Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rage against a Mannequin

Today was the first time I left my house in 10 days. I needed to go to the hospital to complete my CPR skills test on a mannequin. I have been in so much pain the idea of actually starting to work next week for two 8-hour shifts a week while I orientate to my new job seems impossible. But I want to try to at least try to keep my CPR certification up to date so I went in to work today.

This is our hospital's first year using the mannequin hooked up to a computer for the skills check off.  It was absolutely ridiculous. Everything I did the mannequin would say is wrong. I have done CPR on several real people before so I knew I was doing it fine. It would say "push harder" so I pushed  harder. Then it said "push less deep" so I pushed less deep then it would say "push harder" again. After about 45 minutes I was sweaty, my hands were red and I was hurting! I went to talk to someone in nursing education and explained that I have chronic "back" pain (since no one knows what pelvic pain is) and that this was really hurting me, but they seemed heartless and acted like it was my fault basically telling me I was just going to have to keep trying. I watched everyone in the nursing education department getting their lunch and talking about trivial things while I thought..."you have no idea the stress I am under. I may look young and healthy, but i hurt every second of my waking life." 

So I showed them how I was doing it on the infant mannequin and the computer kept saying "you are doing good, but your hand placement is incorrect, move your finger to the center of the chest". So I would move my finger about a centimeter and it would say great. Then I would keep my hand in the same location and it would say again "your hand placement is incorrect"! It was so frustrating. Finally the lady realized that maybe the problem was the computer and not me, so she said she would pass me.  What a waste of the hospital's time to pay people to try and please the computer when they really knew what they were doing all along! I don't know what frustrated me more the mannequins or the cold-hearted humans! Oh how we need more awareness for chronic invisible illness!

I am sure that will flare my pain and tomorrow I will be sore all over. My husband had to drive me the 25 minutes to the hospital because I just cannot sit without a lot of pain not only in my pelvic floor, but also my low back and my abdominal muscles are so tight (I think every muscle that was not boxtoxed is just "on fire" now).

Should I just quit working and try to get disability? I am definitely disabled since I can't sit like a normal person and who can have a substantial job without the ability to sit?! Or should I try to "suck it up" an work no matter how much it hurts? Am I going to hurt myself in the long run by taking on the stress of trying to learn a new job and working 16 hours a week for 10 weeks while I get through this orientation?  If I only have one life to live and that life is going to include chronic pain how should I spend it?  Do I trust that God will really provide for our family whether or not I work? 

These are the questions that are heavy on my heart right now. All I can do is pray and pray constantly that God would give us great wisdom. We appreciate your prayers as well.

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