break, and after looking at it, the orthopedic hand specialist that I started seeing in October came back and said that I had injured ligaments. My scapholunate ligament is torn as is my TFCC (Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex). I went back to my OT, who made me a custom splint that I am to wear 24/7 for 4-6 weeks. When I follow up with the MD, we’ll discuss whether or not it’s helping. If it is, we’ll continue with the splint, but if not, then surgery will be necessary.
I am currently not allowed pronation, supination, radial deviation, ulnar deviation, wrist flexion, or wrist extension (aka, I’m not allowed to move my wrist). After some very discouraging comments from the director of my school’s nursing program on Thursday, I needed my Friday IV skills lab. It wasn’t easy, but it was possible; I did all of the skills successfully—proving to myself that I didn’t need to dwell on the director’s comments and also allowing my clinical instructor to see some of the many things I can still do.
With my new (ten-day-old-so-far) wrist splint, I am having much difficulty sleeping. Washing dishes is hard. Cooking is very difficult. Vacuuming my floor is unnecessary. Showering is overrated, okay maybe not, but it’s really hard and takes forever, plus clinical days require my hair to be up, and that’s super difficult.
I can only type so much at a time, and on T/Th, I have back to back to back classes. When I “read” my textbooks, it’s more like staring at shapes on a page, changing pages, getting discouraged, willing myself to focus and understand, and maybe eventually finishing, but also maybe giving up. The assignments are like noxious weeds—they’re too numerous to count, you don’t want them, and they’re not easy to get rid of.
Since writing most of this yesterday, I had a meeting with my clinical instructor (who is also a professor at my university). We have very few answers coming out of it, but we have next steps to take. I loooove getting an extra five things to do in a six day span <written with no sarcasm whatsoever> However, I’m not left in the dark about what might happen from here. Also, apparently she thinks I can handle being on a critical care unit (that’s what she told me today anyway). I forget her exact words about my academic abilities and intentionally putting me on a high acuity floor because she knows I can handle the patients and the critical thinking involved. I often wonder how so many people can be so wrong about me so often. But then I wonder if maybe I’m the one who is wrong and they’re right???
I guess she doesn’t know about the buckets of tears, the thoughts I’d just assume never have again, the intense effort that goes into carrying out simple tasks, the battle to keep going day after day, the work it takes to get my work done, and how incredibly and indescribably difficult school is for me.
I suppose I’m grateful that she (and many others) can’t tell what’s going on, yet at the same time, I feel like a fraud.
I have so much academic stuff to do, but it’s painfully difficult to focus, and it takes so long to accomplish anything. Some days I wonder if I even want to be a nurse. There’s a lot of aspects of Med-Surg that I’m trying to like, but I just don’t. I don’t like working in the hospital. I feel inept. I feel like I’m not good enough, like I’m too scared. I want to be a nurse, but I don’t know how to make it through the journey, the process, the growing with great pain, with intense effort, and with viscous sweat. Maybe for a little while I won’t grow—visibly anyway—I’ll remain buried in the dirt growing roots so that one day, when I do finally see sunlight, I won’t be destroyed.