Sometimes it gets to be overwhelming

I am working on the book review (Being Mortal), but it is taking longer than  I thought it would, so it may be another week.

My youngest kid (5, with autism) doesn’t start school this week, and there is being a certain amount of fall-out from that, given that everybody else is going back to school. He sees it, and he wants to go too. He doesn’t understand why he can’t. Kindergarten doesn’t start at the same time, but I can’t seem to communicate that to him. So I hold him while he cries, and I wonder how many more things that he will miss out on without knowing why. It’s a small thing, just another week, and he’ll start. But he doesn’t understand, and I don’t know if he knows that he will go back soon. I hope he doesn’t think it is forever.

I wonder also about the residents at the place I work. How much do they understand about why they live at a long term mental health facility? Some of these residents are fully self-aware. They understand where they are, and they want to get out. Of course they do, but their families can’t handle their needs. Some residents don’t have any living family.

It is sad. I can’t fix them; all I can do is offer them the medications that have been prescribed by the doctor. I offer; other nurses are more forceful about it. I know it. I’ve been told frequently that I am too nice. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I need to become more forceful about it.  I still say that they are people, not systems wherein we pour meds in and observe the results. I can’t give them the right of self-determination, but I can be kind, and I can give them all the control the  circumstances will allow. Should my child end up in a long term psych facility, I want some nurse to treat him the way that I treat my residents.

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